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Broadband Direct

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

The Continuing Evolution of Video Codecs

July 1, 2014 6:39 pm | by Stephen Wright, Software Architect, Openwave Mobility | Articles | Comments

The current dominant codec for Internet video is H.264, but there are influential companies dedicated to alternatives. With the advent of 4K (aka Ultra HD), new codecs will be useful. H.265 (aka HEVC) and VP9 could split the market, and another approach from Mozilla, called Daala, may prove to be a wild card.

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Hilda Donofrio, cable pioneer, passes away

July 1, 2014 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Hilda Viveiros Donofrio, chairwoman of Full Channel, died early Saturday at the age of 87. Donofrio and her husband John Donofrio, Jr., incorporated Full Channel in 1965.  Full Channel has remained the only independent broadband provider in Rhode Island.

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Roberts, a best-dressed billionaire, signs 1-year deal with Comcast

July 1, 2014 1:27 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts landed himself on Vanity Fair's list of best-dressed billionaires, cited for his use of color "inside a pretty limited set of sartorial lines." Separately, Comcast has agreed to extend Roberts' employment contract by another year.

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EU cuts mobile data roaming fees by 55 percent

July 1, 2014 12:23 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union says the surcharges for surfing the Internet on mobile devices while traveling across the 28-nation bloc will be more than halved. The European Commission says the new cap on the so-called roaming fees will be effective starting Tuesday, just in time for the summer holiday travel season.

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Aereo CEO ask customers to appeal to lawmakers

July 1, 2014 12:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After the Supreme Court ruled against its over-the-air video service last week, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia is trying to kicks start a grass roots effort by asking the company’s subscribers to contact their lawmakers. Broadcasters had sued Aereo over its service that relied on cloud DVR and antennas to capture over-the-air video signals and deliver them to its customers. 

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CommScope scores two UK-based wireless businesses

July 1, 2014 12:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CommScope increased its already large portfolio of telecommunications products and services by completing a deal with United Kingdom-based Alifabs Group. Without disclosing any of the financial details other than it paid cash, CommScope bought the Alifabs cabinets and ancillaries unit in Yorkshire, England and the Alifabs design and construction business in Guildford, England. 

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VeEX nabs Agizer, Optixsoft

July 1, 2014 12:05 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Test and measurement vendor VeEX announced this morning that it had completed a deal to buy Optixsoft and Agizer, which are respectively based in Belarus and Lithuania. Optixsoft is a software company that focuses on system and mobile software for OTDR analysis and cloud-based solutions for the management of fiber optic testing activities. Agizer is a developer and manufacturer of fiber optic test and measurement solutions.

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San Fran, San Jose, connect public Wi-Fi networks

June 30, 2014 1:52 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The two cities are working with Ruckus Wireless and Global Reach Technology to create a service based on HotSpot 2.0, which will visitors and residents to automatically and securely connect to and roam – seamlessly when moving from adjacent public access points.

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Lightpath adds managed videoconferencing service

June 30, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The cloud-based service provides virtual meeting rooms and managed video services that enable mid-market and large businesses to conference and connect with up to 25 attendees worldwide from nearly any device. Lightpath will design and install videoconferencing systems for their customers.

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Charter teams with Recruit Military to hire more veterans

June 30, 2014 12:18 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications has broadened its outreach to the nation’s military veterans through a new partnership with Recruit Military. Recruit Military is a full-service military-to-civilian recruiting firm for all branches and ranks of the armed forces. Its services are provided for free to veterans.

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SCTE hires Stoneback as senior director of engineering

June 30, 2014 12:12 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) announced this morning that it had hired cable industry veteran Dean Stoneback as senior director of engineering. Before joining the SCTE, Stoneback served as senior technical marketing manager at Arris, and as senior manager, systems engineering, at Motorola prior to its acquisition by Arris.

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Alticast hires former TWC engineer Helms

June 30, 2014 12:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Multi-screen vendor Alticast announced today that it had hired former Time Warner Cable engineer Bill Helms as the company’s chief architect and senior vice president of technology. In his new job, Helms reports to Alticast chief technical officer John Carlucci, whose cable career also included a stop at Time Warner Cable.

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Aereo suspends service after Supreme Court ruling

June 30, 2014 11:55 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Online-streaming service Aereo Inc. is temporarily closing down its operation, three days after it was dealt an unfavorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. "We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps," Aereo's Chief Executive Officer Chet Kanojia wrote in a letter to customers posted on its website Saturday.

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High court rejects Google appeal in snooping case

June 30, 2014 11:50 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Supreme Court has declined to hear Google's appeal of a ruling that it pried into people's online lives through their Wi-Fi systems as part of its drive to collect information for its Street View mapping project. The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place a ruling that Google employees violated the federal wiretap law when they rolled through residential streets with car cameras to shoot photos for Street View.

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Nuvvyo intros 4-tuner Tablo model

June 27, 2014 1:55 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Nuvyyo is making available the 4-tuner version of its Tablo, a retail box that consumers install and hook up with an antenna and a storage device to be able to receive and record over-the-air HDTV. The newest Tablo DVR provides four TV tuners for to simultaneously receive and/or record that many live TV streams.

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