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Broadband Direct

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

Samsung teams up with Comcast for ultra-HD movies

January 7, 2014 12:43 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that it is tackling the problem of getting ultra-high-definition content to its new TV sets by teaming up with the Internet streaming services of Comcast, Netflix and Amazon. Under its partnership with Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, Samsung TVs would get UHD content through an app running on the Internet-connected TV, bypassing Comcast's set-top boxes.

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CES: New Dish Hopper set-up can record 8 shows at once

January 7, 2014 12:38 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Dish Network Corp. has unveiled a new digital recorder system that can record eight TV shows at once and can be controlled by voice. In a stunt worthy of the annual gadget show, International CES, Dish executive Vivek Khemka also showed off how its Hopper digital video recorder can be set to record shows using Google's high-tech eyewear, Google Glass.

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MoCA certification program initiated

January 6, 2014 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Upon passage of certification, companies receive a certificate documenting and officially acknowledging that the capabilities and features of the submitted product have passed the required interoperability testing authorized by the Alliance, the organization said.

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NetGear targets service provider market with camera, video dongle

January 6, 2014 1:18 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

NetGear is launching a line of HD cameras designed for some of the peculiar requirements of service providers who have home automation offerings. Simultaneously, the company is introducing an Android-based HDMI dongle that service providers can use in lieu of a set-top box.

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Time Warner Cable closes $600 million fiber deal

January 6, 2014 12:45 pm | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable announced this morning that it had wrapped up its $600 million acquisition of DukeNet Communications, which brought more than 8,700 route miles of fiber optics into the fold in North Carolina and South Carolina. The deal, which was first announced in October, will aid Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC) in providing voice, data and cloud-based hosting services to businesses in key markets.

ActiveVideo looks to scale interactive ads in cloud

January 6, 2014 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Using HTML5, ActiveVideo has updated its CloudTV software platform to provide cable operators and online video providers the ability to deliver web-style interactive TV ads at scale and with increased simplicity. The key to ActiveVideo’s CloudTV Adcast platform is that it can render the ads in the cloud across legacy set-top boxes as well as in a wide range of IP devices.

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Roku TV will stream video without set-top box

January 6, 2014 12:27 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Roku Inc. is launching a line of TVs that play video from services like Netflix without requiring a set-top box. While similar to smart TVs on the market, Roku's Internet streaming platform has some 1,200 apps and offers a more comprehensive selection of niche content. 

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T-Mobile to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon

January 6, 2014 12:22 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

T-Mobile said Monday that it's reached deals to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless for $2.37 billion in cash, allowing it to improve certain kinds of cellular service in markets across the U.S. The agreements also include the transfer of other kinds of spectrum licenses from T-Mobile to Verizon Wireless that the companies value at about $950 million.

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Google highlights HEVC rival with YouTube 4K demo

January 3, 2014 1:22 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Google’s VP9 codec is an alternative to H.265 (aka HEVC). Both promise to drop compression rates by about half. Google has tried to establish its own codecs as standard issue before, most recently with its VP8 codec. VP8 gained little traction outside of Google. Neither has VP9, until recently.

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Suddenlink wraps up Northland deal

January 3, 2014 12:31 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Suddenlink Communications announced it has completed its purchase of four Texas-based systems from Northland Communications. With the completion of the deal, which was first announced in October, Suddenlink added 12,000 residential and nearly 300 commercial customers.

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Comcast’s Smit takes over as chairman of NCTA’s board

January 3, 2014 12:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

On Wednesday Comcast’s Neil Smit officially started his tenure as chairman of the board of directors for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA.) During a November NCTA board meeting, Smit was elected to succeed Glenn Britt, who has retired as Time Warner Cable’s CEO and chairman.

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Polaroid to offer smart TV with built-in Roku Stick

January 2, 2014 1:12 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Polaroid will be at CES next week debuting the 50GSR7100 50-inch Roku Ready Smart TV. The Roku Streaming Stick will allow consumers to stream more than 1,000 entertainment channels. Polaroid is also preparing a 50-inch 4K Ultra HD (UHD) to anchor a new line of 4K TVs.

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Motorola Solutions buys Twisted Pair Solutions

January 2, 2014 12:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Twisted Pair’s Wave software integrates voice, text messaging, location and presence in a single application. The company caters to businesses and government agencies looking to create secure communications systems that can be used by employees, in or out of the office.

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Charter’s all digital train rolls into Missouri, Southern Illinois

January 2, 2014 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

With the end game of having all of its systems all digital by the first half of this year, Charter announced this morning that all-digital upgrades will start in the middle of this month in Missouri and Southern Illinois. Charter said the upgrades, which are scheduled to be completed by mid-summer, would add more than 200 HD channels to its lineup in those areas, as well as “significantly” faster Internet speeds.

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Netflix tests new price tiers for video service

January 2, 2014 12:24 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix is testing new price plans for streaming video as it tries to lure more viewers. Among the plans being tested are a $6.99-a-month plan that allows only one video stream to be watched at once, and a $9.99-a-month plan that allows three streams at one time, whether on a TV, tablet or computer.

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