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Cisco Predicts TV Revolution

Networking giant Cisco (CSCO - Get Report) is predicting a home entertainment revolution as the worlds of TV and Internet collide, creating a whole new breed of technology.

With broadband speeds increasing and services such as YouTube enjoying phenomenal growth, service providers and technology manufacturers will have to rethink their strategies, according to Bob McIntyre, chief technology officer of Cisco's Scientific Atlanta division.

Speaking at the Cowen & Company conference in New York, McIntyre said he foresees a very different broadcasting landscape within the next five years.

"Set-top boxes of the future will not only be able to access all the broadcast video content [and] all the video-on-demand content but also, in many cases, direct access to websites," he said. "[The video streams will go] directly through the set-top box to the TV in the living room."

Scientific Atlanta, which Cisco acquired for $7 billion in 2006, makes DVRs for the likes of Time Warner Cable (TWC - Get Report), and McIntyre thinks that users are looking for new ways to view and handle content.

"It will be a two-way communication process," he said. "Eventually you will be able to upload your digital photographs through set-top boxes, you will be able to upload your own video for user-generated content."

McIntyre estimates that 60% of all Internet traffic is video-related, a figure that he says could rise to almost 90% by the end of 2012.

Moving forward, the Internet video explosion will require much more "personalization" in how content is viewed, he added.
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