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Broadband Direct

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

Ensequence plans interactive ad service across customer base

September 18, 2013 1:06 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Ensequence said it is launching a new national platform for interactive TV advertising that will debut in the first quarter of 2014. With the new platform,  the company is moving to a service model for the first time, attempting to connect advertisers with its customers, which include cable operators, satellite providers, telco distributors and Smart TV manufacturers.

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Bright House Networks serves up hosted voice to syrup company

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

Bright House Networks Business Solutions has cut a deal to provide Monin Gourmet Flavorings, which makes premium syrups and flavoring products, with its hosted voice service. The voice service is being used by three of Monin’s corporate offices in Clearwater and Largo, Fla., and Grapevine, Texas. 

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BlackArrow forms advisory board

September 18, 2013 12:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

BlackArrow has assembled a roster of industry experts for its new advisory board. The board’s goals include helping the TV and advertising industries gain a better understanding of the benefits, challenges and opportunities of new advertising technologies.

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Arduous trek to living room for glasses-free 3D may be getting smoother

September 17, 2013 8:13 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

For years, 3D’s arduous trek from the friendly confines of theaters to the traditional environs of mainstream living rooms has been stalled by unfilled promises of advancing technologies, by exorbitant costs, and by lack of content. But mostly it’s been about the clunky glasses required to experience 3D.

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Is HEVC ready for prime time?

September 17, 2013 8:03 pm | by Sophie Percheron, Product marketing manager for live distribution, Ateme | Articles | Comments

Ten years after the transition from MPEG-2 to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, history is about to repeat itself with the arrival of HEVC, also known as H.265, the successor of H.264/MPEG AVC. The standard was approved in January, and just a few months later a live end-toend HEVC content delivery chain was demonstrated for the French Tennis Open event in early June 2013, providing tangible proof that HEVC is on a path toward commercial deployment.

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RDK is moving at lightning speed

September 17, 2013 7:53 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

One year after the Comcast Reference Design Kit (RDK) made its public debut at The Cable Show, the platform has more than lived up to its “service velocity” goal. In short, the RDK went from being a PowerPoint presentation at last year’s Cable Show, to a viable platform that is cutting down on development cycle for not only set-top boxes and gateways, but also applications.

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DIY gives way to outsourcing in Multi-screen

September 17, 2013 7:19 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

For service providers, the challenges of multi-screen are no less daunting for being well known. It is a marvelously complex process to deliver video to an ever-expanding universe of devices running multiple major operating systems all with different screen sizes and supporting unique combinations of streaming formats and digital rights management (DRM) schemes.

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Engineering-wise: Creating the cable generalist

September 17, 2013 7:09 pm | by Steve Harris, Senior Director, Advanced Network Technologies, SCTE | Articles | Comments

As the industry is dismantling its video, voice and data silos, it is creating new opportunities for cable professionals to increase their value to their employers, their industry and themselves. By mastering the entire landscape of the network, service offerings and customers, the next-generation professional is able to drive deployment of high-quality, highly reliable services that are helping cable maintain its competitive edge.

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Second-screen specialist AfterBuzz signs with Akamai

September 17, 2013 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

AfterBuzz TV has contracted with Akamai Technologies to distribute its schedule of aftershows, a series of webcasts and podcasts of commentary that immediately follow the broadcast of television shows and televised events. Akamai is delivering the aftershows to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as to personal computers.

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TWC kicks off high school football coverage in 11 states

September 17, 2013 12:44 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable is serving up its largest helping of high school football coverage this season across 11 states in its footprint. By the end of the year, TWC SportsChannels will have televised more than 300 games, featuring some 500 high schools in states such as New York, California, Texas, Ohio and the Carolinas.

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IBC: BSkyB upgrades HD testing platform with S3 Group

September 17, 2013 12:41 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

BSkyB has expanded and upgraded its digital TV testing platform by using a product from S3 Group. BSkyB is now using S3 Group’s StormTest Product Development Center to include HD image handling on its Sky+HD platform. Sky has deployed the product to streamline quality assurance processes by validating each generation of digital receiver and associated software releases.

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IBC: RGB Networks tunes in Dolby for TVE

September 17, 2013 12:31 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RGB Networks has added Dolby Laboratories’ Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus codecs into its TransAct Packager to improve audio on TV Everywhere services. With the partnership, video service providers (VSPs) using adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming will be able to offer improved sound across tablets, smartphones, PCs, connected TVs and other IP-enabled devices.

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Ciciora’s Corner: Oshkosh

September 16, 2013 8:35 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Articles | Comments

As I write this, I have just returned from Oshkosh, Wisconsin and the big air industry show called AirVenture. Two things impressed me about this experience that have relevance to the cable industry: the age of the population and what that industry is doing about insuring a future for itself.

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Memory Lane: Power play

September 16, 2013 8:29 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Articles | Comments

In Chicago, the great fire of 1871 wiped out much of the business district, and the capitalists came running. The fire’s fury had produced an attractive, greenfield opportunity for building infrastructure in what was the world’s fastest growing city. Nearly two dozen electricity entrepreneurs competed to carve out operations in small delivery sectors.

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Upfront: OTT takes a nip out of video subscriber numbers

September 16, 2013 8:26 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

Over the top services (OTT) are affecting the pay TV business. Maybe only a little, but measurably. In the second quarter AT&T and Verizon added video customers (233,000 and 140,000 respectively), but their gains do not even come close to offsetting the subscriber losses experienced by most of the top cable operators and both satellite providers.

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