Cloud Computing: Cisco Demonstrates Videoscape Entry in Cluttered Web TV Arena
Cisco Systems has long been angling to expand from its enterprise networking and infrastructure roots to make a play for more consumer-friendly services. Case in point: The company, which more than a decade ago cut its teeth making market-leading routers and switches, now owns the popular Flip video camera. Cisco CEO John Chambers popped into the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show to unveil the company's play to bring Web content to TV, tablet and smartphone screens in the form of Videoscape, a batch of software and two media appliances. During a demonstration, Chambers showed the media crowd how to make a video call with Videoscape, surf the Web and broadcast TV channel content, and browse social feeds and DVR recordings. If this sounds like a twist on the Web-meets-TV model Google is espousing with Google TV, it surely is. However, while Google TV is sold directly to consumers, Cisco will only sell Videoscape appliances and software to service providers, such as Telstra, which will offer it to consumers. Pricing and availability for Videoscape is not yet available. In fact, it's so early in the game that Cisco has not announced any U.S.-based service providers, such as Verizon FIOS or AT&T U-verse, for the new service. Check out these Videoscape images and demo photos in this eWEEK slideshow.