Cisco bringing internet content to TV
It’s time for CES 2011, and the first major announcement I find compelling is from Cisco. This headline may seem behind the times, after all we’ve just had two years of every company under the sun providing little black boxes ready to stream internet video to your TV. And isn’t Cisco an enterprise networking company anyway?
Well, yeah, but Cisco also owns Scientific Atlantic. If you’ve had a digital cable converter in your home, there’s a good chance it was a Scientific Atlantic box. This gives Cisco a huge advantage over other companies when it comes to living room convergence.
It’s called Cisco Videoscape, and it is an optional software package available to cable operators bringing internet content directly to the TV without additional boxes, remotes or cables.
The announcement was teased in December with this clever video, but the full details were released at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada this week.
More than just internet content on the TV, Videoscape is an alleged unified content service providing seamless integration between the TV, laptop, desktop, tablet and smartphone.
With such a large footprint in the American home, Cisco has the opportunity to really change the way content is consumed in a big way. The only problem is that every cable operator gets to chose if they will support the features, which features, and can customize the GUI. This ability has hamstrung many existing cable receivers available now with ugly, confusing graphic interfaces, and lacking support for external hard drives, and even HDMI output. It’s all up to the individual cable operator, in each region, to implement these features.
But with Dish Network and DirecTV already offering a lot of internet connected features, the pressure is on cable to step up their game and get with the 21st Century.