In Brief: Buzz Filter

In Brief: Buzz Filter

Cisco Systems introduced Videoscape Unity, a version of its multiplatform video delivery and management platform that integrates multiscreen-video elements of NDS, which it acquired for $5 billion last year. The consolidated Videoscape Unity includes new pre-integrated applications for service providers, including a network digital video recorder that can deliver content over any network to any screen. But it remains modular and based on open interfaces, according to Cisco executives, letting operators pick and choose which elements they wish to deploy.

“The world of television is expanding way beyond the television and way beyond the living room,” Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco’s Video and Collaboration Group, said at a press conference here. He likened the Videoscape Unity release to the latest version of an operating system, “like Windows 8.” 

Verizon Communications chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said the company is working on a technology to broadcast live TV over Verizon Wireless’ 4G Long Term Evolution network, a development he hopes to see as early as next year. That could let the wireless carrier deliver Super Bowl-scale audiences over LTE, according to McAdam. “Our goal is to break down the barriers between home and mobile once and for all, and come up with video services that move seamlessly across any network and any device,” he said in a keynote address—which was devoid of major product announcements or demos. 

Time Warner Cable is trying to make it easier for subscribers to find stuff to watch across a range of devices. The MSO, which has been working with Digitalsmiths for more than a year, is using the vendor’s personalized search and recommendations in its TWC TV apps and plans to extend the capabilities to its set-top boxes as well. The search and discovery engine spans live TV, on-demand, DVR and TV Everywhere content, according to Digitalsmiths CEO Ben Weinberger. “You can do any sort of search you can imagine,” he said — even a snippet of dialogue in a movie. 

Motorola Mobility was demonstrating its DreamGallery Web-based TV user interface, delivered to older set-top models using ActiveVideo Networks’ CloudTV solution, according to an industry source familiar with the demo. Both companies declined to comment. Cisco also is a licensee of the ActiveVideo software. 

Broadcom unveiled its first gigabit-speed DOCSIS 3.0 integrated circuit, which provides the ability to perform channel bonding across up to 24 downstream channels (for throughput speeds up to 960 Megabits per second) and eight upstream channels (for up to 240 Mbps). Broadcom was beaten to market with a 1-Gbps cable modem chip by Intel, which introduced its Puma 6 chip last year. But Jay Kirchoff , Broadcom vice president of marketing for cable broadband, said just as important as being able to receive nearly 1 Gig into the home is being able to distribute inside the home, and the company is pushing its “5G” Wi-Fi chips, which support the IEEE 802.11ac standard, for delivering gigabit Wi-Fi speeds. 

Lenovo showed a tablet as big as a coffee table — really. The 15-pound IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC, which runs Windows 8, features a 27-inch screen. The idea is that it’s meant to be used by two to four people together, to, for example, play a game of Monopoly (which comes bundled with it).