Cisco Launches VideoStream

The system delivers video and multimedia applications over wireless and wired networks.
Cisco has extended its Cisco Unified Wireless Network with a set of features called VideoStream that optimizes multimedia performance over wireless and wired networks. At the same time, the firm pointed to a showcase installation at the Rochester Institute of Technology that uses VideoStream to provide a series of advanced features tailored for the university's 1,100 deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

The RIT application is built on 3,400 802.11n access points and Cisco's Wireless Control System. The application also employs 15 Wireless Services Modules.

In an interview, David Stiff, product manager for Cisco's Wireless Networking Business Unit, said the company has been able to introduce a wide range of networking options in VideoStream "because we're a wired and wireless company." VideoStream optimizes the performance of multimedia over both wireless and wired networks.

The company said VideoStream moves video over wireless networks while enforcing video priority levels and resource reservation control. The approach ensures existing wireless media sessions while additional wireless video streams are added to the network.

Chris Kozup, senior manager for Cisco's Mobility Solutions unit, noted that the power of VideoStream and its associated features enable deaf and hard-of-hearing students at RIT's National Institute for the Deaf College to follow classroom presentations, enabling the students to participate more directly in classroom experiences. For instance, because of the high quality video, the students can lip-read more effectively. In addition, students using laptops and other devices to access the VideoStream-based application are able to access video relay and transcription services to view close-captioned lectures, visual signing, and transcription services in real-time.

Jeanne Casares, RIT's chief information officer, said the Cisco network "delivers converged data, voice, and video services anywhere on campus that serves as the foundation to support a growing number of mobile video and voice applications."

RIT's VideoStream-based network also has benefits for the entire student and faculty body. Using Cisco's Mobility Services Engine and Contest-Aware solution, the university's IT personnel can find the exact location of users in need of support and, if necessary, identify and mitigate rogue users on the wireless network.

"The ability to deliver video and multimedia applications over the wireless network -- with the same quality and performance users are accustomed to receiving via a wired network -- has inherent challenges," observed Cisco's Ray Smets, who added that VideoStream technology was developed to deliver real-time visual collaboration to support new sustainable business practices and help for distributed workforces. Smets is vice president and general manager for Cisco's Wireless Networking Business Unit.