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Broadband Direct

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

Google to pay $17M to settle Safari privacy case

November 19, 2013 12:16 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Google is paying $17 million to 37 states and the District of Columbia to make amends for the Internet search leader's snooping on millions of people using Safari Web browsers in 2011 and 2012. The settlement announced Monday stems from a technological loophole that enabled Google's DoubleClick advertising network to shadow unwitting Safari users.

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SCTE mourns loss of Cathy Oakes, SVP operations

November 18, 2013 3:20 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

During her seven years with SCTE, Oakes had responsibility for a wide range of activities, including Membership, National Conferences, Human Resources, Administration and others.  She took a leading role in the creation of numerous programs, including: the SCTE Corporate Alliance Program.

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Amdocs forum illuminates new era of service modernization

November 18, 2013 3:03 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | News | Comments

Inventive ways to custom-manage bandwidth caps, payment plans and fine-grained customer messaging are built into new software designed to bring telecommunications providers into a new realm of service provision that’s designed for personalization and backed by Big Data analytics.

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TWC, BHN extend retrans deal with Discovery

November 18, 2013 12:44 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In an effort to stave off any potential disruptions to their customers, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks reached an early renewal of their retransmission agreement with Discovery Communications. Last month, Time Warner Cable conceded that its retransmission scrap with CBS, which included blackouts of video content in New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas, cost it video subscribers.

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Cisco, Comcast chip in on funding round for Compass-EOS

November 18, 2013 12:41 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast Ventures and Cisco were among the existing investors that pitched in on a $42 million round of new funding for photonics routing vendor Compass-EOS. Other existing investors that took part in financing included Pitango Venture Capital, Benchmark Capital, Northbridge Venture Partners and Marker LLC with a U.S.-based private equity fund and Rusano also joining the round as new investors.

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Reynolds leaves Comcast for Harris Broadcast; Hess takes on some duties

November 18, 2013 12:38 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Steve Reynolds has left his job at Comcast to join Denver-based Harris Broadcast. Reynolds, who played a key role in the development of Comcast’s Reference Design Kit (RDK), was hired as Harris Broadcast’s chief technology officer. 

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Vonage closes on $130M acquisition of Vocalocity

November 18, 2013 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Vonage has closed on its $130 million acquisition of fellow cloud-based communications company Vocalocity Inc. The deal, announced last month, includes $105 million in cash and $25 million in Vonage stock. It increases Vonage's presence in the small- and medium-sized business market.

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Roku teams with AOL to create news channel

November 15, 2013 12:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

“News is among the fastest growing categories on the Roku platform and this partnership with AOL makes it even easier for customers to find and start watching a variety of news videos,” said Steve Shannon, general manager of content and services, Roku. “This is the first integrated news service on a TV streaming platform and we expect for it to be a big hit.”

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Market for game consoles and gateways is blurring

November 15, 2013 12:32 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Xbox One and PS4 are both about to debut. At one time, they were expected to become alternatives to set-top boxes, but now? Along came Google's Chromecast, the Roku player, Apple TV and, of course, a slew of tablets. There are many ways to stream movies, TV and music into the home now. In that sense, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are no longer in a traditional, head-to-head battle.

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Comcast to sell films, shows via set-top box

November 15, 2013 12:04 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Comcast Corp. plans to start selling movies and TV shows from its set-top box before the end of the year, according to a person familiar with the matter. The nation's largest cable TV provider already rents movies and TV shows, but by selling content through set-top boxes, it will expand a market that remains a small fraction of home entertainment spending in the U.S.

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Report: Worldwide pay TV subs tops 886.5 million

November 15, 2013 12:00 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Despite basic video subscriber losses in the United States, the worldwide pay TV subscriber base topped 886.5 million in the recent third quarter, which was a 6 percent increase year-over-year. According to a report by ABI Research, pay TV service revenues in the United States generated $62.6 billion in the third quarter.

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FCC OKs Adaptrum + Google white space combo

November 14, 2013 2:12 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Adaptrum said this is the first pairing with Google TV the FCC has certified. A white space broadcaster can employ systems that work in one of two ways. The system can either analyze broadcast signals and select an unoccupied band, or it can check against a database of existing local broadcast signals and select an unused frequency. Adaptrum's ACRS 1.0 does the latter.

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Charter renames service "Charter Spectrum"

November 14, 2013 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Charter promised to rebrand its service as it goes all-digital, and the new identity it has chosen actually includes its name. The new all-digital service provides more channels in HD, and is also more expensive. The company said it has shifted more than 60 percent of subscribers to all-digital, but the transition to digital also seems to have had an effect on subscriber numbers.

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Time Warner Cable cues up music deal with Slacker

November 14, 2013 12:02 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable is serving up free digital music for more than 11 million subcribers via a deal with Slacker. Time Warner Cable data customers will be able to access the various music genres that Slacker provides on its TWC Central web portal.

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Cisco's 1Q revenue falls below estimates

November 14, 2013 11:54 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Tech bellwether Cisco Systems Inc. posted lower-than-expected revenue for its fiscal first quarter on Wednesday and warned that its revenue for the current period could fall as much as 10 percent from a year ago. Cisco's shares tumbled 11 percent in extended trading after the company gave its guidance

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