Cisco is hosting a press and analyst conference at the 2013 International CES as a medium to announce breaking news from its Service Provider Video Technology Group (SPVTG). Included in today’s presentation will be a stage demonstration of the latest technologies set to revolutionize the TV Experience. Senior VP of Cisco’s video and collaboration group, Marthin De Beer, will be on hand to host a panel on “The Future of TV, Above and Beyond TV everwhere”.

Check back every few minutes for the latest updates and coverage as we live blog on the event:

5PM EST: Cisco Asks the future of TV – Connecting Tablet to TV and vice Versa…presenting the idea of the “smart living room” (my words), a connected media experience that transcends your television and leverages the web.

5:01 EST: Cisco Aims for “Simplicity, linking fast integration with social media. This software platform is in development – keeping you synchronized, personalized, and intuitive – The Future of TV delivering all sorts of content whether free or paid.

5:03 EST: Marthin De Beer Takes the Stage, announcing AT&T joing forces with them to offer advanced videoscape (Videoscape Unity)

5:05 EST: Leveraging their partnership with NDS, Cisco Aims to revolutionize by allowing for access to all sorts of content, right through your TV

5:07 EST: Jesper Andersen, SVP & GM of Cisco Service Provider Technology Group takes the stage

5:08 EST: Cisco Aims to focus on synchronized content: leveraging the “second screen” in context, to what is going on the “primary screen”

5:10 EST: Using analytics, personalization will aim to recommend ‘what to watch’, creating an optimal user experience. Additionally, Cisco aims to integrate and tightly knit the social aspect of viewing media, whether it be sports or a movie, and enrich this interaction.

5:11 EST: Smarter networks using cloud capabilities in a “branded client”, make possibilities such as a Cloud DVR. A platform “built on open principles with open interfaces” is the ultimate goal for Cisco – an integrated, holistic experience.

5:17 EST: Sean Curtis, Executive Demonstration Manager takes the stage to demo the product in motion

5:19 EST: Mr. Curtis operates the interface via a tablet, scrolling through choices (such as HBO, the Weather Channel, etc) catered to his personal use and interests. Pretty impressive and polished looking interface, and a great idea at that.

5:20 EST: Content is stored in the cloud, so taking your device with you anywhere will bring on access to the same interface with the same intuitive controls and setting. He has since switched over to an Android powered phone and can still operate the system. It doesn’t matter if it’s another room, another country, or another device – the experience is the same throughout. Additionally, bit rate levels adjust to network strength – amazing.

5:24 EST: Detecting the home gateway, Marthin has merged his Gateway with Sean’s – combining their experiences on one big screen

5:27 EST: Service & Content Providers can obtain real-time analytics and reports as to what viewers are engaging in. The world of television is truly expanding…for consumers and providers alike. The system will work with your existing television provider.

5:28 EST: The discussion panel takes the stage…

  • Andrew Olson, Director of Product Planning & Design, BSkyB
  • Len Barlik, EVP, Chief Product Officer, Cox Communications
  • Bill Bradford, SVP Digital Media, Fox Broadcasting Company
  • Balan Nair, CTO, Liberty Global
  • Joe Inzerillo, SVP, Multimedia and Distribution,

5:32 EST: Balan Nair states that Tablet use has exceeded laptops, calculated to about 80% iOS, with the rest on Android and others

5:38 EST: Transcoding in the cloud will require a great deal of speed to make this a reality and change the way content is broadcast and consumed.

5:39 EST: Virtualization of processing and storage have saved an incredible amount of money – consolidating storage and content, improving cost structure and velocity of deployment. This allows for greater focus on UX at a meta-level, virtualizing conceptualization and builds

5:45 EST: Depending on the social interaction, which varies according to show (i.e. American Idol or an MLB Game). The challenge still presents on how these user interfaces might look like. Again, the “second screen” experience is incredibly fascinating in that it’s still full of details that need to be worked out.

5:48 EST: Joe Inzerillo feels the design depends greatly on the valuable feedback of consumers – it’s clearly a work in progress that never ends, needing constant attention from developers and businesses.

5:49 EST:Customer interests and needs are dynamic – technology provides for a whole new revenue stream, ridden with risk/reward…

5:52 EST: The panel rises and the session is concluded…no word on when these technologies will be rolling out but they are certainly inspiring.

The overall impression given is that this world of technology is expanding to make the notion of television available at high-quality that is well delivered and available to end users. Among many of the challenges, is not how it will work technologically, but how it will be optimized to keep up with a very active consumer market. The double edged sword is in the fact that we live fast-paced lives, have frequent access to media. This means the Unity experience must not only be unique, but innovative and constantly updated. The economics of delivering that content puts a bit of pressure on developers and providers to really expand and improve user experience – we’ll be following this as it develops.