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Extending Video to the Web through Open Source H.264

Cisco has been a champion of video communications for a very long time. We are committed to seeing video communications from board room to cubicle, and from CEO to intern. To achieve this vision, we’ve been investing in video solutions from top-end immersive telepresence to video capable soft clients like Jabber. Unfortunately, the one place we haven’t been able to fully go is the web. Video communications is not possible natively in the browser – yet. Work has been progressing on addressing this through an extension to HTML5 called WebRTC. However, this activity has hit a speed bump due to disagreements on choosing a video codec for the browser. Cisco and many others support H.264, which is the foundation of our products and those of most of our competitors.

Today, Cisco has taken a bold step to bringing video to the web. We plan to open-source our H.264 codec, and to provide it as a binary module that can be downloaded for free from the Internet. Cisco will not pass on our MPEG LA licensing costs for this module, and based on the current licensing environment, this will effectively make H.264 free for use in WebRTC. Furthermore, Mozilla has announced it will enable Firefox to utilize this module, Read More »

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Greasing the Video Collaboration Skids

I talk to customers virtually everyday as part of my job, and even though they thoroughly believe in the operational and transformative benefits of video collaboration, they tell me there’s still more we can do to help simplify the process for implementing video pervasively. So, at Cisco’s Collaboration Summit last week, we unveiled a host of technologies designed to do just that – grease the skids for driving video collaboration everywhere using an intelligent approach that is connected, adaptive and intuitive.

Cisco’s strategy for enabling pervasive video is aligned around three key strategies and, as such, so do our product innovations:

To make video more accessible, Read More »

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It’s Time for an Intelligent Approach to Video Collaboration

As we’ve been preparing for next week’s Collaboration Summit, I’ve been reflecting on the past 10 years in the video and communications industry. In today’s hyper-connected world, the bar has been raised and user expectations are higher than ever before, especially as it relates to video and its impact on efficiency and productivity.  Users want to be connected all the time while having more control of when or how they are reached.  They want to have access to an array of video collaboration experiences with the ability to choose how they want to interact based on what’s going on during the day.  And they want it to be easy to use, easy to connect to others, easy to integrate with business applications and content, and of course easy to manage.

The list of user requirements is exciting for the industry.  It proves the immense value inherent in video communications and is inspiring everyone to think harder about what users want not only now, but also years into the future.  Yet keeping up with these demands is no easy feat for any technology vendor and can be even more challenging for IT teams supporting all of these new user scenarios in a business environment.  Simply put, video communications needs to be reimagined so that the promise of pervasive adoption can happen, and can happen in a way that delivers unsurpassable value.

It’s time for a more intelligent approach. Read More »

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Flipped Learning – Transforming Education

To say the way students learn today has dramatically changed since I was in school would be an understatement. Not too long ago, technology played a limited role in education. Computers were not an active part of any discussion; it was a lab we went to for an hour a day.  Now students are fortunate to have access to a variety of technologies that enrich teaching methods such as interactive smart boards, laptops and tablets, video technology and more. This has transformed  the way educators engage with their classes and how students learn.

I think video collaboration technology specifically has had a profound impact on education. Today, teachers and school officials alike are utilizing video collaboration for many diverse uses such as advanced instruction, distance learning, virtual field trips and global student collaboration. Most recently, flipped learning has been receiving a considerable amount of attention and buzz for the powerful benefits it offers students and educators. Read More »

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Exciting Medianet Enhancements in Cisco’s New VSM 7.2 Solution!

At ASIS 2013 in Chicago, Cisco and ActionPacked! Networks will be demonstrating new Cisco Medianet capabilities integrated into the VSM (Video Surveillance Manager) 7.2 solution and ActionPacked! networks’ LiveAction.

With this release, an MSI-enabled management station such as LiveAction will be able to securely connect with the media server, IP cameras, and the client viewer to troubleshoot QoE issues. LiveAction has built compelling visualizations of the progress of a mediatrace and results.

Troubleshooting with Mediatrace provides IT administrators the ability to quickly detect any network issues and pinpoint the root cause these issues in the network. This is significant in IP video surveillance deployments of any scale as they operate in a shared network environment and contend for resources with other applications running on the network.

A sample screenshot below: Read More »

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