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Optical/IP

Seeking Video Search

3:30 PM -- Dan Scheinman, head of the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) Media Solutions Group, keeps talking about video search as an important Web 2.0 factor. Cisco has no specific play there -- yet -- but he's been talking up the topic at various panel-session appearances.

It's an obvious niche that's attracting the obvious players. In conjunction with NAB, TV Guide launched an online video search service on Monday, the gimmick being that it lists only professionally produced video. Mainly, that means real TV shows as offered up by the real networks.

Assuming Cisco is eyeing video-search acquisitions, this obviously isn't the one. (It's powered by a new Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) app derived from Sharepoint, by the way.) But others should be coming up soon. "We might have a six-month lead," says Jay S. Bryant, TV Guide's director of online products. "The thing is, we have the brand recognition."

Tough to argue with that. Check out the "synergy," too: They're not doing it yet, but TV Guide ultimately hopes to link its video search site with its plain TV listings online, offering ex post facto links to episodes you've missed.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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