Cisco Systems Inc. has made several small acquisitions to help fill in the gaps of Videoscape, its multiscreen platform for service providers, in recent years. But it was its $5 billion acquisition of NDS in 2012 that really got it over the hump. (See Cisco Paints Intel Into Its Videoscape and Cisco Buys Into TV Everywhere (Again).)
NDS, the maker of user interfaces, security systems and owner of a professional services arm to tie it all together, moved Cisco's strategy for Videoscape ahead by two or three years, Marthin De Beer, the senior VP of Cisco's Video and Collaboration Group, said Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. NDS has been a "transformation acquisition" for Cisco, he said.
Cisco introduced Videoscape two years ago at CES, focusing on TV Everywhere -- the ability for service operators to extend some of their services to new screens but in a sort of silo-by-silo fashion.
Cisco's focus at the 2013 CES is on Videoscape Unity, a new release of the platform that taps heavily into the cloud to synchronize the video experience, including search and navigation, from the primary TV and down to tablets, smartphones and PCs. The new release also supports a multiscreen cloud DVR. (See Cisco Launches Videoscape Unity.)
This latest Videoscape knits together several key elements that came by way of NDS, including Snowflake, a customizable user interface that can provide a similar look and feel across screen types. It also supports a new hybrid QAM/IP video gateway that can transcode content so it can be shared with tablets and other devices hanging off the home network.
Cisco also used CES to trot out execs from service providers and other partners that have bought into the Videoscape concept, including Cox Communications Inc., Fox Broadcasting Co., Liberty Global Inc., Major League Baseball Advanced Media and BSkyB Ltd.
Cox and Cisco will be showing off a new multi-screen navigation system later Monday evening. You can catch the whole to-do right here live at 7:45 p.m. ET.
â€” Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable