The Cisco® IP/TV® solution delivers a complete, highly scalable, bandwidth-efficient solution for high-quality video communications over enterprise networks.
Cisco IP/TV Software Version 5.2 delivers the following new features:
• Support for the new Cisco IP/TV 3441 and 3442 broadcast servers
• Cisco IP/TV Broadcast Server Failover
• Increase in supported IP/TV SlideCast resolution to 640x480
• Ability to customize web-based IP/TV Program Guide
• Multi-byte character set support in IP/TV Program Manager
Part of the Cisco Systems® line of application and content networking products, Cisco IP/TV is easy to deploy and delivers networked video that is simple to use and integrates with IP network services. Cisco IP/TV supports live video, scheduled video, video on demand (VoD), synchronized presentations and screen captures, and a wide range of video management functions.
Cisco IP/TV is designed for scalability and addresses the need to deliver high-quality video broadcasts safely across the largest enterprises. Cisco IP/TV uses IP Multicast to deliver one stream throughout the network regardless of audience size and enables detailed monitoring of quality and use from every desktop during an event.
Built on industry standards to help facilitate interoperability, Cisco IP/TV enables a broad spectrum of applications for enterprise communications, including training, corporate communications, business TV, and distance learning.
For more demanding VoD applications or live events in predominantly unicast networks, a Cisco IP/TV solution can be used in conjunction with the Cisco Application and Content Networking System (ACNS) solution, which offers a wide range of content distribution and streaming capabilities. Cisco IP/TV Software Version 5.1 or later interoperates with the Cisco ACNS Software Version 5.1 or later to extend its reach effectively into unicast and multicast "island" networks by using Cisco ACNS features such as Stream Splitting, Streaming Automation, and the Cisco Streaming Engine.
To further increase the success of the Cisco IP/TV solution, Cisco IP/TV products are backed by the industry-leading Cisco SMARTnet® maintenance service and support program.
SCHEDULED EVENTS, DELIVERED SAFELY AND EASILY
Using Industry Standards for Interoperability
An important advantage of the Cisco IP/TV solution is its adherence to industry standards, thus enabling interoperability with standards-based devices.
Cisco IP/TV technology safely delivers a wide range of video and audio formats, most commonly MPEG-2 for the highest-quality broadcasts, MPEG-1 for TV quality, and MPEG-4 for high-quality video and audio at low bit rates.
Cisco IP/TV technology is based on standard IETF streaming protocols such as Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP), Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), and IP Multicast. By adopting such standards for media streaming, the Cisco IP/TV solution benefits by interoperating with other devices based on the same standards. For example, Cisco IP/TV incorporates the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) specifications, which are built around standard protocols and formats supported by a wide range of vendors and devices.
Through support of common standards, Cisco IP/TV integrates content delivery directly to Apple QuickTime viewers. For delivery of analog video directly to TVs or plasma screens, it can stream to set-top boxes that have implemented the necessary ISMA and IETF specifications.
The Cisco IP/TV solution is part of the Cisco line of application and content networking products, offering a unified solution for content management, content-edge delivery, content routing, content switching, and intelligent network services. Cisco application and content networking solutions allow enterprises to intelligently and securely deliver any rich-media content over a Web infrastructure.
Cisco IP/TV and ACNS solutions are based on Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data), which lays the foundation for converged enterprise communication networks. Cisco AVVID encompasses converged client devices, infrastructure hardware and software, directory services, call processing, telephony and data applications, network and policy management, and service and support.
Cisco IP/TV Solution: Easy to Deploy and Use
Cisco IP/TV has many built-in capabilities, requiring no programming or systems integration. It offers a wide range of management functions from a simple interface.
Integrated event scheduling allows producers to set up live or scheduled events through an easy point-and-click browser. Scheduled rebroadcast capability allows time-shifted multicasts of the original event, either from the same broadcast server, a remote Cisco IP/TV server, or a Cisco ACNS Content Engine, minimizing the use of expensive WAN bandwidth.
The Cisco IP/TV Program Listing offers an easy way for the audience to view Cisco IP/TV events and to participate. Hosted by the Cisco IP/TV Program Manager, it is generated automatically and updated when events are scheduled or new content is added. Similar to a television guide, the Program Listing is accessible from either a Web browser or the Cisco IP/TV client.
The integrated media synchronization tools-WebPresenter, ScreenCaster, and SlideCast-eliminate the need for custom integration effort and programming to deliver presentations along with the video stream to thousands of live viewers.
Using these tools, producers can deliver native HTML or PowerPoint files, create and broadcast screen captures of any application, or browse a Website that the audience follows automatically. The combined video and presentation can be recorded for later viewing as a scheduled multicast or VoD. With Cisco ACNS Software Version 5.1 or later, Cisco ACNS content engines support the SlideCast feature for delivery of live and scheduled rebroadcasts from Cisco IP/TV Broadcast Servers using IP/TV Software Version 5.1 or later.
QuestionManager gives the audience one-button access to the presenter. Viewers can send inquiries quickly and easily without waiting in a telephone queue. A moderator can gather feedback efficiently from large audiences and maximize the interactivity of the presentation.
High-Quality Delivery Through Tight Network Integration
The Cisco IP/TV solution makes full use of the network infrastructure to help ensure the best possible broadcast quality.
• IP Multicast-The Cisco IP/TV solution facilitates delivery over multicast networks to minimize bandwidth for live and scheduled video, broadcasting a single stream over the network regardless of audience size.
Support for Source Specific Multicast (SSM) simplifies the management and control of an IP Multicast network. SSM eases multicast deployment, removes address allocation problems, and improves multicast performance for one or for many broadcasts.
• Quality of service (QoS)-The Cisco IP/TV Program Manager enables IP QoS using Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) to help ensure that adequate bandwidth is allocated for the event.
The Cisco IP/TV solution optimizes delivery for live events over WANs by using protocols designed for real-time streaming. Audio and video streams are delivered independently, with audio prioritized to minimize the impact of network congestion on the user.
• StreamWatch-This feature enables quality and usage monitoring from every desktop during an event and generates logs for post-event analysis. With Cisco IP/TV Software Version 5.2, StreamWatch can receive reports from tens of thousands of desktops to handle the largest enterprise broadcasts. It can filter the feedback based on quality, location, IP address, or other parameters to facilitate the success of a large broadcast. StreamWatch is an application that is distributed on Cisco IP/TV Software CDs or as a Cisco IP/TV Software download from www.cisco.com and must be installed on a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 computer to be implemented.
CISCO IP/TV SOLUTION
The Cisco IP/TV solution consists of three primary components:
• Cisco IP/TV Program Manager centrally manages the Cisco IP/TV solution. The Cisco IP/TV Manager is delivered as a software configuration on the Cisco ACNS content engine models 565(A), 566, 7305(A) with ACNS Version 5.1 or 5.2. No extra licenses are needed and a simple command-line interface (CLI) configures these content engines models to act as a Cisco IP/TV Program Manager.
• Cisco IP/TV Broadcast Server provides real-time encoding and delivery of live, scheduled, and on-demand video.
• Cisco IP/TV Viewer offers high-quality reception of video streams and synchronized media, either as a standalone application or browser plug-in for Web access. The Cisco IP/TV solution supports the Apple QuickTime standalone and plug-in viewers to provide deployment flexibility in client software.
The Cisco IP/TV Program Manager and Broadcast Server are purchased as preconfigured Cisco appliances. Starting with Version 5.2, the Cisco IP/TV solution is no longer offered as a software-only product. The Cisco IP/TV viewer runs on Windows 98, 2000, NT, and XP systems and is free with the purchase of Cisco IP/TV Broadcast Servers.
Combined, these components offer industry-leading capabilities for high-quality streaming across corporate networks.
Cisco IP/TV Program Manager
Starting with the release of Cisco ACNS and IP/TV software versions 5.1, the Cisco IP/TV Program Manager runs on the Cisco 565(A), 566 or 7305(A) content engines. The Cisco IP/TV Program Manager function on these models of Content Engines contain all the capability of the previous Cisco IP/TV Software Version 3.5 Control Server appliance and Content Manager software for the centralized management of a Cisco IP/TV solution, plus new features that enable exporting of Cisco IP/TV events and content to the Cisco ACNS solution.
As the central management platform for the Cisco IP/TV solution, the Cisco IP/TV Program Manager offers a simple browser interface for a wide range of capabilities. Administrators can create, schedule, and manage events; manage Cisco IP/TV servers; monitor QuestionManager; establish preferences and network settings; move content among Cisco IP/TV servers; and easily publish live events and VoD content to the Cisco ACNS solution for distribution. The Cisco IP/TV Program Manager automatically creates and hosts the Cisco IP/TV Program Listing.
Cisco IP/TV 3400 Series Broadcast Servers
Cisco IP/TV 3400 Series Video Servers deliver live, on-demand, or scheduled rebroadcasts of Cisco IP/TV programs, which can include synchronized media produced with WebPresenter, ScreenCaster, and SlideCast. By using the existing IP Multicast technology of Cisco routers, the broadcast servers can deliver events as they happen, such as a CEO address to thousands of employees, while using the network bandwidth of an individual stream.
Cisco IP/TV 3400 Series Video Servers, with preconfigured software, preinstalled capture cards, network interface cards (NICs), and device drivers, offer an easy way to deploy network video throughout an enterprise. These servers provide the ability to encode in a variety of standard formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4, based upon application requirements and available bandwidth. They can receive content from analog sources such as video cameras, VCRs, satellite feeds, cable feeds, or existing digital files.
The Cisco IP/TV 3400 Series Video Servers offer a range of single-stream and multistream encoding platforms. These include the new Cisco IP/TV 3441 and 3442 Broadcast Servers and the three configurations of the Cisco IP/TV 3427 Broadcast Servers. Although they differ in the encoding formats they support, all have the same high-quality capabilities to deliver real-time streams, synchronize presentation media, and record events for later viewing. Any Cisco IP/TV broadcast server can be used to deliver recorded files on demand or scheduled broadcasts.
The new Cisco IP/TV 3441 Broadcast Server satisfies the need for high-performance encoding and broadcasting with all encoding done in hardware. For the highest quality in real-time streaming, the Cisco IP/TV 3441 Broadcast Server supports both television-quality MPEG-1 and broadcast-quality MPEG-2 compression.
The new Cisco IP/TV 3442 Broadcast Server addresses the need for formats such as MPEG-4 through software-based compression. It can encode up to four different streams simultaneously in real time. Alternatively, it can take in one video feed and encode at multiple bit rates for Webcasts that need to reach audiences with varying bandwidth requirements.
The Cisco IP/TV 3427 Broadcast Servers offer the ability to encode from five to eight simultaneous streams in one unit, saving rack space and simplifying manageability. This high-performance hardware platform includes dual CPUs for multistream software encoding, along with front-serviceable hard drives and redundant, hot-swappable power supplies and fans for high system availability. The Cisco IP/TV 3427 Series of Broadcast Servers includes the following models:
• The Cisco IP/TV 3427-C1 Broadcast Server can simultaneously encode up to six streams in software, for formats such as MPEG-4, offering the benefits of the high-end platform at an attractive price per stream.
• The Cisco IP/TV 3427-C2 Broadcast Server is identical to the C1 model, with the additional capability of two MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 streams for high-quality hardware-based encoding. It can deliver up to eight simultaneous streams, offering a high stream density in one unit and the ability to use any available format.
• The Cisco IP/TV 3427-C3 Broadcast Server enables real-time encoding of three high-quality MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 streams and two streams of MPEG-4. With five total streams, it offers a high density of high-quality MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 streams with the flexibility of additional software-encoded formats.
Cisco IP/TV 3400 Series servers and software are backed by the industry-leading Cisco SMARTnet maintenance service and support program. Cisco SMARTnet support provides a rapid response to hardware-replacement needs, 24-hour telephone support, and software upgrades. As the internetworking leader, Cisco provides full network support, from routers to switches, hubs, firewalls, Cisco IOS® Software, and systems integration consulting.
Table 1 lists the descriptions and part numbers for Cisco IP/TV hardware and software, and Table 2 lists the hardware specifications.
Table 1. Cisco IP/TV Part Numbers
Model Part Numbers
MPEG-1/2 Broadcast Server, single port
MPEG-4 Broadcast Server, 4-ports
MPEG-4 Broadcast Server, 6-ports
Broadcast Server, (6) MPEG-4, (2) MPEG-1/2
Broadcast Server, (2) MPEG-4, (3) MPEG-1/2
CE-566-144GB-K9 or CE-7305A-K9
IP/TV Program Manager
100 MPEG-4 Client License
MPEG-2 Decoder Base Kit, 1 license
Additional MPEG-2 Decoder License
1000 MPEG-2 Viewer License
MPEG-1/2 Full D1 Capture Card
MPEG-1/2 Half D1 Capture Card
Spare cables for MPEG-2 H/FD1 Cards
4-port MPEG-4 Card
Spare cables for MPEG-4 Encoder Card
MPEG-4 Encoder Card, 1-port
Spare cables for MPEG-4 Encoder Card
Table 2. Cisco IP/TV Hardware Specifications
Cisco IP/TV Program Manager (on CE-566)
Cisco IP/TV 3441 Broadcast Server
Cisco IP/TV 3442 Broadcast Server
144 GB Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)
80-160 GB Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA)
80-160 GB SATA
10/100 Mbps Ethernet
10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
Video Graphics Array (VGA) graphics, keyboard, mouse