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Cisco’s consumer strategy comes together

by David Mercer | Dec 10, 2008

Just a quick snapshot of the past couple of days at CScape2008. Cisco has been talking about consumer markets since it acquired Linksys, Kiss Technologies and Scientific Atlanta over the past few years, but really hasn't pulled everything into a coherent approach. That now appears to be changing. We can expect some exciting announcements on the connected device side at CES, as well as developments that will support media companies as they seek to improve their processes for the age of digital delivery. Cisco has been talking a lot about "medianets", which it sees as a generic term for networks tailored to media distribution. The heart of Cisco's offer is its network-based video processing solution, Cisco MXE 3000 (Media Experience Engine). The claim is that MXE allows any content to be formatted for any device. In particular, it upscales video content to suit large HD displays. We saw an impressive demo of a webcam blown up to a large screen plasma TV. But in questioning the company was careful not to overstate the technology's capabilities. I am nervous when I hear claims of HD quality. Upscaling to a certain line resolution is one thing, but the movie industry would not have described the demo as high definition, or at least anything close to what it expects to deliver on Blu-ray Disc at 40 Mbps. Overall it's been an impressive event. Cisco may be a long way from leading the connected consumer market at the moment, but further investment shows it is in this for the long term. Many challenges clearly lie ahead, but established market leaders should take note of the company's vision of a home of networked devices supported by intelligent networks. Client Reading: Connected TV: 186 Million Devices Ready For Web TV Content Add to Technorati Favorites
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