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Cisco executives who spent up to $2M launching their new Flip video camera in Australia are now asking questions about the value of their below-the-line investment, with retailers telling ChannelNews that sales are slow.According to sources, Cisco is currently reviewing its marketing and PR operations in Australia ahead of an expansion of its consumer product range in Australia.

Last month Cisco launched an old verision of its Flip Camera in Australia. The launch happened only days after Cisco launched a new model in the USA with expanded memory and better recording capability  

A Cisco executive has also confirmed that a new Flip will go on sale early in 2010, and that it will have Wi-Fi built in.

The networking company is also set to launch FlipShare TV, which is a suite of tools that allows consumers to transfer videos from a Flip camera to a PC and then to a television.

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To achieve a big picture experience on a flat-panel TV, users are are going to have to go through a complex process to get the benefits of Flip TV. 

First, there’s a small router that connects to a TV via either a HDMI or composite cable. You also need a Flip USB stick to plug into a home computer. This delivers the connectivity with the Cisco router. Also in the bundle will be a remote control.

There are also Flip channels in the form of  free websites that host collections of videos posted by users; however, if grandma wants to see her grandchildren via the Flip Video service, she is also going to have to buy a Cisco router as well as subscribe to the service.

Cisco claims that the new  FlipShare TV and Flip Channels service are designed to make the watching of  HD videos easy. It says that you don’t need to configure a wireless network or go hunting around the web for videos.

In the US, where the new gear is already on sale, consumers are being asked to pay $150 (excluding the HDMI cable) for a product that deals only in Flip videos. The router can’t pull down videos from other services like YouTube or hop onto your wireless network to play videos from your PC.

 

“You would like it to be more open because a lot of devices are getting to that territory already,” said Bruce McGregor, who tracks digital home devices for the research firm Current Analysis told the New York Times.

Mr McGregor pointed to the Roku media players, which can tap into Wi-Fi networks and pull in video from sites like Netflix, Amazon.com and MLB.com. For $100, you can get a Roku device that even has a HDMI connector.

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