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Broadband Direct

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

Your next TV: Will it be Ultra HD?

January 8, 2014 12:54 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

After attempts to hawk 3-D and OLED TVs fizzled in recent years, television manufacturers are taking small steps toward making a new technology, Ultra HD, more viable for mainstream consumers. It's the first TV format to be driven by the Internet video-streaming phenomenon, and at the International CES gadget show this week, major streaming players Netflix and Amazon said they'll offer movies and TV shows in the format.

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Entropic bursts out with set-top, networking products

January 7, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

The company flooded CES with a spate of new products, including a series of chips for satellite set-top boxes; an Android-based IP STB with partner TVStorm; and another IP “set-top” in the form of an HDMI stick, developed with Novabase. Entropic also announced a MoCA 2.0 USB bus-powered adapter reference design.

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Charter to increase data speeds

January 7, 2014 12:54 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

With its all digital conversion project slated to be finished in all of its systems this year, Charter Communications announced it was boosting some of the data speeds for its business and residential subscribers. For residential subscribers, Charter said it would double its flagship tier speeds from 30 Mbps to 60 Mbps at no additional cost. 

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Fandango to sell movie tickets on Samsung TVs

January 7, 2014 12:50 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast-owned Fandango will launch a new service in the first quarter of this year that will allow viewers to watch movie trailers and then purchase tickets on Samsung TVs. Fandango’s service is built into Samsung’s Smart Hub, which is a video recommendation and discovery service offered on Samsung Smart TVs.

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The horror: Fearnet signs on with Buckeye CableSystem

January 7, 2014 12:47 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Thriller and horror network Fearnet has inked a multi-year distribution agreement with Buckeye CableSystem. Starting yesterday, Fearnet became available to Buckeye’s subscribers on its digital basic package in both SD and HD. Buckeye also locked up TV Everywhere rights from Fearnet.

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Samsung teams up with Comcast for ultra-HD movies

January 7, 2014 12:43 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that it is tackling the problem of getting ultra-high-definition content to its new TV sets by teaming up with the Internet streaming services of Comcast, Netflix and Amazon. Under its partnership with Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, Samsung TVs would get UHD content through an app running on the Internet-connected TV, bypassing Comcast's set-top boxes.

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CES: New Dish Hopper set-up can record 8 shows at once

January 7, 2014 12:38 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Dish Network Corp. has unveiled a new digital recorder system that can record eight TV shows at once and can be controlled by voice. In a stunt worthy of the annual gadget show, International CES, Dish executive Vivek Khemka also showed off how its Hopper digital video recorder can be set to record shows using Google's high-tech eyewear, Google Glass.

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MoCA certification program initiated

January 6, 2014 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Upon passage of certification, companies receive a certificate documenting and officially acknowledging that the capabilities and features of the submitted product have passed the required interoperability testing authorized by the Alliance, the organization said.

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NetGear targets service provider market with camera, video dongle

January 6, 2014 1:18 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

NetGear is launching a line of HD cameras designed for some of the peculiar requirements of service providers who have home automation offerings. Simultaneously, the company is introducing an Android-based HDMI dongle that service providers can use in lieu of a set-top box.

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Time Warner Cable closes $600 million fiber deal

January 6, 2014 12:45 pm | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable announced this morning that it had wrapped up its $600 million acquisition of DukeNet Communications, which brought more than 8,700 route miles of fiber optics into the fold in North Carolina and South Carolina. The deal, which was first announced in October, will aid Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC) in providing voice, data and cloud-based hosting services to businesses in key markets.

ActiveVideo looks to scale interactive ads in cloud

January 6, 2014 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Using HTML5, ActiveVideo has updated its CloudTV software platform to provide cable operators and online video providers the ability to deliver web-style interactive TV ads at scale and with increased simplicity. The key to ActiveVideo’s CloudTV Adcast platform is that it can render the ads in the cloud across legacy set-top boxes as well as in a wide range of IP devices.

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Roku TV will stream video without set-top box

January 6, 2014 12:27 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Roku Inc. is launching a line of TVs that play video from services like Netflix without requiring a set-top box. While similar to smart TVs on the market, Roku's Internet streaming platform has some 1,200 apps and offers a more comprehensive selection of niche content. 

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T-Mobile to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon

January 6, 2014 12:22 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

T-Mobile said Monday that it's reached deals to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless for $2.37 billion in cash, allowing it to improve certain kinds of cellular service in markets across the U.S. The agreements also include the transfer of other kinds of spectrum licenses from T-Mobile to Verizon Wireless that the companies value at about $950 million.

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Google highlights HEVC rival with YouTube 4K demo

January 3, 2014 1:22 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Google’s VP9 codec is an alternative to H.265 (aka HEVC). Both promise to drop compression rates by about half. Google has tried to establish its own codecs as standard issue before, most recently with its VP8 codec. VP8 gained little traction outside of Google. Neither has VP9, until recently.

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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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