Cisco unveils Internet TV and more at CES

Cisco this week unveiled a suite of video products designed to combine digital TV, online content, social media and other communications applications into an all-inclusive home and mobile video session.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Cisco rolled out Videoscape, a platform targeted at service providers looking to offer video services as a new revenue stream. Cisco is currently working with Telstra and several other service providers to build consumer video services using Videoscape.

Videoscape utilizes cloud computing, IP networking and client devices and software to deliver Internet-based video services. It is expected to compete with Internet TV platforms from Google, Microsoft and Apple, among others.

“The heart of entertainment has always been video,” Cisco CEO John Chambers said at the Videoscape launch at CES. “This will completely redefine the video experience.”

In the home, Videoscape includes a media gateway to integrate voice, video, high-speed data, WiFi and network traffic routing; an IP set-top box to support all forms of video delivered to a TV, including pay TV, broadcast channels, premium channels, video-on-demand and Web; and client software for home and mobile devices, including TVs, tablets and smartphones.

“Video will be the next voice,” Chambers said, referring to the century-old cash cow of service providers.

For cloud networks, the Videoscape Media Suite provides lifecycle content management so service providers can publish content across multiple screens. And in the network, the Cisco Conductor for Videoscape is designed to orchestrate various services and subscriber-management functions across the cloud, network and client devices.

For consumers, Videoscape is designed to provide access to a variety of content sources and integrate this content, be it from the Internet, social media networks and applications, communications applications and mobility enablers, Cisco says. Access to the content is intended to be simple, because it integrates it from multiple sources onto one screen, or many screens. The social media capabilities of Videoscape integrate popular social networking websites and Cisco Telepresence video conferencing to allow for content showing and sharing through the TV.

“This is reinventing the television experience,” Chambers said.

Service providers can use Videoscape to differentiate video offerings, offer in-video e-commerce, home Telepresence and other potential services. Service providers can also offer branded and personalized content to customers, regardless of their location or method of accessing content, Cisco says.

The Videoscape Media Suite is shipping now while the other components are in customer trials. Pricing was not disclosed.

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