Video-Over-IP Charges On

Video-over-IP is moving to the top of carrier and cable operators' agendas, thanks to progress on several technical fronts.

"Three things have made video-over-IP for telcos a viable model now," says Andy Bray, principal of consultancy Netrius Associates. In a newly published report on Light Reading (see Video Over IP), which follows an earlier Webinar, Bray describes how bigger bandwidth, better compression, and advances in multicasting are converging to help make IP TV a revenue reality for carriers and cable operators.

On the compression front, Bray cites new progress in video codecs that help cram multiple video channels onto IP networks -- an absolute must for carriers hoping to make video the linchpin of bundled services to consumers.

At the forefront of the compression story are standards developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Motion Picture Experts Group, such as MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. According to Bray, these specs are helping increase interoperability among products that hitherto were based only on proprietary codecs.

The ITU's H.264 specs, which incorporate MPEG-4 and have been in the works for the last couple of years are starting to appear in vendor equipment (see ITU Unveils Video Standard). This week, for instance, Tandberg announced support for H.264 across its product line of video headend and endpoint gear (see Tandberg Supports H.264), with commercial shipments planned for late October.

Last month, another video-over-IP supplier, Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT), demonstrated H.264 compliance at a broadcasters' confab in Europe. It announced plans to support H.264 back in September 2002. No date has been set for commercial shipments, despite the tradeshow demos.

Other vendors are biding their time. SkyStream Networks Inc. hopes to release supportive gear within the next six months, a spokesperson says. VideoTele.com Inc. has not announced plans for commercial deployment.

These vendors aren't the only ones scrutinizing the emerging market. Bray says more mainstream networking players like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) are eager to advance their positions through partnerships with key players as well as through their own efforts. The purchase of iMagicTV by Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) was one significant move (see Digital TV M&A Heats Up and Alcatel Finalizes iMagicTV Acquisition).

These vendors have a row to hoe, however, according to the 2003 Telecom Equipment Market Perception Study recently released by Heavy Reading, the market research division of Light Reading (see Heavy Reading Surveys Telecom Vendors). Cisco got the highest name recognition in the video-over-IP category, but it was it was the most sparsely known sector in the whole survey, which covered 22 product categories and 304 vendors.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) was recognized as a supplier by fewer than half of the 84 respondents in this product group (in all, 770 carrier employees took the survey). However, Microsoft pipped Cisco and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) to the post on price leadership. The Heavy Reading report notes that no single vendor is yet able to deliver a complete soup-to-nuts video-over-IP network.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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fw23 12/4/2012 | 11:22:09 PM
re: Video-Over-IP Charges On WOW!!!

Microsoft and Alcatel should definatly re-think
their marketing strategy on this one. Cisco
is (as always) in the lead with the whole rest
of the industry scrambling to even be recognized!

In Microsofts case, I think their real strategy
is to make Video Over IP a part of the Butterfly.
I'm always amazed at how brilliant the whole
butterfly campaign has been and how they have
left AOL to choke on its own dust.

I think the real thing the HEAVY READING survey
told us is that some vendors have the SOUP
(like microsoft) and some vendors have the
NUTS (like cisco and Lucent), but getting the
SOUP AND NUTS together is going to be harder
than anyone realizes.

My suggestion would be that cisco should buy
Earthlink and take on AOL & the butterfly
directly. Earthlink is cheap right now and
it would give them the SOUP AND NUTS at
the same time. Plus they have all that cash
to build earthlink up.

Alcatel's big play in all this is leveraging
their DSL market share and their new outreach

I think the Timetra SERVICES platform would be
a great part of any video-over-IP solution.

Procket could also do quite well out of all
MISSION. But I bet the brain-boys in the back
at Procket always have this one covered like
a blanket.

H_ngm_N 12/4/2012 | 11:22:07 PM
re: Video-Over-IP Charges On Cisco buying somebody like Earthlink (or anybody else for that matter) doesn't make any sense. Why aggravate your existing customer base by buying a competitor ? Cisco doesn't need to pull a Corvis.

= K
fw23 12/4/2012 | 11:22:04 PM
re: Video-Over-IP Charges On >Cisco buying somebody like Earthlink (or anybody >else for that matter) doesn't make any sense. >Why aggravate your existing customer base by >buying a competitor ? Cisco doesn't need to pull >a Corvis.

It worked for microsoft. If microsoft can
own the butterfly, cisco could certainly own
earthlink as part of winning that big IP Video

Remember, as the editors at Light Reading have
now confirmed, cisco has no real competition
to speak of. Alcatel had name recognition,
but they dropped out. Juniper isn't well know
among buyers and its losing money. Huawei is
under cisco's thumb legally. Cisco (like
Microsoft) has no competition and no concern
about being in competition with customers.

As far as Corvis, buying Broadwing was brilliant.
Not only does it give them the largest
demonstration of what ALL OPTICAL really means,
it gives them the equivelent of a GIANT ATM
in their back pocket to go to until Verizon,
ATT and Global Crossing make their (big) Orders.

The word among the brass at ATT when Corvis
bought Broadlink was "brilliant!!!!" not "bad!!"
All of the BIG HAT companies Corvis is stalking
were happen with the Broadlink deal.

andropat 12/4/2012 | 11:22:04 PM
re: Video-Over-IP Charges On okay it's now official...

Two completely different posts and you can do nothing but mention how great Procket is....how great alcatel is now that they own timetra.. and how terrible Juniper and everyone else is. I also noticed the multicast comment.

So that breaks things down for me. Here goes. You either got fired from Juniper. I hope if that was the case you were smart enough to cash out a little. However if that is the case you wouldn't bash so hard.

Second is you work for procket and are praying they make your options worth something.

Or you work for alcatel/timetra and again are praying for something big.

You obviously love multicast and putting that statement in caps suggests you worked for a company once that you feel did not take multicast seriously.. guess who that might be?

Dude I think it's great your trying to sell these companies. However these are postings of technical opinion. Let your sales guys or lack thereof or your ceo or lack thereof do the selling for you. don't you have work to do?
whyiswhy 12/4/2012 | 11:22:02 PM
re: Video-Over-IP Charges On VideOIP is a a big so-what without content, and content will not happen without people signed up and people will not sign up without content.

Cables' all over content delivery, and its not VideOIP for both technical and legal reasons.

Remember Audio content problems? RIAA?

Wait till the Hollywood lawyers really get cranked up.


What, you mean LH VideOIP of content for the cable companies ala Corvis-wing? Brilliant?
Buahahahahahaha! You guys never give up!

optical_man 12/4/2012 | 11:22:00 PM
re: Video-Over-IP Charges On Why,
Agree in principle that there's no original Video over IP content, but won't it just be a matter of SBC, Qwest, BellSouth contacting ESPN, History Channel, FOX News, etc, and ask to begin negotiations to start carrying their content across the cooper?
What am I missing?
whyiswhy 12/4/2012 | 11:21:59 PM
re: Video-Over-IP Charges On Short answer: Analog is better.

Longer answer:

Why in the world would they do that? They have absolutely zero desire to have their property distributed peer to peer like music is today.

Even if they were so jackass stupid, at the first whisper of such a thing, Comcast would pull the plug on 'em, and they would know what a (distribution) Channel Troll can do...makes the Cave Troll in the Hobbit look like a piker!

They have to have their own original content. That was Ted Turners big revelation and why he got rich on cable. Keeping it is why he stays that way.
optical_man 12/4/2012 | 11:21:50 PM
re: Video-Over-IP Charges On Your close.
A thought to ponder;
Ever wonder why all the shows on TV end with "this has been a xxx production", and not, "this is property of NBC".
The FCC states that broadcasters cannot own their own shows. It's a separation of content and delivery.
CNN wasn't in the delivery business, they are in the content business. Ted may have owned a small cable outfit in GA in the 70's, but he went straight to Content at some point.
PackMan 12/4/2012 | 11:21:50 PM
re: Video-Over-IP Charges On why - I'm curious then, how are companies like this able and willing to offer standard video content over IP?


etc. etc.

Sorry - I call BS. I'm no expert on content acquisition, but I know it can be done in the context of IP distribution. IP does have many security methods, you know.

As to the reason why the producers would allow it - simply $$$. There's a *lot* more money to be made in video distribution than music distribution, so they're willing to take a chance on piracy.

Additionally, it's not realistic to have a video sharing system like there is for music (Kazaa, Napster, Grokster) simply due to the size of the files - most PCs can only store a couple of movies wheres they can store thousands of songs. Plus download time obviously is much longer. Thus the likelihood of piracy is diminished greatly simply due to the sheer size of the content.

And if you think analog is better you must not have a DVD player.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 11:21:49 PM
re: Video-Over-IP Charges On The FCC states that broadcasters cannot own their own shows. It's a separation of content and delivery.

It's my understanding that the FinSyn rules have been weakened substantially. Content production looks to be trending more and more vertical, while the cost of production is becoming so large that almost all objectivity is available to the highest bidder. For example, notice local news "reports" about how a name brand baby cereal reduces the chances of diabetes. (Or read the main stream press about how Intel sponsored wi-fi is going to solve the last mile problem.)
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