Cisco Demonstrates Videoscape Entry in Cluttered Web TV Arena

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Cisco Demonstrates Videoscape Entry in Cluttered Web TV Arena

by Clint Boulton

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Videoscape

The crowd of media and bloggers waits to learn about Videoscape at CES.

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Chambers

Chambers said that currently the consumer video experience is fragmented because consumers must go to multiple sources for their content. They go to their cable or IPTV subscriptions; DVR and on-demand content; and online content or applications from their PC. Sometimes this involves using multiple boxes to feed the content. Videoscape, he said, aims to "allow any device over any network to get to any content it's authorized to do."

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Videoscape Strategy

Chambers also noted that service providers are challenged because they need to handle the traffic load. Videoscape aims to do for service providers, such as Cisco partner Telstra, "what the mobile Internet did for the phone."

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Videoscape Box

Videoscape simplifies this with one IP set-top box loaded with software to access all video forms delivered to TVs and computing devices such as smartphones and tablets. This includes paid TV, broadcast channels, premium channels, video-on-demand and the Web. Cisco also offers a Videoscape media gateway for the integration of voice, online video, high-speed data, WiFi and network traffic routing.

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Videoscape Demonstration

Chambers has a video chat with cousin Ken from West Virginia using a Videoscape-powered home entertainment unit. They trash talk about basketball. The telepresence video feed was piped fast and sounded crisp.

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Familiar Interface

Check out the Videoscape interface. Yes, it looks a lot like Google TV, which brings us to the next point.

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Competition

Cisco is launching Videoscape to give service providers an option in a market crowd that includes Google TV, Apple TV, and startups such as Roku and Boxee.

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Google TV

Note the similarities between this Google TV interface and the Videoscape interface above, from the menu on the left to the super-large application and content logos on the right.

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Videoscape Hardware

Consider the physical comparisons between Google TV and Videoscape. Like Videoscape's IP set-top box, Google TV can run on a set-top box. See the Google TV-powered Logitech Revue device here. Again, however, consumers can't walk into Best Buy to buy the Cisco set-top box. It will come from service providers. However, Cisco isn't contracting with TV makers to preload Videoscape onto sets. At least, not that we know of.

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Videoscape Explained

Douglas Webster, director of strategic communications for Cisco, explains Videoscape from CES in this brief YouTube clip.

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