[REAL VERSION] London 2012

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Cisco Brings Olympics to All Screens

Is this the future of TV?

By Scott Budman
|  Tuesday, Aug 7, 2012  |  Updated 12:39 PM PDT
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Golden Athletes of the London 2012 Games

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Gold medalist US gymnast Alexandra Raisman performs during the women' s floor exercise final of the artistic gymnastics event.

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Whether you like to ignore the results until you can watch them on TV, or scroll past the commercials and stories to just check out the highlights, Silicon Valley technology is essentially turning the entire Olympic experience into a giant DVR event.

Cisco Systems is providing the backbone of a ton of video during the London Olympics, showing off what it calls "Videoscape." It's letting NBC (full disclosure, the owner of this website and my employer) livestream six channels at the same time, while letting you, the viewer, pause live TV - a la your DVR - while switching between screens. So the event on your TV can switch to your tablet, and then to your  smartphone, all without mising a beat.

If Videoscape proves to be a hit, it's not hard to imagine a future where all of your devices sync up while you're watching TV shows or movies.  This type of thing already exists to an extent - you can switch shows from your Apple mobile devices to your AppleTV-powered television, and some of the cable companies show ads where people switch rooms and stay with their programs.  It's a cool thing to show off during the Olympics, where it can be easy to get lost between multiple events on multiple TV channels - not to mention whatever is streaming live on the 'net.

We got this early review from Craig Lau, VP of NBC Information Technology: "It's an absolute expectation. It will give (viewers) a glimpse of how people may watch sports coverage in the future."

Scott can be found (whatever the device) on Twitter: @scottbudman

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