Cisco unveils Videoscape Unity pre-integrated offerings

Cisco has used the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to unveil Videoscape Unity, its expanded Videoscape video services delivery platform.

The new and expanded platform includes the elements of what will become three pre-integrated offerings: multiscreen cloud DVR, video everywhere, connected video to any device in the home and IP video over cable.

Nick Thexton, chief technology officer at NDS, acquired by Cisco last year, said that the new platform brought a complete set of Cisco and NDS components together. He said the platform was designed to provide a degree of pre-integration that would enable service providers to get services off the ground more quickly.

“There will be bespoke customisation added onto these [four elements], but there is a much higher level of pre-integration and because integration costs are the biggest cost element we hope this will give a benefit,” he said. He described the approach as a “middle ground” between offering complete packaged solutions from a single vendor and a looser system integrator-led model that involved coordinating the work of numerous third-party suppliers. Thexton said the four off-the-shelf offerings would be made available in the latter half of 2013 but elements from all four offerings were available as of today.

Thexton said “one major MSO” would implement cloud DVR in the first half of this year. “Network DVR has become important because delivering video to all devices is important. People don’t want to invest in a system just for one device. You can also do personalisation much more easily, importing that knowledge across to any platform. It is one of the highest priority projects,” said Thexton.

Thexton said the video everywhere solution had been targeted for delivery to one major European operator in the latter half of this year.

IP video over cable was also attracting a lot of interest from MSOs, said Thexton. This could enable the delivery of video to low-cost IP devices in the home from the network rather than from a gateway device that would convert the QAM signal to IP.

“What we are seeing is that customers still want to do mix and match, taking an IP overlay but adapting it to a gateway,” said Thexton. “All of Videoscape Unity is being assessed for portability and there are different ways we could move a lot to the cloud. We think some functionalities will be moved to the cloud and other things will be managed within operator’s own infrastructure.”

Tags: Cisco, NDS, technology