Cisco, Anystream team up for video streaming

LAS VEGAS ? From flat-screen TVs in offices and homes, to video-capable handheld devices everywhere else, the drive to have ubiquitous video streams has never been bigger.

At the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show, video is a dominant theme, and vendors say government customers have a growing demand for video services. Both military and civilian agencies are finding more needs for video.

In an effort to help meet that demand, Cisco Systems Inc. and Anystream Inc. have created a YouTube-like system that lets organizations or Internet service providers create a portal for sharing video content.

The system is designed for organizations that want the power to tightly control what video is posted and who has access to it, said Fady Lamaa, vice president of business development at Anystream.

The system lets users drag video files into a folder where the content is automatically uploaded to the portal. Video can automatically be converted to a new format when it is uploaded, if desired. The system is designed to be hosted internally, so an organization using it needs a trans-coding server and a Web server to host an enterprise Web portal.

Making the process easy is the focus of the product, Lamaa said. "That's kind of the core of what any stream agility platform does, it automates that conversion process."

Most organizations that need to share video have in-house-built systems or use public systems like YouTube, Lamaa said.

A cable operator is running a trial on the Anystream system now, and the platform is deployed by many media organizations like CNN, NBC and the National Football League.

The system could easily be used by a government organization, said Ted Grevers, solution manager for cable video/IPTV systems at Cisco.

If Federal Highway Administration offices in Washington and Minneapolis needed to share video, Cisco's Content Delivery System could be deployed so that Anystream video was available locally at both locations.

"So that playback would actually take place locally in Minneapolis instead of having it stream from D.C.," Grevers said. "The two systems work together once Anystream receives the content and it is trans-coded, then we receive the content [and] we distribute it out so it is accessible on the network within the government office."

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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