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Cisco Virtualized Video Processing makes it easy to whip up a full menu of multiscreen services


January 5, 2015 - 0 Comments

What if cooking worked like video processing? By that I mean, what if every dish you made required separate, dedicated tools and processes just for that dish? So if you’re making a main course for a dinner party, you break out your Main Course knives and kitchen utensils, your Main Course pots and pans, and cook on your dedicated Main Course stove. Adding a vegetable? Grab your Vegetable cutlery, your dedicated Vegetable spices and olive oil, and head over to your dedicated Vegetable stove. Don’t forget dessert. You’ll need a separate set of Dessert mixing bowls, Dessert pots and utensils, and a dedicated Dessert cooktop. (Hope you have a lot of cupboard space.) Thankfully, cooking doesn’t work like this. You can use the same kitchen and cookware to produce every dish you’ll need. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for traditional video processing. Even though you’re often using the same ingredients (video content), each different video application “workflow”—rendering video to stream to a particular portable device, encoding live TV for video-on-demand consumption, adding a new 4k channel to your lineup—requires a specialized production line of dedicated hardware and processes. Or at least, it used to.

Cisco Virtualized Video Processing (V2P) virtualizes and orchestrates all of those previously distinct video functions and workflows, all the way from processing to delivery. So you can run all of your video workflows on the same platform, on any mix of physical and virtual resources, and deliver new multiscreen video services much faster and at a lower cost. Let me offer a couple examples.

Simplifying Cloud-based TV Services

One of the most important ways service providers are differentiating their services is by offering more time-shifted and VoD content. But with traditional video processing models, re-encoding live content to make it available for time-shifted or on-demand viewing can take hours or even days. This is mostly because the workflows for linear TV use a hardware production line that’s completely separate from time-shift and VoD.

With Cisco V2P, you can virtualize all of these video functions—ingesting and recording content, storing it, playing it back—and orchestrate all of the workflows that use them. So you can take the same content (like a linear TV channel), easily modify it for other workflows like time-shift or VoD, automatically apply the right policy and business rules, and deliver the new service in minutes.

Adding New Channels to the Head-end with Existing Infrastructure Another area where speed matters: adding a new channel to your lineup. In your head-end today, you probably have a mix of physical and virtual encoders. Usually, the delineation of which resources are doing what is pretty much fixed. So if you want to add a new 4k channel, for example, which requires some hefty HEVC processing, you’ll need to manually install new hardware, which means you’ll need a lot of lead time.

Cisco V2P lets you view of all of your physical and virtual resources as a single, flexible pool with an advanced orchestration layer on top that you can manage from a single screen. With a unified view of all your resources, you can accomplish the business outcome you are trying to achieve—such as adding a new 4K channel—by optimizing the utilization of your existing resources. In this case, the V2P system could enable you to shift some HD channels currently using software encoders to hardware-based encoders, freeing up virtualized resources to execute HEVC encoding for the new 4k channel. So you can add the new channel very quickly, without having to roll out new infrastructure, by using the virtual and physical resources you already have in place more effectively.

A Better Recipe for Multiscreen Video These are just two examples of the flexibility you gain when you can virtualize your video functions and orchestrate all of the workflows associated with them. And since Cisco V2P is an open, standards-based system—using open APIs, ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) standards, and an Openstack-based cloud infrastructure—the sky really is the limit for what you can achieve. Whatever new multiscreen video experiences you can imagine, you can design, deploy, and scale them in a fraction of the time and at a much lower cost. Or put another way, you can give your customers a world-class menu of gourmet video options, without having to renovate the kitchen.

To learn more, visit www.cisco.com/go/videoscape 

Tweet us @CiscoSP360 if you have any questions or comments.



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