Smart, high-defintion TVs were a huge trend at CES, and with LG’s 84-inch ultra-HD offering and others coming to the US in time for the Superbowl, we can all expect to hear a lot more about them. For carriers, the smart TV opportunity is significant because more people will be connecting their sets to wireless networks, and using their mobile devices to download video and stream it to the big screen.
The nation’s largest carriers also plan to sell TV service directly to their customers. AT&T’s U-verse bundles TV service with Internet service and landline phone service. Verizon Wireless has teamed up with cable operators, to co-market wireless service with cable service.
Some customers in markets served by Verizon and its cable partners are disappointed that the companies are not bringing fiber to more homes, but the operators are working hard to enhance their services in other ways. Cox Communications, one of Verizon’s cable partners, announced at CES 2013 that it has partnered with Cisco to add software that will personalize TV viewing. “We’re delivering a viewing experience that’s more personal, by putting customers in command of the content they most enjoy,” said Cox President Pat Esser.
“Everybody basically has access to the same content, so the only way to distinguish yourself is through personalizing the experience for the subscriber,” explained David Yates, Cisco’s
senior vice president for service provider video. “It’s very difficult for any individual user to know what’s out there and to take advantage of what they would be interested in, if they only knew about it.”
Cisco’s Videoscape Unity software powers Cox’s new app, which integrates personalized recommendations for up to 8 users, video on demand, 90 live channels, and the ability to use a tablet as a remote control.
Videoscape Unity is Cisco’s new name for its Videoscape platform, enhanced by technology acquired through Cisco’s acquisition of NDS. Yates said that the product has recently helped a European cable client to realize a 15% increase in ARPU, and a 25% reduction in churn.
Watch the RCR Wireless interview with Cisco’s David Yates: