CES 2018: Dolby Touts Growing Industry Adoption; Cisco Spotlights Cloud, Security Innovations

LAS VEGAS – At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Jan. 9-12, Dolby is touting the growing industry adoption of Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision that’s being broadly seen across the entertainment and consumer electronics sectors.

“Dolby, starting from the cinema all the way to the consumer, has been passionate about delivering great experiences and I think here at the show the momentum that we generated from that experience now [is] becoming global – both on the imaging side with Dolby Vision and then, of course, on the audio side,” Patrick Griffis, VP-office of Dolby’s CTO, told the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) Jan. 9 at the show.

In addition, Dolby’s “history of working closely with the Hollywood studios continues to grow,” he said. For one thing, Dolby Cinema is now in the U.S., China and Europe, and growing globally, he told us, noting Dolby Cinema theatrical presentations include both the Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision technologies.

“The key message for us,” meanwhile, is that Dolby is “not just delivering the solution that goes into the end product; it’s actually the tools and technologies that create both the audio and images,” he said. The fact that Dolby’s technologies are in “many postproduction facilities around the world is a key point, and that doesn’t just happen overnight,” but rather over many years, he said.

What’s also driven the growing adoption of Dolby’s technologies has been the increasing popularity of the streaming services including Netflix, which “use the same post houses,” Mathias Bendull, VP of Multi-Screen Services Audio, explained to MESA. Netflix now has more than 200 hours of Dolby Vision content and continues to grow its catalog, Dolby said.

That includes popular series including Stranger Things 2 as well as Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos titles including Marvel’s The Punisher and the recently-released film Bright. There are also almost 200 movies available in Dolby Vision on iTunes, Dolby said.

The widespread adoption that’s being seen is also – significantly — enabling mainstream consumer access to the enhanced entertainment experiences that Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision provide across an increasing number of devices at affordable prices, including PCs now, Griffis said. He added: “We are moving both horizontally and vertically to a bigger part of the ecosystem. So, going mainstream is the big message for us this year.”

On that PC front, Lenovo announced it’s bringing Dolby Vision to its ThinkPad X1 Series – the X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga – a “milestone” that Dolby said “marks the first PCs to support Dolby Vision.”

Other new wins for Dolby, it said at CES, include: Panasonic bringing Dolby Vision to its UB820 4K Ultra High-Def (UHD Blu-ray player, expanding the lineup of OEMs that support Dolby Vision; three Chinese TV OEMs announcing new products supporting Dolby technologies, including TCL, which became the first TV OEM to announce a Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos TV in China; LG Electronics announcing that all 2018 LG OLED and Super UHD TVs will support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and also bowing its latest Dolby Atmos sound bar, the SK10Y; Sony disclosing that its 2018 X900F series and A8F Bravia OLED series TVs will support Dolby Vision and will be joined by that manufacturer’s first Dolby Vision-capable 4K UHD Blu-ray player.

Sony also announced a new line of mainstream Dolby Atmos sound bars, including the $599 HT-X9000F.

Another major win for Dolby was that its proposals for dynamic metadata and color representation, which it said are “foundational components” of Dolby Vision, are now included within the High Dynamic Range (HDR) specification of the ATSC 3.0 next-generation TV standard. That “major milestone enables delivery of live broadcasts in Dolby Vision,” it said, adding Dolby AC-4 was also selected for ATSC 3.0 audio broadcasting in the U.S.


For its global service provider customers, Cisco is using the show to spotlight its innovation and use cases for cloud-powered, app-driven video services, including cloud DVR, over-the-top-video and mobile-friendly experiences, the company said.

“The cloud, video, broadband, cable access, mobility, IoT, smart cities, connected cars and security – other than that, we’ve got nothing going on” at CES, Marc Aldrich, SVP-Americas Global Service Provider Business, joked in kicking off a Cisco CES reception on the eve of the show June 8. “We’re showing a lot of innovation this week and we’re very excited about it,” he said, adding all these things “really demonstrate our commitment to our customers’ success around innovation and market leadership – that’s really what we’re focused on at this show.”

With the huge theme of connectivity omnipresent throughout CES, “who better to talk about this” at the show than Cisco, Joe Cozzolino, SVP-Cisco Services, asked rhetorically. “If you think about what’s happening in the network today,” the amount of bandwidth that’s growing right now” is huge, he said, predicting that, over the next three years, “we will triple Internet transport.”

In mobility, meanwhile, mobile Internet traffic is going to grow by eight times, he predicted, adding: “The amount of connectivity to support the 27 billion devices that are out there [is] unprecedented and it’s going to continue obviously,” he predicted. At the same type there’s been a “dramatic” shift in favor of Internet traffic within cities, he said, predicting that trend will also continue.

One crucial part of the network equation is what Cisco is doing to protect security in vehicles as more cars become connected, Yvette Kanouff, GM and SVP of Cisco’s Service Provider Business, said. Cisco is demonstrating three Cisco security solutions at CES: network security, data center security and video security, she noted.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another key part of the equation, she said, pointing to research company Gartner’s projection that, by 2022, 40% of enterprises will be using AI to run their networks. “The future of simplifying and automation is what we’re all about, and we’re really excited about the journey and we think that CES is a super important event for us to kind of pull a lot of that together” when it comes to “connecting, managing and securing,” she said.

Service providers today are virtualizing their network infrastructure and applications, using a hybrid cloud” approach that includes an organization’s own private cloud and public clouds to “simplify operations and speed time to market for new experiences and services,” Cisco said in a Jan. 8 news release.

With the Cisco Infinite Video Platform (IVP), service providers can use a virtual cloud stack to “deliver best-in-class, highly secured video experiences to all consumer devices from one platform,” it noted.

As the popularity of OTT streaming video continues to grow, meanwhile, service providers are increasingly “focused on providing advanced services such as cloud DVR, enabling consumers to stream their video recordings from the cloud to any device over any Internet connection with the touch of an app,” Cisco said, adding: “More than 20 global service providers are already delivering and/or involved in public and private beta testing programs for cloud DVR services with Cisco, realizing benefits including the ability to implement private or public cloud deployments that offer CapEx and OpEx savings as well as increased agility and time to market.”

Cisco IVP and cloud DVR services now support more than 20 million subscribers globally, it said.

Cisco customers “seek the agility a cloud platform provides to deliver video entertainment to their subscribers in new ways,” Damian Mulcock, who was recently named VP and GM of Cisco Service Provider Video Software and Solutions (VSS), said in the news release.  He added: “We are helping them deliver on their future vision for video with our Infinite Video Platform and cloud DVR to facilitate recordings to any device, and with our innovation around IP delivery, we are leading the market in simplifying how service providers can efficiently manage their networks and deliver video services faster.”

For Cisco, “it’s really about four key things: content security, video processing, content recording and our IVP platform for delivering that end-to-end user experience,” he told Cisco’s CES reception attendees. Piracy on the linear/live TV streaming front “has become a really big issue” that Cisco is focusing on to solve using watermarking techniques, he said. After the presentation, he elaborated on that for the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), pointing to the Kodi streaming set-top boxes featuring pirated content that have become a major threat to the media and entertainment industry.