My Top 5 IBC 2010 Observations
Always a pleasure to visit Amsterdam, even though every year it seems the cab fares from the hotel to the RAI center get more random (€11 on the first day, €15 on the second, €20 on the third…I had to cry uncle at 25!)
This year’s event served as a predictably solid playground and portend of “What’s Big” for the foreseeable future. Here’s my quick view of the Top 5 IBC 2010 trends:
- Connectible Everything: TV isn’t just for TV anymore, that’s for sure. Little screens, medium screens, big screens – all with IP plumbing, all shouldering in for a shot at becoming a viable new way to experience television. From smart phones to iPads and tablets, to laptops, PCs and “old fashioned HDTV’s,” the way ahead is strewn with connected devices, all wanting to be video-proficient.
- Remote Control Variations: Sure, we’ve been seeing gesture-based navigation for a while now, but mostly as an oddity; a cool-but-expensive-looking side show. Seems more real now. Ditto for free-space remotes. Watch for this to pop even bigger in early November, when Microsoft releases its Xbox Kinect – think Wii without the handhelds.
- Point That Thing Anywhere: Speaking of remotes, it also seems like we’re on a brink, of sorts, in how the TV remote “talks” to the TV. Forever and ever, we’ve used infrared. Now, more and more RF, and even Blu-Tooth. It means this: We’ll no longer have to point directly at the set-top or TV. Aim the thing backwards over your head, still get a channel change. Not quite Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar behind his back, but close.
- Goodbye, Grid-Guide: More screens wanting to be video-proficient necessitates a navigation environment that’s suitable for different screen sizes. If you’re a service provider wanting to extend subscription video to those connected devices, you’ll need a way to keep your look-and-feel, on screens measuring 2.5 inches, up to the 50-inch flat-screen.
- Soft Landing, Please: Connectible everything is great, but not if it means ripping out and replacing the triple-digit millions of legacy digital devices, already installed in homes around the world. Migrating to IP video – not flash-cutting – is a big deal for anyone sitting on the giant capital investment that is legacy set-tops and modems.
We’re all back now, safe and sound. Very glad to be able to participate in the emerging world of IP video, which, obviously, is a favorite topic here at Cisco. It’s what we do, where we live, and where we’re excited to be going with our customers and partners. So – until we see you at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo next month in New Orleans – keep getting those DOCSIS 3 channels bonded. You’re going to need the shelf space, for connecting all those connectible devices to video over IP.