Cisco Go After Home Video & Audio Markets

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Cisco who recently dropped the Linksys brand name is set to launch new storage products as well as a new wireless audio system in Australia. They are also set to roll out new video products using technology developed in part by an Australian Company.

Cisco who recently dropped the Linksys brand name is set to launch new storage products as well as a new wireless audio system in Australia. They are also set to roll out new video products using technology developed in part by an Australian Company.

According to Cisco who has over $35Billion in cash reserves, video is still a difficult technology to deliver as well as integrate into consumer devices, yet despite this the global networking Company believes that they will be a key player in the consumer market using technology that was in part developed by Avega an Australian Company which Cisco invested $7M into 2 years ago.

They also claim that a recent Cisco study estimated that two-thirds of a zettabyte of data will cross the global network in 2013.

Their new wireless audio offering developed by Avega, was tipped to be pushed into 2010 however local Cisco management have said that it will be launched in Australia prior to the peak Xmas buying period.

The Company is also set to announce an upgrade for their popular Cisco Media Hub which will now ship with Mac installation and set-up software along with the Windows software which was available in the Australian launch model which was selling at $699 via limited retailers.

During the past few months distribution of the Media Hub has been expanded to the likes of Officeworks and Dick Smith with the Company tipped to launch a new low cost model soon.

The new offering will come without pre-installed hard drives. Two empty SATA drive bays in the new NMH300 can now be filled by any compatible drive.

Australian consumers who have already purchased a Media Hub will receive a firmware update later this week that Cisco claims will improve playback, navigation, remote access, system performance, and file management.

 

 

The company’s Wireless Home Audio range which is already on sale in some overseas markets will get a firmware update that Cisco says will improve performance, interoperability with non-Linksys by Cisco routers, and media navigation. Also added will be support for the FLAC audio format.

The company also reported that the touch-screen-controlled Conductor Wireless-N Digital Music Centre which will go up against offering from Sony and Sonos will be launched in Australia. It is retailing in the USA for A$896 with the Australian model tipped to be closer to $999.

During a webcast earlier this with consumer electronics media Cisco indicated that they were set to expand even further into the consumer electronics market.

Ned Hooper, SVP of corporate development and consumer said that the Company is “moving from pure infrastructure…to experiences.” This includes both audio and video with Cisco set to launch new video management systems as well as online movie sites in partnership with major Hollywood studios.

According to Hooper, we’re currently moving from the Connected Home phase – into the Media Enabled Home phase.

While audio is relatively easy to manage and develop, video is different says Guido Jouret, VP and CTO of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group.

According to Jouret, video is soon to become the “dominant data type” on the internet. “In three years time,” he said, “our carriers estimate that about 90 per cent of the traffic flowing through their infrastructure will be video.”

The challenges of integrating all that video into a home “experience”, says Jouret, are “compounded by the fact that we’re rapidly moving not just to a three-display world of the mobile, the PC, and the television set, but truly an ‘n-display’ world [with] a variety of aspect ratios, resolutions, and formats. There’s MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264 D-1 – the wide variety of codecs used for video makes it very difficult to deliver video experiences and makes it especially difficult to find and to share video, because video is a very large and very opaque data type.”

 

 

And there’s soon going to be a lot of that large and opaque data moving across networks which Cisco hopes to control both in the home and in carriers and networks that use Cisco gear. When asked how Cisco plans to make the shift from a networking company to a consumer company, Hooper was quick to point out that “It’s not a shift – it’s an ‘and’.” Translation: “If there’s a byte of data moving over a wire, we want it moving through Cisco products.”

Hooper also said that a recent Cisco study estimating that two-thirds of a zettabyte of data will cross the global network in 2013. A zettabyte, for those not used to such ginormous quantities, is over one sextillion bytes (think mega-, giga-, tera-, peta-, exa-, then zettabyte).

 

 

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