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Broadband Direct

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

AT&T’s new app sends notes to TV screens

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

Probably the best way to get a teenager’s attention is via a TV screen. AT&T’s newest app, TV Notes, does just that by allowing users to post pop-up messages onto subscribers’ TV screens. TV Notes can be used by AT&T video customers that also subscribe to the company’s data service.

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Comcast's Burke: NBC/U will be seeking higher retrans fees

September 12, 2013 12:32 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

If the U.S. cable industry was looking for the largest MSO to help push for reform of retransmission consent, it can forget it. Comcast’s programming arm is far behind its direct competitors when it comes to collecting retrans fees, but it is about to get aggressive on that front.

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Ensuring the content readiness of file-based content

September 11, 2013 9:16 pm | by Richard Duvall, Senior Video Marketing Manager, Tektronix | Articles | Comments

File-based workflows are supplanting earlier, less integrated digital workflow architectures in cable plants everywhere. File-based environments streamline content production and delivery, a crucial benefit given proliferating end-user platforms and the diverse formats that support them.

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Power Up! Cable's plans managing a key resource

September 11, 2013 8:33 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

Power is important. Can’t run a network business without it, right? Which would make power no different from, say, optical fiber, or QAMs, or provisioning systems. The difference is that in the last 18 months, power has started evolving into a topline criterion for MSOs. 

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Operations Go High Tech

September 11, 2013 8:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

While the cable industry has worked overtime to overcome the perception of poor customer service when it comes installs the stereotype still persists. With an increasingly competitive landscape, cable operators know they have to do a better job of keeping their subscribers happy while also improving their fulfillment operations to cut down on truck rolls.

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Why MSOs need HotSpot 2.0

September 11, 2013 7:58 pm | by Gopi Mohan, Assistant Vice President, Technology, Aricent Group | Articles | Comments

HotSpot 2.0, which was recently re-named Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint by the Wi-Fi Alliance, has the potential to make a big impact on the mobile connectivity landscape. The new approach to public Wi-Fi access is aimed at greatly improving the Wi-Fi user experience. Part of the movement is a certification process for existing hotspots and technology.

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Engineering-Wise: Boosting the last mile access speed

September 11, 2013 7:50 pm | by Daniel Howard, SVP of engineering & CTO of the SCTE | Articles | Comments

The broadband industry is now defining many of the last mile physical layer (PHY) technologies that will take us into the next decade such as DOCSIS 3.1, EPoC, EPON, RFoG, and now Remote PHY. But which combination is best for a given cable operator to use for a given location and competitive landscape? That’s a question we’ll be striving to answer at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo this year.

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Upfront: Venture capital war chest opens up

September 11, 2013 7:05 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

The spigot on the venture capital pipe seems to be opening a little wider of late, with companies specializing in various technologies important to the communications industry picking up multi-million dollar infusions, including two companies that bagged $50 million or more each.

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In Perspective: Marriage counseling

September 11, 2013 7:02 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

Rep. Greg Walden is trying to revive legislation to reform the FCC that he’s failed to get passed before and is a good bet to fail again. He describes it as a bill that would make the FCC more transparent, though what it will mostly do is make the FCC even less effective than it is now.

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Open Mic: Pay-TV operators and audience data

September 11, 2013 6:59 pm | by Chris Hock, senior vice president, product management and marketing- BlackArrow | Articles | Comments

Now that TV can go over any screen and can be watched at any time, the problem of controlling reach and frequency is exponentially more complex. To reach people who are watching TV time-shifted or on devices, advertisers need not only to buy traditional linear TV, but also to buy campaigns on all the other new TV platforms as well — a cost prohibitive proposition.

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Memory Lane: Let’s be friends. Again.

September 11, 2013 6:47 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Articles | Comments

The 1980s were sweet times for cable programmers. Flush with cash from a dual-revenue stream economic model that was the envy of the TV business, they were rising in power and eager to grow. Cable companies recognized how essential these programming providers were to the growth of their industry, particularly as cable began to push into major metropolitan markets.

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Capital Currents: 5 GHz Unlicensed Devices

September 11, 2013 6:40 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

 The FCC regulates the 5725-5850 MHz “WiFi” band under Section 15.247 of the FCC Rules. But much of the current interest deals with the bands known as U-NII. An important part of the FCC proceeding deals with two bands in the 5 GHz range that are not currently allocated for either WiFi or U-NII use. The big dispute is over interference.

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Dutch KPN operation switches to cloud UI

September 11, 2013 12:52 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Glashart Media is using CloudTV H5 from ActiveVideo to deliver cloud UIs and other rich interactive services – including an EPG, on-demand video, Cloud DVR, and other applications. These capabilities are now live in approximately 140,000 homes, all equipped with thin clients.

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STMicroelectronics chip gets DOCSIS 3.0 certification

September 11, 2013 12:37 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The first of STMicroelectronics’ DOCSIS 3.0 silicon products supports the bonding of up to 16 downstream and 4 upstream channels, enabling data speeds of up to 800 Mbps downstream and 108 Mbps upstream. Another supports the bonding of 12 channels.

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AT&T closes $1.9B deal for Verizon spectrum

September 11, 2013 12:27 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T gets 39 lower 700 MHz B Block licenses reportedly covering 42 million people in 18 states—California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

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