Cisco Offers New Video Products to Broadcasters, Service Providers

At CES, the company rolled out an addition to its Infinite video suite and expanded its V2P platform for managing and storing video services.

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Cisco Systems is making a pitch to media companies, service providers and broadcasters this week through the introduction of new cloud- and software-based offerings designed to help them more quickly grow their businesses, deliver services faster and lower operating costs.

At CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Cisco officials rolled out the newest offering in the company's suite of Infinite video products that enable service providers and broadcasters to bring enhanced live and on-demand TV experiences to a range of screens—such as connected televisions, tablets and smartphones—through a single cloud.

At the same time, the networking giant announced a range of broadcast companies and service providers that are using Cisco's technology, including Sky, Europe's leading entertainment company; the Altice Group, a telecommunications company with customers in such countries as France, Belgium, Portugal, Israel and the Dominican Republic; and KBRO, Taiwan's largest cable television provider.

In September 2015, Cisco unveiled Infinite Home, for delivering video experiences through two-way cable and telecommunications networks, and Infinite Video, targeting consumer devices with video delivered through unmanaged over-the-top (OTT) Internet connections. A month later, Cisco bought 1 Mainstream, which offered a cloud-based platform that enables service providers, broadcasters, media companies and emerging digital content companies to more easily deliver media content to most connected devices, including Apple TV and Microsoft's Xbox gaming console.

That helped form the basis of a third solution in the Infinite suite. Infinite Broadcast is another multi-screen video offering that is aimed at one-way and hybrid satellite and cable service providers.

In all, Cisco is offering its Infinite cloud video entertainment software as a service to more than 70 content and service providers around the world, according to company officials. D-Smart, a Turkish company that provides both satellite digital broadcasting and Internet services, is looking to use Infinite Broadcast to more quickly deliver its Blu multi-screen services.

Along with the new Infinite offering, Cisco also expanding its Virtualized Video Processing (V2P) platform for managing software-based video functions that previously had run on hardware. The vendor is adding two new solutions to the platform that blend cloud hardware and open-source software to reduce the complexity of running content delivery network (CDN) and video storage systems.

Open Media Distribution is a cloud-ready offering aimed at delivering multi-screen video to managed and unmanaged devices. In addition, Cloud Object Storage is a software-based storage solution designed to support storage demands for such video services as cloud DVR and time-shift TV.

Products and services that help telcos, service providers and broadcasters more easily, quickly and cheaply manage video will become increasingly important over the coming years, according to Cisco officials. The Internet is expected to hit 2 zettabytes by 2019, and 80 percent of that traffic will be video, according to the vendor's annual Visual Networking Index released last year. Forty-two percent of IP traffic will be viewed across multiple devices and 68 percent will be either high-definition or 4K/ultra-high-definition video.

Sky, the European entertainment company with more than 21 million customers, is using Cisco's VideoGuard Everywhere security offering, middleware for set-top boxes and other components for managing the delivery of services in its next-generation home entertainment system, called Sky Q, which will be available this year.

Altice is using Cisco's cBR-8 converged broadband router and CDN technologies with its new Zive subscription video-on-demand service. Taiwan's KBRO cable TV provider also is using cBR-8 to help deliver faster Internet connections at speeds higher than 1G bps.