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From CES: Wireless Video, Tablets, and TV Everywhere

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:45am
Craig Kuhl

LAS VEGAS – A clear message that anytime, anywhere video content is destined for delivery over multiple platforms, most notably smartphones and tablets, buzzed the halls during early sessions of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Buoyed by Cisco's announcement of its five-part Videoscape media suite, which includes Media Gateway, IP set-top boxes, software clients, Media Suite and Conductor,  panelists at three key sessions concluded that smartphones and tablets are gaining momentum  as video delivery systems.

"Everything and everyone will be connected and video has always been at the heart. It will be the next voice and needs to be brought together in an architectural play," said John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco at the company's Videoscape announcement.

The accelerating trend, according to Brett Sappington, senior research analyst for Parks Associates and moderator for the Next –Gen Video Services session, is TV everywhere. "Cable, telcos and others are moving into that customization and personalization space, especially TV everywhere, so customers don't cut the cord."

It's not likely to affect Pay TV providers, however. "Much of the market is fatigued over cable costs, but Pay TV will stay. The challenge is to bring all these devices and applications together," said panelist Marty Roberts, VP of sales and marketing for thePlatform, a video management company.

That togetherness will be greatly aided by smartphones and tablets, panelists agreed.

"Tablets and smartphones have an incredible amount of processing power and they already come personalized. These will be key drivers," said Eric Bruno, SVP of consumer product management and development for Verizon.

 Taking the TV experience out of the home will have its speed bumps, cautioned Roberts. "Consumers like the device of convenience and many Pay TV providers are working on tablets and iPhones to have a TV experience. The challenge is duplicating that experience out of the home."

Those challenges were not lost on panelists at the Smartphone and Tablet Platform: Establishing the Personalized Entertainment and Communications Experience session.

"Sales of laptops are being eroded by tablets and users are spending more time on tablets, but devices are becoming fragmented globally," said Howard Tiersky, president of Moving Interactive Inc.

Nevertheless, content such as music delivered over tablets will continue its upward trend. Added Tiersky: "There is tremendous application potential for tablets like music."
Yet protecting all of this potentially ubiquitous content is a concern, evidenced by the priority it received during the Hypertargeting: Ad Networks, Ad Serving and Ad Targeting session.

"Transparency, control and security are the keys to hyper-ads, and how we use the data. It's our responsibility as an industry to educate people about security," said James Colborn, director of Microsoft Advertising.

And it's a growing problem. "Transparency and security are tremendously important to us and how we use data. We don't take data and misuse it," said Aaron Rothman, senior product manager for Google.

Taking the smartphone and tablet to the next level of video content delivery was the topic du jour during the CES's first full day of sessions. Concluded Chambers : "We think that new revenue streams, screen experiences and the ability to bring content to any device is the future."

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