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CES: Cisco Videoscape Unity aims to integrate TV and tablet video streaming

08 Jan 2013
Cisco Systems campus sign

LAS VEGAS: Cisco unveiled a new broadcast television platform which could overhaul the way premium content and video streaming services are provided.

Cisco said that its Videoscape Unity platform would allow broadcasters to provide a richer experience to customers.

Designed as a middleware platform, the Videoscape Unity platform will include traditional broadcast television content as well as on-demand and streaming services for both set-top boxes and portable handsets and tablets.

"It is important to recognise how technology is going to change in the future, the internet of everything is enabling capabilities that have never been possible," said Cisco senior vice president of video and collaboration, Marthin De Beer.

"Increasingly it is going to be about how carriers deliver those experiences that will differentiate them."

The company said its platform will include interfaces and development tools which allow for new programme browsing and media streaming environments. The interfaces, which can be customised by carriers, include environments such as channel tiles which stream live video or media library and archive libraries.

In addition to set top and streaming media, the Videoscape Unity platform will offer tablet and smartphone integration. Users would be able to use their tablets as a control or supplemental screen for the television, or connect directly with the TV environment and integrate features such as calendars, notifications and social media data.

The service is part of a larger video push from Cisco. In 2011 it unveiled its Videoscape platform, which it sees as an all-inclusive system for streaming and sharing video content across the mobile, PC and television sets.

De Beer said that the effort received a significant push last year when Cisco acquired NDS, a move which De Beer claimed moved the project forward by two to three years.

"It is hard to believe that it was only two years ago we were here to announce a vision and strategy of what we called Videoscape," he said.

"Over the last couple of years not only have we built solutions, but we have made a major acquisition."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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