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Broadband Direct

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

Migrating to IP in the cable TV Environment: benefits, challenges, and resolutions

October 16, 2013 1:53 am | by Yaron Raz, director, Digital Video Solutions, Harmonic | Articles | Comments

The main challenge of switching to an IP-based infrastructure is that it doesn’t happen overnight. To make the transition, an operator needs to support two infrastructures for some period of time: a QAM infrastructure that uses MPEG-2 for video compression and a second silo for IP that relies on a mix of MPEG-4 and adaptive bit rate technology.

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What’s next for DOCSIS

October 16, 2013 1:43 am | by Brady Volpe and Conrad L. Young | Articles | Comments

The latest iteration of DOCSIS, DOCSIS 3.1, will come with significant changes in modulation options that will have important effects on installed and future hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) networks. Here we’ll be focusing on modulation basics and a discussion of how spectral efficiency (SE) relates to DOCSIS 3.1 performance goals.

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Using DOCSIS tools to locate HFC plant impairments

October 16, 2013 1:32 am | by Nick Segura, Director, Technical Operations, Charter Communications | Articles | Comments

There is an ongoing effort amongst cable operators to prevent new, and reduce existing, out-of-spec (OOS) modems. It’s a big deal! Technical performance goals are tied to these numbers and tech ops managers and supervisors require their technicians to not leave the customer premises until the modem meets minimum specifications.

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HTML5, RDK, and HbbTV: Revitalizing the TV user experience

October 16, 2013 1:23 am | by Kirk Edwardson, Director of Marketing, Espial | Articles | Comments

Today’s consumers demand a much more compelling and personalized video user experience than ever before, based on their daily interaction with tablets, smartphones, and an ever-growing number of other sophisticated connected devices. Yet, until recently, delivering this experience on the TV screen was no simple task.

New Products: Witbe, GreenPeak, Miranda, thePlatform, Optelian

October 16, 2013 1:14 am | by CED | Articles | Comments

Witbe recently launched version 2.0 of its OTT Robots, which were designed to provide Content Delivery Network (CDN) infrastructure monitoring for CDN operators and service providers that are offering multi-screen and over-the-top (OTT) video services.

In Perspective: Tea Network

October 16, 2013 1:04 am | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

The beginning of the commercial Internet was notable for an awful lot of stupid stuff, starting with young entrepreneurs who insisted that “Information wants to be free,” and who even more fatuously dismissed people who insisted that a business ought to turn a profit by accusing them of “just not getting it.”

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Memory Lane: Homage to protocol past

October 16, 2013 12:58 am | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Articles | Comments

Time division multiplexing is a core enabling technology that has long powered the modern telephone network. TDM techniques, tracing back to Baudot’s telegraph multiplex system of 1874, have powered modern telecommunications for a long, long time. But there are signs now that time may be running short for TDM.

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Open Mic: Customer experience drives future innovation

October 16, 2013 12:42 am | by Kevin Hart Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Cox Communications | Articles | Comments

In the last two years, we’ve spent a significant amount of time to break down traditional organization silos and to create an environment where a steady cadence of infrastructure and product enhancements and innovative, collaborate thinking are prevalent. 

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Engineering-wise: Unknown unknowns

October 15, 2013 11:37 pm | by Mark Dzuban, President and CEO, SCTE | Articles | Comments

As an industry that delivers important telecommunications services to our customers, we need to anticipate and be prepared to respond to the natural and manmade events that can jeopardize our ability to meet our customers’ needs. Even when we expect the unexpected, the effects on our networks can be extreme.

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Capital Currents: DASH—The Next Big Thing?

October 15, 2013 11:32 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

With video, you want a continuous stream of video, you don’t want stuttering. So the DASH solution is to break up the program into short segments, and send each segment at a data rate adequate to deliver a continuous, non-stuttering stream. If that means delivering some segments at less than high definition quality, so be it.

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Sony's $200 smartwatch works with Android phones

October 15, 2013 1:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sony's SmartWatch 2 hasn't gotten as much attention as Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Gear, but it's cheaper and compatible with a broader range of phones. The Gear costs $300 and currently works only with the company's Galaxy Note 3 phone.

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On edge: Harmonic forms new support team

October 15, 2013 12:52 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Harmonic has formed a new “cable edge” services group to support deployments of its dense edge QAM and converged cable access platform (CCAP) product lines. The company’s new Cable Edge Services group includes a team of technical support and field engineers dedicated to providing design, strategy, deployment, migration, and ongoing operations support for cable operators.

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AT&T, T-Mobile simplify mobile broadband plans

October 15, 2013 12:50 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T confirmed that it will only offer new customers its bucket-style Mobile Share plans, essentially doing away with its family plans. Meanwhile, T-Mobile is apparently also moving to streamline its offerings in the direction of its Simple Choice plans.

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CommScope helps power CableLabs’ headend, CMTS

October 15, 2013 12:47 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CableLabs is using hydrogen fuel cells from CommScope to provide backup power for its headend and cable modem termination system (CMTS) in its Louisville, Colo. headquarters. CommScope said its fuel cell could provide up to 16 hours of reliable, environmentally friendly backup power. 

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Imagine upgrades video processor, transcoder

October 15, 2013 12:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The ICE Broadcast Systemwas formerly capable of HD 3:1; it is now capable of HD 4:1. The Next transcoder upgrade enhances the transcoding, packaging and streaming capability with an integrated origin server and storage interoperability for Catch-Up TV and network PVR.

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