Cisco Canada Blog

Pushing the IP video envelope

February 28, 2012

Friday, Rogers Communications announced it had selected components of Cisco Videoscape TV architecture to evolve its existing TV experience into the recently launched Rogers NextBox 2.0 Interactive Program Guide and Whole Home PVR. The Videoscape components enable Rogers to offer its customers new and immersive high-quality video experiences over multiple IP-enabled platforms. This exciting home entertainment solution gives Rogers customers the power to control where, when and how they view their favourite shows and live programming.

What’s particularly exciting about this announcement is it marks the first time a cable service provider in North America has combined Web Services technology with traditional cable QAM-based video distribution. What does that mean? Using our technology, Rogers has been able to provide a leading-edge IP-based experience right on their existing cable infrastructure. This completely avoids a costly ‘rip and replace’ of their infrastructure throughout Roger’s Ontario footprint. This achievement, leap-frogging the tru2way option, is unprecedented on our continent and solidifies Rogers as a true innovator in this space.

And believe me when I say I’ve seen the new Interactive Program Guide and it’s stunning.

The key to the new Rogers NextBox 2.0 offering is Cisco Videoscape Voyager Vantage, a browser-based platform that uses World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards to enable a high degree of service provider customization and service differentiation with application development velocity.

Videoscape provides service providers, such as Rogers, with the foundational elements they need to then tailor their offerings as they see fit and differentiate themselves from the competition uniquely and effectively. It’s a great tool for service providers to build on without having to completely restructure the technology they already have in place.

In effect, Videoscape opens the door to accessing Internet capabilities that previously was difficult to do using legacy technology.

Now there’s been a lot of talk in the media recently about service providers moving away from traditional set top boxes and embracing new technologies such as IP-based video. Cisco Canada has received a lot of feedback from our service provider customers, and we know that many are looking to migrate towards IP without reinventing their entire business model.  Videoscape is one of the tools we have developed that enable service providers to be forward-thinking and evolve their business unobtrusively.

Ultimately, of course, it is consumers that will benefit from these exciting offerings. But a flexible, customizable electronic program guide is only the beginning. For example, service providers can use technologies such as Videoscape to introduce new applications and services such as Facebook via TV while watching their favourite shows, or even buy advertised products immediately and charge it to their monthly bill.

Video continues to be highly in demand and service providers like Rogers continue to push the envelope when it comes to presenting their customers with new web and IP-based video technologies.

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