January 06, 2011, 11:41 AM — LAS VEGAS -- Cisco Wednesday unveiled Videoscape, a TV platform it said will let service providers combine digital TV and online content with other communications applications, including social networking tools.
The Videoscape platform includes an IP set-top box and technology called the Cisco Conductor, which the company said links a cloud network to client devices of all types.
Videoscape can provide users with "an infinite source of content," said Cisco CEO John Chambers at a news conference today at the Consumer Electronics Show here. "Videoscape allows any device over any network to get to any content that is authorized."
Cisco has predicted that video will make up 90% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2014, an seven-fold increase over today.
Chambers said the Videoscape offering builds on many other Cisco forays into video technology, including the Flip video camera and Umi home videoconferencing system.
Chambers said a TV viewer using Videoscape could watch a basketball game as well as obtain on-screen information from friends in a social network, as well as video content supported by a given communications carrier.
Chambers and Jim Grubb, Cisco's chief demonstration officer, demonstrated how Videoscape can receive content from a Flip camera and display it on an Android smartphone. They also showd how multiple screens on an iPad can receive wireless video inputs, with one small thumbnail expanded to a full screen image of streaming video.
The Videoscape Conductor software shows where the content originates and moves through the network to various devices, Chambers and Grubb explained.
Media gateway gear will also allow video "tagging" to move specific video programs to be identified for forwarding to certain other network links.
Chambers described the Videoscape announcement as "small steps" and didn't list carriers that are currently working with Videoscape, though many video content partners, including NetFlix, were shown on-screen. Telstra was named as a partner though it wasn't clear whether the Australian service provider had immediate plans to implement Videoscape.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .