Summary:

Cisco today announced a range of new initiatives aimed at boosting production video, most interesting of which is the new integration of its TelePresence Content Server with the its Show and Share service, which should make it easier for users to record and share telepresence sessions.

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Cisco is a company that’s long been pushing video for the enterprise, and today announced a range of new initiatives aimed at boosting production and consumption of video. Most interesting of the announcements is the new integration of its TelePresence Content Server 5.0 unit with the company’s Show and Share service and updates to the MXE 3500 transcoding unit, which should make it easier for users to record telepresence sessions and then make them available for sharing, streamlining workflow and opening up a range of possibilities for knowledge capture and video production, such as the creation of training materials.

TelePrecence Content Server (TCS) is a rackmount appliance that can capture HD video from teleprecense sessions (1080p at 30 fps and 720p 60 fps, with support for five concurrent calls, and video conference bandwidth up to 2 Mbps). It’s able to record and stream video and H.239 dual-stream presentations from any H.323 or Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) video conferencing unit. Show and Share is an enterprise webcasting and video sharing solution; users can record, edit, post and comment on video. By integrating the two, the content generated during telepresence meetings can be seamlessly captured and then shared within an organization, to enable re-use of training sessions or to enable a meeting to be shred company-wide, regardless of attendee availability.

These kind of capture and sharing features aren’t only found in Cisco’s offerings, of course; web conferencing software such as Adobe Connect 8 can also also capture video sessions for later playback, and will do so at a much lower cost. The difference is that the quality of video captured by the TCS unit will be much higher, and is also able to take advantage of the multi-camera setups available in typical room-based telepresence installations, which should allow businesses to leverage their existing telepresence investment to easily produce high quality training materials that can be then be distributed within a company, for example.

Also announced today, the MXE 3500 transcoding appliance (a device that can automatically convert both recorded and live video from one format to another) is getting updated with a browser-based interface and Pulse Analytics, a technology that automates the time-consuming process of having to watch hours of video just to find the right content. With Pulse Analytics, the Cisco MXE 3500 now automatically tags words and speakers in videos so users can easily the find speaker and content segments they need, which should greatly streamline the process of editing the videos captured by the TCS unit for distribution on Show and Share.

TelePresence Content Server 5.0 will be available in March, while the Pulse Analytics upgrade to MXE3500 will be released Q2 2011.

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