California Educational Data Processing Association
The DataBus - Vol. 37, No. 2
February-March, 1997

Cisco Systems Announces IP/TV

Multimedia: New software multicasts video and audio streams over IP networks.

Sue Mangiapane, Cisco Systems

Here is a new product offering from Cisco Systems that may be of interest to many of you.

Product Overview

Multimedia applications represent a significant new opportunity for leveraging corporate intranets and the Internet. Emerging Internet standards enable audio and video streams to be reliably and effectively transmitted over existing IP internetworks. Cisco Internetwork Operating System (Cisco IOS™) software provides the infrastructure for networked multimedia; Cisco's Internet Protocol TV (IP/TV™), server and client software for Windows PCs, completes the solution. IP/TV was developed by Precept Software, specialists in network video applications based on industry standards.

IP/TV is a client/server application that multicasts live or prerecorded digital video and audio streams to an unlimited number of users over any IP-based local or wide- area network (WAN), including the global Internet. Full- motion video is delivered in a window on the user's PC via existing data networks rather than requiring dedicated video cables, monitors, or video teleconference equipment. IP/TV makes networked audio/video affordable and flexible. By utilizing the low-cost, industry-standard PC platform, IP/TV is ideal for applications such as broadcast TV to the desktop, computer-based training, distance learning, corporate communications, Internet multicast backbone (MBONE) viewing, manufacturing process monitoring, and surveillance systems.

IP/TV delivers real-time video to PCs running Windows 95 or Windows NT. IP/TV works with the Cisco TCP/IP Suite 100 on Windows 95 and most WinSock-compliant TCP/IP stacks with IP multicast support, such as Microsoft's TCP/IP.

Features at a Glance


Product Description

Bringing real-time video broadcasting to Windows users over existing data networks, IP/TV offers a sophisticated client/server application for desktop video broadcasting. Using the IP/TV program guide, customers create "TV channels" and associated programs. IP/TV viewers installed on each desktop Windows PC receive program listings created by the program guide. Users select from the program listing and can even channel surf among currently playing programs. Once a program is selected, the IP/TV Viewer joins the new user to the multicast program stream. It's that easy to set up IP/TV and create your own private digital TV station and viewing audience.

IP/TV's unique new Slidecast feature enables a program originator to switch between views of presenters giving their presentations and views of their actual PC-based demonstration materials. With Slidecast, the IP/TV Server can capture both the presenter being videotaped, such as a CEO delivering a profit-sharing message to employees or a teacher giving a technical seminar, and the slides or overheads from the associated Microsoft PowerPoint (or similar) presentation. Slidecast is also useful in sales demonstrations, software training sessions, and similar applications that require synchronization of audio and PC-based applications. When the presenter wants to illustrate a key point using a slide, the IP/TV server takes the actual PowerPoint slide and puts it directly on the user's screen. The user gains the full impact of the visual material as though in the room, not at the other end of a remote broadcast. No matter how many times the screen switches back and forth between presenter and materials, a single, synchronized audio stream integrates the entire presentation. Slidecast can also be used in automated mode with audio-only in cases where bandwidth is insufficient for video transmission.

For more information on IP/TV, please contact your local Cisco Account Manager.

CISCO News by E-mail

Anyone who is interested in receiving CISCO Systems product information and news by e-mail can send their e-mail address to me. I am putting together a new distribution list for Cisco product information and news. If you'd like to be added to the list, send me an e-mail message with your name and e-mail address.
Sue Mangiapane is Account Manager for Cisco Systems, Inc. She can be reached by telephone at (714) 789-5006, by FAX at (714) 789-5005, or by e-mail at [email protected].

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