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Broadband Direct

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

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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HP confirms higher layoffs expected

January 2, 2014 12:20 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Personal computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. has confirmed that it expects layoffs at the upper end of a range that it outlined earlier this year, with 5,000 more workers than originally planned expected to lose jobs by October 2014. The company said in a securities filing Monday that "continued market and business pressures" were behind the move. 

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BlackBerry Cancels Two Devices, Ends BlackBerry Live

December 24, 2013 1:23 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

BlackBerry refers to the infamous “Z10 Inventory Charge” that cost the company about $1 billion in its second quarter, as a primary motive for the move. BlackBerry attributes poor sell-through for BB10 devices to a maturing smartphone market, “intense” competition and delays in functionality for its BES 10 platform.

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Beans & Cornbread, and optical LAN

December 24, 2013 1:18 pm | by Editor | Blogs | Comments

Optical local area networking has some clear advantages. It is roughly comparable in price, and can last for 50 years or more. Fiber requires vastly less infrastructure to support, and significantly less maintenance. It is far more difficult to tap, and is impervious to EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) disruption.

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Viacom and Time Warner renew agreements

December 24, 2013 12:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable continued to take care of business, signing a carriage agreement with Viacom, a day after signing a retransmission consent deal with the Tribune Company. Viacom is the owner of channels including Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.

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Eagle Communications expands into Colo., Neb.

December 24, 2013 11:55 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

While Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable have been monopolizing everyone's attention, a small cable operator in northwest Kansas pulled off the purchase of several cable television systems in Colorado and Nebraska. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Cox fires up Wi-Fi peering with Bright House

December 23, 2013 2:01 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Cox Communications has concluded its integration with the other members of CableWiFi by wrapping up a peering arrangement with Bright House Networks. With the integration of Cox and Bright House Networks hotspots, Cox customers may now access free WiFi in Orlando, Tampa, Daytona, Northern Virginia, Connecticut and Indiana.

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Time Warner, Tribune sign retrans agreement

December 23, 2013 1:46 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Tribune Company and Time Warner Cable announced a new multi-year retransmission consent agreement for the Tribune broadcast television stations in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Diego and Indianapolis, as well as the company’s expanded station portfolio.

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Tribune to buy Gracenote for $170M

December 23, 2013 1:01 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Gracenote is by far best known for its music metadata, used by a number of streaming music services. The Gracenote database gets 550 million look-ups each day and more than 16 billion every month, the company claimed. Beyond that, Gracenote also has an extensive video metadata database as well.

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FCC approves 2 TV station group mergers

December 23, 2013 12:43 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The mergers had been opposed by many in the cable industry, who fear that ongoing consolidation will only exacerbate the problem of broadcasters building their market power in an effort to extract ever-higher retransmission consent fees.

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