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Broadband Direct

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

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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Shaw president postpones retirement

December 4, 2013 12:43 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Faced with increased competition from the likes of Netflix and Telus, as well as a mandated move to unbundling, Shaw Communications president Peter Bissonette has postponed his retirement. Bissonette will stay onboard until 2015 and has also assumed responsibility for Shaw’s regulatory and government affairs activities.

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CSG picks up some Volubill assets

December 4, 2013 12:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Billing vendor CSG International announced this morning that it had purchased some of the assets of Volubill. According to media reports, Volubill was put into compulsory liquidation and receivership on Oct. 29 in France. Financial terms weren’t available.

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NetCracker scores deal with Israeli satellite provider

December 4, 2013 12:32 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

NetCracker Technology said that an Israeli direct broadcast satellite provider, called “yes,” has implemented its billing, rating, and CRM products. Yes teamed up with NetCracker to enhance its content delivery offerings and customer experience through a large-scale, multi-year project.

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Solving the Friday night deluge

December 3, 2013 8:20 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

The reactions to Netflix have varied throughout the cable industry. Some are irritated by a competitor highjacking their broadband pipes for free. Others see Netflix augmenting the value of their broadband product or as a complement or add-on to their own video services. Both can be true.

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Home Networking: Cloud DVR has got next

December 3, 2013 7:51 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

Aside from the demand for video more content “anytime, anywhere, on any device,” broadband penetration and the migration to IP are also terraforming the home networking landscape. One area that is emerging is cloud DVR, which allows subscribers to store content from their DVRs in the cloud, or more accurately, in data centers.

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In Perspective: What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

December 3, 2013 7:21 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

In 2014, CED willcelebrate its 40th year covering...well, an expanding universe of things. Forty years ago, CED had a tidy little focus covering the infant cable TV business, but in the intervening decades, cable companies moved into telephony and Internet access and business services and wireless connectivity and home automation and more.

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Open Mic: Combining QoE and QoS for TVE services

December 3, 2013 7:19 pm | by Steve Liu, Vice President of Video Network Monitoring, Tektronix | Articles | Comments

TV Everywhere is an imperative for MSOs, but like all new services, it poses several challenges as operators strive to ensure quality while simultaneously expanding their multi-screen deployments. Unlike traditional linear MPEG-2 services, TV Everywhere relies on the H.264 codec coupled with adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming. Unsurprisingly, these new technologies pose quality concerns.

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Memory Lane: Highway star

December 3, 2013 7:07 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Articles | Comments

There are grand and vocal disagreements flying about today as governments and private parties square off over the supposed usefulness of next-generation networks capable of hurtling digital data to everyday consumers at speeds of 1 gigabit per second or faster. Skeptics argue investing in super-fast networks is folly.

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Ciciora’s Corner: Walt’s Laws on Ideas

December 3, 2013 7:00 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Articles | Comments

I once heard a boss referred to as “leaves”. He went beyond “not being able to see the forest for the trees.” He couldn’t even see the trees for the leaves! But as the boss, his ideas had to be explored and even implemented. Most failed, but that was expected. He was involved in the early days of the organization and, as such, gained a position from which no one was able to dislodge him.

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Engineering-wise: General principles

December 3, 2013 6:58 pm | by Mark Dzuban, President and CEO of the SCTE | Articles | Comments

Who better to turn to for advice on that than General Colin Powell? The Leadership Primer from the former Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff is “must” reading: not just for those in the position of building teams and driving change, but for the broader workforce as well.

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Capital Currents: White Spaces Update – the Next WiFi?

December 3, 2013 6:54 pm | by Jeffrey Kraussm, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

There has been a lot of regulatory activity since the FCC adopted its revised White Spaces rules in 2010, but not much marketplace activity. The FCC allows unlicensed low power transmitters to operate on “White Spaces”—TV band frequencies that are not being used by TV stations or other licensed transmitters.

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Concurrent announces "intelligent request router" for multi-screen

December 3, 2013 1:59 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Concurrent’s software-based request router uses network information, including the request location, the requested content, the current status of the content delivery network, and service provider defined settings to direct stream requests to the optimal edge serving node, the company said.

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FCC Chair alludes to spectrum aggregation limits for upcoming auctions

December 3, 2013 1:48 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Tom Wheeler said, “Spectrum is finite, and the FCC is charged with managing the airwaves that are used for commercial purposes. A key goal of our spectrum allocation efforts is ensuring that multiple carriers have access to airwaves needed to operate their networks.”

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