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Broadband Direct

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

Founder of Dolby Laboratories dies

September 13, 2013 12:07 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Ray Dolby, an American inventor and audio pioneer who founded Dolby Laboratories, has died at the age of 80. The company said Thursday that Dolby died in his home at San Francisco. He had been living with Alzheimer's disease for several years and was diagnosed with acute leukemia this summer.

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Cisco touts new chip for mystery networking gear

September 12, 2013 2:01 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Cisco today unveiled a single-chip, reprogrammable network processor it believes will be especially useful in network equipment that handles M2M traffic that is expected to grow exponentially in coming years. The company believes the nPower X1 is the first single-die chip to handle traffic at 400 Gbps.

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Broadcom adds chips for UltraHD set-tops

September 12, 2013 1:29 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Broadcom announced chipsets for set-top boxes and gateways that will be able to support UltraHD video. The new silicon – for satellite, cable and IP – integrate support for the advanced high-efficiency video codec (HEVC) standard H.265.

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RDK Management names president/GM, lays support foundation

September 12, 2013 12:57 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Following on the heels of its formation last month, RDK Management has named Comcast executive Steve Heeb as its president and general manager, along with picking S3 Group and itaas to provide support services to the organization and its licensees. Heeb, who is already manning the RDK Management helm, brings 20 years of industry experience to the organization. 

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Lightpath’s fiber reaches 6,000 locations

September 12, 2013 12:46 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Lightpath, a business services division of Cablevision, announced this morning that it has connected more than 6,000 locations with its fiber-optics network in the New York metropolitan area that it serves. Lightpath said the network, which provides Ethernet-based services to medium and enterprise-sized businesses, has more than doubled in size over the past six years and now spans 5,442 fiber-route miles.

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IBC: SeaChange blends software into Netgear’s headless gateway

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

SeaChange International’s Nucleus software is doing the heavy lifting in Netgear’s new headless media gateway. Netgear is showing its HMG7000 gateway, which will be ready for operator trials the first half of next year, in its booth at the IBC2013 show in Amsterdam.

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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.

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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