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Cisco at the 2014 International CES

It’s a new year, so one thing is certain: It’s time to go to Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show. CES is always an energetic annual kickstart here at Cisco, since so much of our mission is to develop and build the technologies that link consumers and businesses to service providers and big networks.

CES is especially big for us this year. For starters, John Chambers, our Chairman and CEO, is keynoting this afternoon (4:30 PM PT, Venetian Palazzo Ballroom), to talk about the Internet of Everything (IoE), as part of the Tech Titans keynote series.

Company-wide we are so focused on the IoE, we’re sponsoring the “Internet of Everything” Tech Zone, in the Central Hall (#13342) -- so come see us there if you’re thirsty for details on how sensor-based technologies will jazz up your life at home, and on the go.

Our Service Provider Video business announced Read More »

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The 4K / HEVC Video Roadmap: Follow Cisco’s at CES 2014

Ken Morse1207_-138By Ken Morse, CTO, Connected Devices Business Unit, Cisco

One of the trending topics here at CES in Las Vegas this week, without question, is 4K video/ 4K television, and its consumer-facing brand, “UltraHD.”

Like HD did, 4K redefines TV and this is what CES is all about – compelling new technologies that ultimately draw dollars from consumer wallets.  This year, examples of 4K video will be everywhere (including in our demo suites at The Wynn Hotel…)

But there’s another angle, outside of the visual wow that comes with 4K’s pixel doubling, faster frame rates, deeper blacks, and brighter whites. And it’s all about the shape our industry is going to take. 4K is a disruptor and when there is a disruption, there are winners and losers and speed counts.

For instance: Read More »

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IPv6 Video Rollout via RDK Hits Europe, You Heard it Here First!

By Bill Ver Steeg, Distinguished Engineer, Cisco Systems

We are proud to put down in writing what we believe to be the first Reference Design Kit (RDK)-based deployment of IP video. Oh, and it is the first IPTV system running on IPv6. And one of the first based on a combination of premises based products and cloud-based services. And it all went from concept to turn-up in 50 days!

The deployment happened in Europe, but if you’re in Las Vegas this week at CES, we will also be demoing it for customers at The Wynn Hotel.

What was involved:

Our customer wanted to showcase its brand new IPv6 network by delivering a world-class IP video experience. An all-IPv6 IP video system had never been deployed before, so this was a non-trivial challenge. We chose to use the leading edge components in RDK in the IPv6 environment. Our challenge: they wanted it in and complete in 50 days, from project start to subscribers using it. To meet this challenge we turned to a combination of our new Videoscape Cloud Services SaaS offerings and premise based solutions.

Let’s talk about the toolkit that allowed us to deliver this customized solution in such a rapid timeframe. First and foremost, the delivery required all of the components to work in IPv6–only mode. It’s no great secret that Cisco is highly focused on IPv6 (understatement), and our RDK based systems are no exception. As our customers migrate from IPv4 to Ipv6, all of our video products are being widely deployed in mixed IPv4-IPv6 environments worldwide. As can be imagined, there were considerable production, testing and integration challenges with working in a pure IPv6 deployment.

We started by Read More »

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How Black Arrow, Cisco and Innovid Are Partnering to Advance Advertising at CES 2014

BConrady: Conrad Clemson, VP of business development, Cisco Service Provider Video

Let’s start this blog with this simple observation: TV didn’t kill radio, but it did disrupt how advertising flows. Same for the impact of online media, on print.

And by our reckoning, it’s about to happen again -- the diverted flow of advertising resources and revenues away from traditional, big broadcast TV, to online and over-the-top video.

Will TV advertising dominate over other forms of video consumption, for a really, really, really long time? Unquestionably. But increasingly, brands want a mixed media spend, because it gets them greater reach and greater engagement -- and that’s what advertising is all about.

Our work to help service providers expand advertising beyond the primary TV screen, to the other screens we’re all watching, is a big part of what we’re demonstrating at this week’s CES, in Vegas. And we’re not going it alone -- we’ve strengthened our work with Black Arrow, on ad decisioning, and with Innovid, on multi-screen.

Here’s what you’ll see: Read More »

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Cloud DVR: Reaching back in time for the shows you’ve missed

Some of us still remember, in the pre-DVR days, when missing an episode of your favorite show meant it was lost forever - unless you chanced upon it in reruns. Even when technology allowed us to book content for recording, whether by VCR or DVR, you had to plan beforehand what you intended to record. The next generation of TV recording technology allowed us to “pause” live viewing and resume at our leisure, thanks to a review buffer that knew to record in the background whatever we happened to be watching. But what if you could spontaneously decide to go back in time – minutes, hours or even days – and view whatever content you missed?

Cloud DVR, one of the latest offerings from Cisco Videoscape Solutions, brings the latest time-shift technology home. An extension of Videoscape Video Everywhere, Cloud DVR leverages cloud technology to store content on a scale impossible for traditional DVRs to replicate. How much content can be stored? Enough for a viewer to browse the programming grid and view any program broadcast over the previous three days.

Enabling this technology is a Content Distribution Network which continually stores broadcast content with high availability and performance. And it’s not just for traditional TV viewing. Because Cloud DVR runs on the multi-device Video Everywhere platform, recently broadcast content can be made retroactively available on any device.

Several new Cloud DVR features take advantage of this technology. Restart TV allows you to view any event from the beginning, no matter when you tuned to it. Catchup TV, a souped-up version of Restart TV, makes available the previous three days of broadcasts. A complementary product, Reverse EPG allows you to search back in time for content previously broadcast. And you can now Pause Live TV even if you don’t have a DVR, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected viewing interruptions. . Because the content is derived from the same cloud-based source, you can pause viewing on one device and resume viewing from the exact same point on a different device.

Cloud-based storage offers several additional advantages:

  • Storing more content - storage capacity is no longer limited to the disk size of your DVR.
  • Storing multiple shows broadcast simultaneously – no need to worry if your DVR is tied up with multiple recordings
  • Scheduling, managing and accessing stored content from multiple devices
  • No need for a hardware upgrade

Sound good? This solution is on its way. The biggest hurdle to implementation, however, may not be perfecting the technology, but rather the legal implications. One particularly thorny issue, particularly in US markets, is the legality of retrieving content that has already been broadcast. Under current US law, individual customers must request their own copies of a recording. As a result, VOD content can be viewed, but copy-protection arrangements severely curtail the amount of broadcast content that a viewer can legally retrieve and view. Resolution of the legal issues surrounding the viewing of recently broadcast content is shaping up as a major factor in how soon and to what extent we’ll see Cloud DVR introduced to our homes.

Link: An analyst discusses the future of Cloud DVR (posted on YouTube by Cisco):

For more information about the Cisco Cloud DVR, click here.

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