As we wrap up the summer vacation season and settle back into work and school, I can’t help but reflect back on my personal summer vacation and share a few observations. My family and I had the chance to travel and while we were on the road, away from home, I shared with my wife that, in this bold new world, we could watch the Red Sox wherever we were. However, every night around 7 pm, we’d tune into the game and we’d wait. Sometimes the video wouldn’t start. Other times it would pause … buffering. And sometimes the video resolution would become so low that you couldn’t tell what was happening. Consumers, including myself, have come to expect a pretty high standard for video experiences. It begs the question, what if we could make IP video experience better than the broadcast experience?

Consumer Demand:

It should come as no surprise to anyone with a video subscription and a connected device that video is shifting to IP and mobile. According to Cisco’s Virtual Networking Index, 82% of IP traffic will be driven by video by 2020. Consider this – those same bright minds also believe that IP Video Traffic will surpass Broadcast by 2022.

Here’s a big secret; video providers who can take advantage of IP protocols to capture this market transition and meet the growing demand are going to win in the next generation of video. Why? Because the present generation of technologies are designed to operate on a lowest common denominator basis. Operators who recognize the importance of starting with the highest quality experience will be better positioned to address consumer demand, scale appropriately, better control operational costs, and deliver a great IP video experience to customers.

I’ll let you in on another secret; Cisco has a plan and a set of services to do just that.

IP Video Better than Broadcast:

For us, making IP better than broadcast means delivering consistent, great looking video on any device, on any type of network. It is about the quality of experience; buffering and low quality video have no place in our vision. It means that consumers can access their Live, VOD, and Recorded content on the go, with a seamless experience across all screens. And for the Service Provider, it means ensuring that their subscribers consistently have a positive experience with the Service Provider’s brand. For our friends in advertising, it means delivering targeted ads to the consumers who are most likely to buy their products.

Managing Scale, Cost and Quality

Cisco is committed to helping our customers capture the transition to the next phase of IP video. Making IP video better than broadcast requires a scalable, future-proof infrastructure, complete with micro-services, and all of the bells and whistles to enable ease of operation and service velocity. It means keeping costs down by leveraging an IP converged video core, pushing decisions to the edge, simplifying the network, and ultimately reducing operational costs. It is also important to take into account the current assets and investments that Service Providers have made. With our rich history in networking, and ability to closely collaborate with our customers and understand their needs, Cisco is uniquely positioned to help migrate Service Providers from traditional broadcast to a hybrid IP or all IP infrastructure.

How do we do it? Through a more intuitive, smarter network.

  • Converged IP Video Core Architecture: By pushing decisions to the edge of the network, Service Providers are able to improve feature velocity, reduce operational costs, and deliver more personalized experiences to the consumer.
  • Intelligent Edge: Format decisions for the subscriber device can be made at the edge of the network, freeing up bandwidth.
  • Cloud Recording: The cloud takes on an even bigger role with cloud recording, developed with cloud-native micro-services to increase feature velocity, improve scale, and reduce operational costs. But wait, there’s more. The cloud brings greater operational intelligence, analytics, and enhanced automation into the mix.
  • Smart Streaming: Cisco offers a toolkit of technologies that improve the streaming experience such as low latency, SVQ generation, chunked packaging, and fast channel change on top of point products, both at the edge and the core of the network, to optimize and balance the quality of experience with the bandwidth available.

The Next Generation of Video

The transition towards IP and ultimately making the IP video experience better than broadcast is a journey that we’re all invested in. Like other generational transformations in the industry, the companies who proactively plan will win. The challenge is great, but we are invested and eager to help our customers on this journey. This is the path to IP video that is better than broadcast, and we are well on our way. Play on.

Fabio Souza contributed to this blog. For more details about Cisco’s Infinite Video Platform, click here.


Conrad Clemson

Senior Vice President, SP Platforms & Applications

Service Provider Platforms & Applications