Cisco: TV, weather and Facebook could take over one of your walls

Cisco's new Videoscape Unity back-end platform is designed to help pay-TV carriers expand their offerings

As TVs get higher resolution and bigger displays, while getting cheaper over time, cable operators may be able to cover an entire wall of your home with a screen that includes two full-size TV shows plus weather, upcoming show information, a social media feed and other elements, according to Cisco Systems.

The company demonstrated such a screen at a press conference on Monday at the International CES where it announced the latest version of its Videoscape platform for service providers.

Cable operators are working on how to incorporate multiple content feeds on TV screens while also delivering their offerings to tablets and other devices. Videoscape is a back-end software platform designed to help service providers offer new content combinations and interfaces to all types of devices. Its latest iteration, called Videoscape Unity, incorporates digital rights management and other technology from NDS, which Cisco acquired last year.

Cox Communications is building its next-generation video delivery platform on Videoscape Unity. Though it doesn't go as far as that wall-sized screen, it is designed to combine different content streams and give subscribers more options for how to view them. Cisco wants to drive the transition to new types of video delivery, pushing one of the networking giant's major areas of focus.

"The TV experience the way we define it, versus our kids, versus our kids' kids, are going to be dramatically different," Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers said at a reception with Cox on Monday night.

Later this quarter, Cox will use the platform to offer a complete programming guide and a variety of video content on iPhones, iPads and Android devices. As content owners sell the rights to content on different devices separately, Cox won't be able to show all of its video on mobile devices. For the new devices, Cox designed a totally new interface that takes advantage of touch interfaces.

Also on Monday, Cox announced it will offer a Cisco-built IP (Internet Protocol) gateway with a 2TB hard drive for recording up to 1,000 hours of shows to share among all the TVs in a home. It has six tuners and can play and record multiple high-definition shows at the same time, according to Cox. That gateway is the device that will deliver content to mobile devices in the home, via Wi-Fi, said Len Barlik, Cox's executive vice president and chief product officer.

Each viewer in a home can have Cox personalize his or her view of the programming based on viewing history, highlighting the most relevant shows on the home screen. Each user logs in, and viewers can switch among their personalized views.

Offering that personalization on tablets as well as TVs is a good move and probably a first in the cable industry, said IDC video analyst Greg Ireland. Pay TV has been a slow-moving industry even as consumers have been distracted by mobile apps and online sources of content, Ireland said. But operators that can smoothly combine their distinctive live TV offerings with other types of video could capture viewers who would otherwise look to "cut the cord" and seek other sources such as Netflix or Apple's iTunes store, he said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobileconsumer electronicsentertainmentCESCisco SystemsCox CommunicationsTVs

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?