Cisco sets up move to cloud
Cisco has expanded its Videoscape video services platform to deliver a network DVR and enriched TV Everywhere. The company also built a new gateway for the Videoscape ecosystem to provide connectivity to IP devices in the home.
Cisco said the expansions of the Videoscape platform are based in part on the assets and business model of NDS, acquired by in 2012. Cisco picked up NDS in part to quickly adapt the cloud-based model the latter company had been pursuing.
The new Multiscreen Cloud DVR function offers cloud-driven video recording with capture and storage in the cloud instead of the end device. Consumers can restart shows, catch up on past programs, and play back DVR-captured content from anywhere, on any screen, Cisco said.
On the TV everywhere front, the company has introduced unified search, discovery, and viewing functions. These improvements are meant to justify renaming TV everywhere “Video Everywhere.”
At the same time, Cisco introduced a router it is calling the Connected Video Gateway. Designed to serve as a single entertainment hub, the gateway enables service providers to conduct back-end management of IP and QAM video, and distribute video content and metadata to any IP-connected device in the home, while providing a unified user experience.
A final new feature is the ability to transmit IP Video over Cable. The feature provides another option – a potentially faster option – to deliver on-demand to a range of service provider managed devices, with the flexibility to add unmanaged devices.
Client components use the Cisco Snowflake interface design model and NDS Media Highway multiplatform clients, Cisco said. This approach enables network operators to design user experiences, engineer them into clients for connected devices and set-top boxes, and quickly deploy them across multiple screens and throughout large service footprints.
Executives from Cox Communications and Liberty Global, two customers of both Cisco and NDS when they were separate companies, were among those endorsing the combined, cloud-based approach.
Balan Nair, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Liberty Global, said: "The entertainment landscape is continually evolving. Consumers are interacting and discovering content in new ways. Liberty Global strives to provide our customers with as much flexibility as possible, and a wide variety of methods to consume content. Our partners, NDS and Cisco, are providing us the technology to deliver on this promise. Service providers like LGI are in a prime position to address changes in both technology and consumer behavior, enabling an unparalleled entertainment experience. The Horizon platform, and our work with Cisco/NDS, positions us with a next-generation video service that will take us to the next level and provides both the infrastructure and innovation that we need to continually surpass our customers' expectations."
Len Barlik, executive vice president, chief product officer, Cox Communications, said: "Consumers expect more choice, freedom and flexibility in what they watch, and when, where, and how they watch it. They want to shape and socialize what is displayed on their own screens. Working with both Cisco and NDS has helped us to evolve our video services platform beyond TV Everywhere to more ‘TV your way,' personalized video experiences, giving our subscribers more of what they enjoy. We are excited about the combination of Cisco and NDS, and the possibilities the new Videoscape Unity portfolio has to offer."