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Broadband Direct

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

AT&T reduces fees for people who bring own devices

December 6, 2013 12:25 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

AT&T is joining T-Mobile in reducing monthly fees for people who pay for their own devices. It's the latest break from a longstanding practice of offering subsidies on devices to lock customers into two-year service agreements. 

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Apple guides shoppers inside stores with iBeacon

December 6, 2013 12:22 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

GPS will tell you how to get to the nearest Apple store. With iBeacon, Apple hopes to guide you around once you're inside. On Friday, Apple Inc. will begin using the technology at its 254 U.S. stores to send you messages tailored to where you are inside, provided you have downloaded the Apple Store app and have given Apple permission to track you.

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Michigan senate votes to ease ability to drop land lines

December 6, 2013 12:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Phone companies would have an easier time discontinuing traditional land lines in Michigan under legislation approved Thursday that supporters say recognizes technological change but critics contend could leave customers with less reliable service.

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AT&T adds device that detects falls, calls emergency services

December 5, 2013 1:30 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The new mobile personal emergency response system (mPERS) uses AT&T’s wireless network for communications and location information. The device can automatically detect a fall and connect to a call center for two-way voice communication for immediate response and support.

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Jinni uses TMS metadata for recommendations

December 5, 2013 1:09 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Jinni attempts to go beyond the most basic categories (genre, actors, directors) to include what it calls “taste and mood” attributes such as mood, style, plot and setting. The company said it evaluates literally thousands of factors, which means Jinni’s recommendation engine has to rely on metadata that can very finely slice-and-dice the attributes of any video. 

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TWC hires former Insight exec as new COO

December 5, 2013 12:56 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Despite swimming in a shark tank of potential suitors, Time Warner Cable announced this morning that former Insight Communications executive Dinni Jain would be joining the company on Jan. 13. Jain, who was chief operating officer and president of Insight prior to Time Warner Cable’s purchase of the company last year, will join Time Warner Cable as chief operating officer (COO.)

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Comcast Business names Merritt director of Mountain Region

December 5, 2013 12:51 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast Business has hired Paul Merritt as the director for the company’s Mountain Region. In his new job, Merritt will be responsible for leading Comcast’s growth in the region as well as its expanding portfolio of business solutions and services, including Ethernet-based offerings.

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Comcast Wholesale tabs Porch as VP & GM of AdDelivery

December 5, 2013 12:48 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Todd Porch, who has overseen digital advertising efforts at Yahoo, Nexstar and Broadcast.com, has been named vice president and general manager of Comcast Wholesale’s AdDelivery service. Prior to his appointment to the Comcast Wholesale senior leadership team, Porch spent four years as executive director of the 250-member advertising operations and account management unit at Yahoo.

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Blue Ridge hooks up with Comporium for home management service

December 5, 2013 12:45 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Blue Ridge Communications has joined the Comporium Security, Monitoring and Automation (SMA) Dealer Program to deliver a home management service to its subscribers. Comporium’s service combines a security alarm system, communications gateway and home automation platform into one device.

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Cable-Tec Expo 2013 Round-Up: What’s Up, DOCSIS?

December 4, 2013 8:20 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor in Chief, and Mike Robuck, Senior Editor | Articles | Comments

Members of the gang that helped create CCAP and DOCSIS 3.1 have already moved on to the next thing. Ready for digital forward links, remote PHY, and the next next-generation architecture network (N2GAN)? Also, updates on the Reference Developer Kit and the Converged Cable Access Platform, and more.

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Women in Technology winner 2013: Stephanie Mitchko-Beale

December 4, 2013 7:49 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

Stephanie Mitchko-Beale, senior vice president of video infrastructure software at Cablevision Systems, has led engineering teams that helped establish Cablevision’s high-speed data product, built support systems for video on demand, and worked on the company’s ground-breaking network DVR (nDVR) services, helping Cablevision win several technical Emmy's along the way.

What’s next for DOCSIS: Modulation options and impacts in HFC networks: COFDM and low-density parity check, Part 2

December 4, 2013 7:16 pm | by Brady Volpe and Conrad L. Young | Articles | Comments

Many wonder how today’s HFC networks will support high order modulations such as 4096-QAM. There are two technologies in the DOCSIS 3.1 specification that will enable this. One is Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (COFDM) and the other low-density parity-check (LDPC) forward error correction. LDPC is the “C” (coded) part in COFDM. 

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Overhaul of '96 Communications Act gains momentum

December 4, 2013 1:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The prospects for updating the 1996 Communications Act seem to have improved with the endorsement of the idea of two key Congressman. Representatives Fred Upton and Greg Walden said that the update is desperately needed during a Google chat that was also attended by FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell. 

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Harris snaps up Imagine; aims for MSO market

December 4, 2013 12:59 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Imagine Communications acquisition strengthens Harris Broadcast’s end-to-end solutions portfolio, particularly enhancing its OTT, mobile video and multi-screen TV Everywhere capabilities, while furthering interoperability of technology and systems from both the linear and non-linear TV viewing worlds, Harris said.

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Comcast testing full ad loads for on-demand shows 


December 4, 2013 12:46 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Pay TV customers who are used to watching fewer ads on on-demand shows may have to put up with longer commercial breaks. Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable TV provider, says it is testing out a system with its NBCUniversal subsidiary to use full commercial loads on older episodes — while disabling fast-forwarding of ads — if consumers watch them within three days after a new episode airs.

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