If the start of a New Year is the best time to create new resolutions, then we’re defining our resolution for 2013 to be unity in video experiences. Now that our SP and media customers have deployed services to tablets and IP devices in addition to TVs, the next step is to unify and innovate the video experiences delivered across all screens. Today at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, Cisco introduced Videoscape Unity, the new and expanded Videoscape platform designed to do just this – unify and innovate video experiences. .(We hosted a press conference, carried live across the Internet. If you missed it, a replay is available after 3 p.m. PST by clicking here.) We demonstrated the types of experiences Videoscape Unity can deliver in service provider environments today, and provided a future-looking view of what we are doing to make these even more immersive and engaging.

As an added feature, Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco’s Video and Collaboration Group, hosted a panel of our customers to talk about and share their visions for “The Future of TV: Above and Beyond TV Everywhere.” Panelists included:

  • Len Barlik, executive vice president, chief product officer, Cox Communications
  • Bill Bradford, senior vice president, Digital Media, Fox Broadcasting
  • Joe Inzerillo, senior vice president, Multimedia and Distribution, Major League Baseball Advanced Media
  • Balan Nair, executive vice president, chief technology officer, Liberty Global
  • Andrew Olson, director of product planning and design, BSkyB

So what is Videoscape Unity exactly?  I like to think of it as the world’s first “experience platform” – an agile software platform enabling video operators to offer exciting video experiences tailored to their own brand, and what their customers want. But Videoscape Unity is so much more – it integrates the powerful cloud, and network-based service capabilities Cisco built into Videoscape with the exciting client capabilities that the NDS acquisition brought us.  When you combine this product platform with the professional services capabilities we also acquired from NDS, our customers now can leverage our core cloud capabilities to enhance the rapid time-to-market for new services, while at the same time offering individualized and customized experiences.

That means new experience sets for service providers to extend to their customers, and we are introducing the first four of these at CES: multiscreen cloud DVR, video everywhere, connected video gateways and IP video over cable.

Videoscape Unity also expands the range of choices our customers have for deployment. Technically, Videoscape Unity is a series of components – such as encoding, content management and client-integrated, using open APIs. Openness is built into Videoscape Unity at this very fundamental level and we offer these components individually, directly or with a set of valued partners.

We are also offering Videoscape as a series of pre-integrated offers which can be implemented rapidly yet still allowing operators to customize them to their own vision. And finally, here at CES we also introduced our first managed service product – should operators wish, they can now take advantage of Videoscape Unity CDN capabilities “as a service”, built and managed by Cisco.

We are showcasing all of this and more at CES. Our demonstrations for customers will include enhanced cloud-based security (DRM) and advertising components, and expanded intelligent network elements. Additionally, we are highlighting concepts we have for the future of video, including integrating 4K, immersive multiscreen walls of Video and social video experiences.

As the options in viewing video (tablets, TVs, PCs, phones) proliferate, and content availability continues to fragment, it is my view that unity in video experiences will be the resolution that matters most in 2013. In closing, my best to you for a happy 2013, a productive CES, and a unified New Year.