Our Take on the Top-3 Trends at This Week’s Cable Show in L.A.

May 11, 2010 - 0 Comments

Three trends seem remarkably clear as we head into this year’s Spring Cable Show: IP video, cloud-based services, and mobile broadband.

Put them all together, and you have what we at Cisco call “medianet” – a catch-all phrase for our all-IP, next-generation network components. Several of them will be on display in executive suite ES-78. We welcome you to come in and see!

For those readers who perhaps aren’t in L.A. for the Cable Show, here’s an overview, starting with IP video. It’s big, we think, for two reasons: Consumers want to watch Internet video on their TV, and they want to watch their subscription video on screens other than their TV.

To do that, you need IP-based video components. Because we strongly view IP video as the third wave of video delivery (after analog and digital delivery), we’re very excited about our work with cable operators on a unified viewing experience for subscription, on-demand and online video.

In fact, we’re probably the biggest chanters of the mantra that is “the network as the platform,” which is why a second part of our IP video strategy is about enabling ways for operators to monetize over-the-top video traffic, by creating value back into the content eco-system.

As far as “the cloud” – it’s just hard to avoid “cloud talk” these days, and we’re no exception. It’s because we think that cable is a cloud, in its own way. And here at Cisco, we’re on a mission to find ways for cable MSOs to monetize their backbone, regional and access networks.

In particular, we’ve been doing a lot of work on a grouping of components we call the “media cloud,” which includes our Content Delivery System and Media Data Center. We put this very solution through its paces at the recent NBC Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, earlier this year.

Another cloud on display in L.A.: Our work with ActiveVideo Networks to develop a cloud-based platform that makes all forms of content – TV, video, Web, social media, mobile – available on any video screen.

Last but far from least in this Spring 2010 triad of trends is broadband mobility. It’s big because of the enormous and growing base of smart phones, iPads, and every other screen that isn’t required to stay in one, fixed location.

As more and more cable operators unify around offering free, public Wi-Fi access, for instance, it’s good to have access to leading edge network components that can propel the category forward. Our version, here at Cisco, is called the Cisco Mobile Internet.

Part of it – our recently announced Clean Air system, specifically – works to locate and evict spectral intruders, in unlicensed spectrum (e.g. Bluetooth headsets, car door openers).

Another part of our Mobile Internet networking gear is an environmentally ruggedized DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, equipped with 802.11n Wi-Fi, which draws its power from the cable plant – very useful for public Wi-Fi installations by cable operators.

And, for anyone out there who seeks a clean way to offload data moving over private (e.g. cellular) networks, into in-building or residential Wi-Fi networks – that too is part of the Cisco mobility profile. Ask to see our ASR 5000 system, which came with our Starent acquisition last year.

Other things to see in our in executive suite ES-78:

  • 3DTV for cable: Our cable partners proved, at the 2009 SCTE show in Denver, that it’s entirely possible to deliver living-room quality 3D programs over the existing infrastructure, and using existing set-top boxes. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, especially when it comes to harnessing the automation features of HDMI 1.4 – so that people viewing 3D don’t have to toggle between 2D and 3D modes, as one example. Come by and see what we’ve added to the cable 3D sandbox.
  • HD Whole-home DVR: It’s here, it’s real, and it’s important. Start a title in the living room, finish it in bed; place shift a how-to show into the room that needs the expertise. Whole home DVR is an important next step in cable’s intentions to network key IP devices in the home.
  • Video over DOCSIS: By 2013, experts estimate that 70 percent of all Internet traffic will be video. That’s three years from now. Our plan is to help operators get ready for the video onslaught, by toning our DOCSIS 3.0 platform for increasing amounts of video traffic.

So, lots to see and do this year. The big-3 trends of IP video, cloud computing, and mobile broadband are leading the way. Please do come by and have a look around!

Please check out these video shots from the Cisco Pioneers Awards Dinner at the Cable Show 2010, where Pat Tylka, Cisco VP of Business Development for Service Provider Marketing & Cisco Director of Operations/SA VP Sales, Jim Lysaker talks about the difference between cable when they first started (20+ years ago) and cable now in 2010.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.