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Broadband Direct

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

Open Mic: Customer experience drives future innovation

October 16, 2013 12:42 am | by Kevin Hart Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Cox Communications | Articles | Comments

In the last two years, we’ve spent a significant amount of time to break down traditional organization silos and to create an environment where a steady cadence of infrastructure and product enhancements and innovative, collaborate thinking are prevalent. 

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Engineering-wise: Unknown unknowns

October 15, 2013 11:37 pm | by Mark Dzuban, President and CEO, SCTE | Articles | Comments

As an industry that delivers important telecommunications services to our customers, we need to anticipate and be prepared to respond to the natural and manmade events that can jeopardize our ability to meet our customers’ needs. Even when we expect the unexpected, the effects on our networks can be extreme.

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Capital Currents: DASH—The Next Big Thing?

October 15, 2013 11:32 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

With video, you want a continuous stream of video, you don’t want stuttering. So the DASH solution is to break up the program into short segments, and send each segment at a data rate adequate to deliver a continuous, non-stuttering stream. If that means delivering some segments at less than high definition quality, so be it.

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Sony's $200 smartwatch works with Android phones

October 15, 2013 1:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sony's SmartWatch 2 hasn't gotten as much attention as Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Gear, but it's cheaper and compatible with a broader range of phones. The Gear costs $300 and currently works only with the company's Galaxy Note 3 phone.

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On edge: Harmonic forms new support team

October 15, 2013 12:52 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Harmonic has formed a new “cable edge” services group to support deployments of its dense edge QAM and converged cable access platform (CCAP) product lines. The company’s new Cable Edge Services group includes a team of technical support and field engineers dedicated to providing design, strategy, deployment, migration, and ongoing operations support for cable operators.

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AT&T, T-Mobile simplify mobile broadband plans

October 15, 2013 12:50 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T confirmed that it will only offer new customers its bucket-style Mobile Share plans, essentially doing away with its family plans. Meanwhile, T-Mobile is apparently also moving to streamline its offerings in the direction of its Simple Choice plans.

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CommScope helps power CableLabs’ headend, CMTS

October 15, 2013 12:47 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CableLabs is using hydrogen fuel cells from CommScope to provide backup power for its headend and cable modem termination system (CMTS) in its Louisville, Colo. headquarters. CommScope said its fuel cell could provide up to 16 hours of reliable, environmentally friendly backup power. 

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Imagine upgrades video processor, transcoder

October 15, 2013 12:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The ICE Broadcast Systemwas formerly capable of HD 3:1; it is now capable of HD 4:1. The Next transcoder upgrade enhances the transcoding, packaging and streaming capability with an integrated origin server and storage interoperability for Catch-Up TV and network PVR.

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Comcast Ventures leads $20m investment in SundaySky

October 15, 2013 12:38 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

SundaySky, an Israel-based provider of personalized ads for online brands, announced this morning that it had raised $20 million in Series C funding. Comcast Ventures led the funding round for SundaySky while Liberty Global Ventures, Vintage Investment Partners and existing investors Carmel Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners and Norwest Venture Partners also took part.

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Netflix's shares soar on report of cable talks

October 15, 2013 12:34 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Netflix Inc. rose Monday in the wake of a newspaper report that the online TV and movie streaming company is in talks with several cable companies to make its service available to cable customers. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Netflix is in discussions with Comcast Corp., Suddenlink Communications and other cable providers to offer its streaming service on cable set-top boxes.

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Troubled telecoms: Alcatel-Lucent job cut protest

October 15, 2013 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Wearing black trash bags marked with crosses, more than a thousand Alcatel-Lucent workers marched to the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday, staging a mock funeral that the chief executive warned could easily become a reality for a company with its roots in the earliest days of the telephone.

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Canada may impose a la carte on pay TV providers

October 14, 2013 3:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Canadian government plans to introduce legislation that will force the country’s multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs) to offer television channels on an a la carte basis. The country's Industry Minister promises to introduce a plan next week.

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Broadcasters petition Supreme Court to kill Aereo

October 14, 2013 1:51 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

In a maneuver that has important ramifications for retransmission consent arguments, ABC, CBS, Fox and Comcast-owned NBC, along with Univision, Telemundo, PBS and several individual TV stations have signed the petition asking the Court to decide that Aereo's methods violate copyright law.

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Vodafone completes buyout of German cable operator

October 14, 2013 1:09 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

British telecoms firm Vodafone says it has completed its 7.7 billion-euro ($10 billion) takeover of Germany's biggest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland. Vodafone, one of the world's largest cellphone companies, said in a statement Monday that it now holds just over 76 percent of Kabel Deutschland Holding AG.

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CenturyLink hooks Colorado firm up with 100 Gbps service

October 14, 2013 1:06 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CenturyLink has signed up its first dedicated 100 Gigabit per second (Gbps) data networking circuit for a business customer through a direct connection to the company's recently upgraded 100 Gbps nationwide network. Longmont, Colo.-based DigitalGlobe is using the service to launch a new product that allows its customers direct access to satellite mapping data. 

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