News Release

IP/TV 2.0 First to Offer Managed Video on Demand to Meet Enterprise Needs

National Institutes of Health Uses IP/TV to Address Real- Time and Just-in-Time Informational Needs of Employees
Jun 22, 1998

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- June 22, 1998 -- Cisco Systems today announced IP/TV 2.0, the first complete TV-quality network video solution to offer managed and scalable video-on-demand (VOD) service for corporate intranets. IP/TV 2.0 integrates VOD capabilities with live and scheduled video broadcasting services. With this release, IP/TV combines high-quality streaming video with the management features, scalability and bandwidth efficiencies required for large-scale enterprise deployment.

IP/TV 2.0 is also the first product to solve the VOD scalability problem - the tendency to congest networks with bandwidth-intensive video streams - by providing a distributed server architecture. In this distributed server architecture, content is replicated and dispatched to local workgroup servers, and load balancing is performed among servers. This system of distributing content and load balancing localizes network traffic and optimizes throughput. It also allows network managers to add video servers incrementally as they deploy IP/TV throughout an organization.

"We have been using IP/TV to deliver live and rebroadcast lectures by the world's top scientists straight to the desktops of our medical researchers' desks," said Ken Wong, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "With the IP/TV 2.0 on-demand capability, we can allow users to access programs when their schedules permit."

"Large enterprises finally can get serious about deploying video to enhance internal communications," said Jack Bradley, director and general manager of the Cisco Systems Video Internet Services Unit. "IP/TV 2.0 is a powerful system with the management capabilities and robustness necessary to support organizations' widespread communication and educational requirements in such critical areas as training and corporate communications."

Next-Generation, Intelligent Network Video Management

IP/TV 2.0 offers a comprehensive set of new management capabilities that simplify content, bandwidth and server management for program and network managers. These capabilities are administered by the IP/TV Content Manager which provides centralized point-and-click control of both scheduled and on-demand programming. The Content Manager dispatches content to local servers and performs load balancing by transparently directing users to the least-busy server.

The Content Manager can also track up to thousands of programs located on distributed servers throughout the enterprise with the help of a built-in Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC)-compliant database. In addition, a new feature called ServerWatch allows the Content Manager to monitor server performance by identifying what programs each server is serving at any given time.

A log tracks which on-demand programs viewers are accessing and for how long. When combined with data from the IP/TV StreamWatch tool, which monitors multicast traffic, managers have the information they need to measure program popularity, perform network capacity planning and charge back for viewing time.

Live, Scheduled or On-Demand

IP/TV 2.0 is the only network video product that offers fully integrated live, scheduled and on-demand services. With common files, servers, user interface and administrative tools, IP/TV offers three video distribution modes in one easy-to-manage product.

Easy-to-Use Viewer Interface

IP/TV 2.0 includes a new user interface that displays a hierarchical view of all the video programming available and offers a keyword search function. A Web access button takes viewers to predefined Web pages with additional, related content. VCR-like controls, based on the IETF-proposed Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) standard, allow viewers to pause, forward and rewind on-demand programs. The IP/TV Viewer can be used as a standalone application or as a browser plugin.


IP/TV 2.0 for Windows 95 and Windows NT will be available in July 1998.

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IP/TV, ServerWatch and StreamWatch are trademarks, and Cisco, Cisco Systems and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.