Cisco, Adobe team up to deliver Web TV to Telecom Italia

Mon, 09/29/2008 - 8:40am
Mike Robuck

Telecom Italia is serving up live TV channels and on-demand content to PCs and laptops through its Web portal, thanks to a combined platform from Cisco and Adobe.

Cisco has embedded Adobe’s Flash Media Server 3 streaming technology into its Content Delivery System (CDS) with Internet Streaming to deliver the live TV shows and on-demand content to Telecom Italia’s Yelp Web portal. Yelp, which is “play” spelled backwards, allows any of Italy’s estimated nine million broadband customers access to the content.

Currently, broadband subscribes with Italian IP addresses can access 20 of Telecom Italia’s major IPTV broadcaster channels through the new service, with a goal of expanding to the rest of its 60 channels at a later date.

The service lets viewers watch the TV shows on their laptops and PCs without the jitter or latency issues that have dogged previous streaming attempts, according to Murali Nemani, director of service provider video marketing at Cisco.

“We think from both a consumer experience and a service provider perspective that this is pioneering work from Telecom Italia to take live broadcast content and deliver it over the Web, and do it in a way that has classic service provider QoS and quality of experience associated with it,” Nemani said. “So in that sense, we think they [Telecom Italia] are blazing some trails, and we know some other operators are fast on the heels of what these guys are doing. We think this is a momentum setter in terms of what will happen with other operators and service providers.”

The current incarnation of the Telecom Italia service is free, but down the road it could include a targeted advertising component, which is also built into Cisco’s CDS platform, or be included as part of bundled package. The platform would also allow a service provider to host additional content or build more channels. Future applications of the Adobe/CDS platform could also include multimedia offerings such as network PVR, streaming the same content to TVs and sending the content to mobile devices.

Cisco hasn’t announced any North American cable operator deployments of its CDS platform, but Pankaj Gupta, senior manager of broadband and IPTV/video marketing in Cisco’s Service Provider Group, said it is the centerpiece of the world’s largest VOD deployment, and that the technology is also being used in a joint venture that MSOs have invested in. A spokeswoman for Cisco couldn’t confirm if the latter referred to Canoe Ventures.

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