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Broadband Direct

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

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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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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Increasing the competitive edge for cable MSOs through investments in transformation

December 2, 2013 1:51 pm | by Bob Titus, vice president, global converged solutions, NetCracker Technology | Comments

Cable MSOs are ready for fierce competition. They are making significant investments in their network infrastructure to be positioned for a high-bandwidth, mobile-integrated, multi-screen world. In this world, digital distribution is as important a line of business as traditional linear broadcast, so. MSOs are increasing investment in on-demand, next-generation broadband services as well as improved customer experience.

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Upfront: Bill would lift OTT companies to MVPD status

November 27, 2013 11:49 am | by CED | Comments

Sen. Jay Rockefeller is planning a bill that aims to give upstart online video services the chance to compete on an equal footing with classic MVPDs by guaranteeing their rights to content.  Furthermore, online video distributors would gain standing to compete directly with established pay TV companies as MVPDs.

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CED Cable-Tec Expo Show daily: Day 3

October 30, 2013 10:34 pm | by CED | Comments

In this issue: SeaChange + Deluxe Digital  | Comcast + Ciena  | SeaWell Networks | Appear TV  | In Demand + Clearleap | SeaChange  | Harmonic Inc. | Procera Networks  | Elemental  | Aurora Networks    

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Cable-Tec Expo Show Daily: Day 1

October 30, 2013 8:58 pm | by CED | Comments

In this issue: Imagine |  Elemental Technologies  |  Aurora Networks |  Envivio |  RGB Networks |  Electroline |  Effigis |  Concurrent |  Volicon |  CommScope |  Triveni Digital |  RFMD |  InnoTrans |  Evolution |  Tektronix |  Active Broadband |  Netcracker |  ATX |  Witbe |  Arris

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Person of theYear: Glenn Britt

October 16, 2013 11:49 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

In his 41-year career, Britt has worked in finance, programming, venture investments, and programming positions. He has spearheaded services such as data and voice, which are now cornerstones of not only Time Warner Cable but of the cable industry as whole, as well as driven the development of multi-screen apps and services, Start Over, Look Back, and cloud-based user interfaces, to name a few.

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Migrating to IP in the cable TV Environment: benefits, challenges, and resolutions

October 16, 2013 1:53 am | by Yaron Raz, director, Digital Video Solutions, Harmonic | Comments

The main challenge of switching to an IP-based infrastructure is that it doesn’t happen overnight. To make the transition, an operator needs to support two infrastructures for some period of time: a QAM infrastructure that uses MPEG-2 for video compression and a second silo for IP that relies on a mix of MPEG-4 and adaptive bit rate technology.

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What’s next for DOCSIS

October 16, 2013 1:43 am | by Brady Volpe and Conrad L. Young | Comments

The latest iteration of DOCSIS, DOCSIS 3.1, will come with significant changes in modulation options that will have important effects on installed and future hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) networks. Here we’ll be focusing on modulation basics and a discussion of how spectral efficiency (SE) relates to DOCSIS 3.1 performance goals.

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Using DOCSIS tools to locate HFC plant impairments

October 16, 2013 1:32 am | by Nick Segura, Director, Technical Operations, Charter Communications | Comments

There is an ongoing effort amongst cable operators to prevent new, and reduce existing, out-of-spec (OOS) modems. It’s a big deal! Technical performance goals are tied to these numbers and tech ops managers and supervisors require their technicians to not leave the customer premises until the modem meets minimum specifications.

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HTML5, RDK, and HbbTV: Revitalizing the TV user experience

October 16, 2013 1:23 am | by Kirk Edwardson, Director of Marketing, Espial | Comments

Today’s consumers demand a much more compelling and personalized video user experience than ever before, based on their daily interaction with tablets, smartphones, and an ever-growing number of other sophisticated connected devices. Yet, until recently, delivering this experience on the TV screen was no simple task.

New Products: Witbe, GreenPeak, Miranda, thePlatform, Optelian

October 16, 2013 1:14 am | by CED | Comments

Witbe recently launched version 2.0 of its OTT Robots, which were designed to provide Content Delivery Network (CDN) infrastructure monitoring for CDN operators and service providers that are offering multi-screen and over-the-top (OTT) video services.

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