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Broadband Direct

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

Blue Ridge hooks up with Comporium for home management service

December 5, 2013 12:45 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Blue Ridge Communications has joined the Comporium Security, Monitoring and Automation (SMA) Dealer Program to deliver a home management service to its subscribers. Comporium’s service combines a security alarm system, communications gateway and home automation platform into one device.

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Cable-Tec Expo 2013 Round-Up: What’s Up, DOCSIS?

December 4, 2013 8:20 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor in Chief, and Mike Robuck, Senior Editor | Articles | Comments

Members of the gang that helped create CCAP and DOCSIS 3.1 have already moved on to the next thing. Ready for digital forward links, remote PHY, and the next next-generation architecture network (N2GAN)? Also, updates on the Reference Developer Kit and the Converged Cable Access Platform, and more.

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Women in Technology winner 2013: Stephanie Mitchko-Beale

December 4, 2013 7:49 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

Stephanie Mitchko-Beale, senior vice president of video infrastructure software at Cablevision Systems, has led engineering teams that helped establish Cablevision’s high-speed data product, built support systems for video on demand, and worked on the company’s ground-breaking network DVR (nDVR) services, helping Cablevision win several technical Emmy's along the way.

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What’s next for DOCSIS: Modulation options and impacts in HFC networks: COFDM and low-density parity check, Part 2

December 4, 2013 7:16 pm | by Brady Volpe and Conrad L. Young | Articles | Comments

Many wonder how today’s HFC networks will support high order modulations such as 4096-QAM. There are two technologies in the DOCSIS 3.1 specification that will enable this. One is Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (COFDM) and the other low-density parity-check (LDPC) forward error correction. LDPC is the “C” (coded) part in COFDM. 

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Overhaul of '96 Communications Act gains momentum

December 4, 2013 1:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The prospects for updating the 1996 Communications Act seem to have improved with the endorsement of the idea of two key Congressman. Representatives Fred Upton and Greg Walden said that the update is desperately needed during a Google chat that was also attended by FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell. 

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Harris snaps up Imagine; aims for MSO market

December 4, 2013 12:59 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Imagine Communications acquisition strengthens Harris Broadcast’s end-to-end solutions portfolio, particularly enhancing its OTT, mobile video and multi-screen TV Everywhere capabilities, while furthering interoperability of technology and systems from both the linear and non-linear TV viewing worlds, Harris said.

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Comcast testing full ad loads for on-demand shows 


December 4, 2013 12:46 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Pay TV customers who are used to watching fewer ads on on-demand shows may have to put up with longer commercial breaks. Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable TV provider, says it is testing out a system with its NBCUniversal subsidiary to use full commercial loads on older episodes — while disabling fast-forwarding of ads — if consumers watch them within three days after a new episode airs.

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Shaw president postpones retirement

December 4, 2013 12:43 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Faced with increased competition from the likes of Netflix and Telus, as well as a mandated move to unbundling, Shaw Communications president Peter Bissonette has postponed his retirement. Bissonette will stay onboard until 2015 and has also assumed responsibility for Shaw’s regulatory and government affairs activities.

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CSG picks up some Volubill assets

December 4, 2013 12:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Billing vendor CSG International announced this morning that it had purchased some of the assets of Volubill. According to media reports, Volubill was put into compulsory liquidation and receivership on Oct. 29 in France. Financial terms weren’t available.

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NetCracker scores deal with Israeli satellite provider

December 4, 2013 12:32 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

NetCracker Technology said that an Israeli direct broadcast satellite provider, called “yes,” has implemented its billing, rating, and CRM products. Yes teamed up with NetCracker to enhance its content delivery offerings and customer experience through a large-scale, multi-year project.

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Solving the Friday night deluge

December 3, 2013 8:20 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

The reactions to Netflix have varied throughout the cable industry. Some are irritated by a competitor highjacking their broadband pipes for free. Others see Netflix augmenting the value of their broadband product or as a complement or add-on to their own video services. Both can be true.

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Home Networking: Cloud DVR has got next

December 3, 2013 7:51 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

Aside from the demand for video more content “anytime, anywhere, on any device,” broadband penetration and the migration to IP are also terraforming the home networking landscape. One area that is emerging is cloud DVR, which allows subscribers to store content from their DVRs in the cloud, or more accurately, in data centers.

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In Perspective: What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

December 3, 2013 7:21 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

In 2014, CED willcelebrate its 40th year covering...well, an expanding universe of things. Forty years ago, CED had a tidy little focus covering the infant cable TV business, but in the intervening decades, cable companies moved into telephony and Internet access and business services and wireless connectivity and home automation and more.

Open Mic: Combining QoE and QoS for TVE services

December 3, 2013 7:19 pm | by Steve Liu, Vice President of Video Network Monitoring, Tektronix | Articles | Comments

TV Everywhere is an imperative for MSOs, but like all new services, it poses several challenges as operators strive to ensure quality while simultaneously expanding their multi-screen deployments. Unlike traditional linear MPEG-2 services, TV Everywhere relies on the H.264 codec coupled with adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming. Unsurprisingly, these new technologies pose quality concerns.

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Memory Lane: Highway star

December 3, 2013 7:07 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Articles | Comments

There are grand and vocal disagreements flying about today as governments and private parties square off over the supposed usefulness of next-generation networks capable of hurtling digital data to everyday consumers at speeds of 1 gigabit per second or faster. Skeptics argue investing in super-fast networks is folly.

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