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Broadband Direct

Daily news and top headlines for broadband communications engineering and design professionals

Mobile backhaul a pillar in TWCBC’s commercial services

March 26, 2014 5:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

One of the pistons driving the business services growth at Time Warner Cable Business Class is mobile backhaul. In this Q&A with CED, TWCBC's Thane Storck, group vice president, carrier services, spoke about the history of cellular backhaul, the state of the current market and more opportunities down the road.

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HEVC: Coming Soon to a Device Near You

March 26, 2014 3:19 pm | by Kanaan Jemili, SVP, Product Management, Rovi | Articles | Comments

Content producers don’t want to invest in the technology needed to create HEVC programming without a significant installed base of HEVC-capable playback devices. And hardware manufacturers don’t want to invest in HEVC players until there’s more HEVC content. One way to break the stalemate and drive adoption of HEVC is to go direct to consumers – to make available software that includes HEVC creation and playback support.

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Astro taps S3 for test automation

March 26, 2014 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

S3 has been selected by Astro, a pay-TV operator in Malaysia, to help it scale and accelerate the development of its digital TV platform using S3 Group’s test automation platform, StormTest Development Center.                                       

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TiVo locks up deal with WaveDivision

March 26, 2014 12:54 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

TiVo has notched another customer win by announcing a deal with WaveDivision Holdings, which offers triple play services through its Wave Broadband and Astound brands. WaveDivision is going all in with TiVo on a co-branded version of its whole-home DVR platform, which is slated to go live mid-year. 

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Nagra/Kudelski buying Conax

March 26, 2014 12:50 pm | by CED | News | Comments

The Swiss group is buying Conax for roughly $256 million. Nagra/Kudelski said Conax will fit in with the company’s portfolio of products for service providers, including its OpenTV5 middleware, multiscreen/OTT solutions and SmarDTV’s advanced conditional access modules.

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Cox Media takes geographic-based ads for a trial spin

March 26, 2014 12:46 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Working with Invidi Technologies, Cox Media has started addressable advertising trials that target viewers by their geographic locations. The two companies said they have entered into an “exploratory agreement” to measure the effectiveness of addressable advertising delivered according to specific viewer geographic, demographic, and other pre-determined viewer qualifiers.

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Facebook buying virtual-reality company for $2B

March 26, 2014 12:39 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Facebook is buying virtual reality company Oculus, betting $2 billion that its technology will become a new way for people to communicate, learn or be entertained. Irvine, California-based Oculus VR Inc. makes the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that's received a lot of attention from video game developers. 

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New Products: Fairview Microwave, CSG Systems

March 25, 2014 8:08 pm | Articles | Comments

Fairview Microwave recently launched a new line of armored coaxial test cables, which were designed to withstand the rigors of continued field and production line testing. | CSG International an-nounced the recent worldwide launch of its new cyber security platform, which was designed for the enterprise security sector.

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Open Mic: The Value of Service Hardening

March 25, 2014 8:00 pm | by Patty Chen, Consulting Manager, IBB Consulting Group | Articles | Comments

With competition for subscribers fiercer than ever, retention is paramount for every operator. As MSOs offer services ranging from VOD and cloud user interfaces to Wi-Fi and DVR, delivering reliability via infrastructure improvements has become key to keeping customers happy.

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Engineering-wise: NextGen Digital Video over NextGen DOCSIS

March 25, 2014 7:54 pm | by Daniel Howard, CTO, SCTE | Articles | Comments

Modern cable networks provide dynamic digital video transport that is a mix of linear, switched, and on-demand MPEG2 transport streams, as well as multicast, narrowcast and unicast IP video streams carried over DOCSIS, Wi-Fi, or carrier Ethernet.

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Ciciora's Corner: Disruption

March 25, 2014 7:51 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Articles | Comments

Major innovation comes in prospering businesses only rarely and with great difficulty. Prosperity brings growth and a growing enterprise has scarce resources which are fully allocated to the present business. Current customers demand all available resources be applied for their needs, leaving little to none to promote new innovation. 

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House Committee passes STELA version enabling broadcaster "collusion"

March 25, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology passed a version of the STELA act that explicitly allows broadcasters to band together in negotiations with MVPDs, a maneuver that the FCC is in the process of trying to bar, and which the ACA has explicitly called “collusion.”

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Charter Media to cut ribbon on new production facility in Wis.

March 25, 2014 11:35 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

On Thursday Charter Media will open the doors on its new production facility in Madison, Wis. To mark the occasion, Charter will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Madison Chamber of Commerce. Charter Media is the sales division of Charter Communications.

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Liberty Global’s Warga to join SCTE’s board

March 25, 2014 11:31 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Liberty Global’s Bill Warga will add an international flavor to the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ board of directors when he joins in September. Warga, vice president, technology and a member of the chief architecture group for Liberty Global, will replace Time Warner Cable’s Mike LaJoie.

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Disney to buy YouTube video producer Maker Studios

March 25, 2014 11:19 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Disney said Monday that it is buying YouTube channel operator Maker Studios for $500 million as the family entertainment giant seeks to stay in front of younger viewers who are increasingly watching short videos online. It's the latest and largest acquisition of a YouTube channel network by a major Hollywood studio and represents another vote of confidence in the video service as an incubator of talent.

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