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2014 Women in Technology Award Winner Sherita Ceasar

December 10, 2014 | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Ceasar, who is Comcast’s vice president of national video deployment engineering, has been a beacon for women and diversity efforts across the cable industry landscape while also giving freely of her time to help educate and promote children through programs such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and FIRST Robotics.

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Broadband Direct

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

Today in Engineering History: First Airplane Flies at Kitty Hawk

December 17, 2014 1:18 pm | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

On this day in history, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully made the first flight in history, with a self-propelled, heavier-than-air machine. At 10:35 a.m. near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville ran the aircraft down a monorail track and into the air, staying airborne for 12 seconds and flying 120 feet.

Today in Engineering History: Estimating Meteoroid Strikes

December 16, 2014 1:29 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Editor, PD&D | Comments

In 1962, the Explorer 16 launched to study meteoroid impacts on spacecraft. The second in a series of micrometeoroid satellites orbited by NASA, the Explorer 16 helped estimate the probability of meteoroid strikes. The data allowed for “a more confident definition of the relationship between penetration flux and material thickness to be derived.”

Today in Engineering History: a radio first and the Olds

December 12, 2014 11:42 am | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D | Comments

On this day in 1901, Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean; the content of the signal was three dots -- the letter S in Morse code. In 2000, General Motors announced its plan to phase out the 103-year-old Oldsmobile, America’s oldest automobile brand.

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Today in Engineering History: Apollo 17

December 11, 2014 1:19 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Editor, PD&D | Comments

On this day in 1972, Apollo 17 completed the final lunar landing of the Apollo program.  “The mission was the final in a series of three J-type missions planned for the Apollo Program. These J-type missions can be distinguished from previous G- and H-series missions by extended hardware capability, larger scientific payload capacity and by the use of the battery-powered Lunar Roving Vehicle, or LRV.”

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Maximizing the benefits of cloud-based pay TV strategies

December 10, 2014 11:17 pm | by Andy Salo, vice president, product line management, RGB Networks | Comments

With an abundance of cloud-labeled technology solutions vying for pay TV distributors’ attention, it’s more important than ever that operators be able to filter the hype by setting performance benchmarks reflecting the true requirements of a TV-caliber cloud platform.

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Taking care of business: a Cable-Tec Expo recap

December 10, 2014 11:03 pm | by CED | Comments

Today it remains somewhat murky where the whole pay TV business is going, or precisely what it will look like when it gets there, but MSOs know for certain they need to prepare their networks to deliver whatever has to be delivered, and Cable-Tec Expo made it crystal clear that those networks will still depend heavily on DOCSIS 3.1.

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End game re-think: In Perspective

December 2, 2014 9:25 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

For all the buzz Google is inspiring with Google Fiber, its 1 Gbps customers still have no idea how to get even close to exhausting that bounty. So do Google’s competitors need install fiber? With little real demand for 1 Gbps and with D3.1 and G.fast able to support 1 Gbps if and when it’s needed, the answer appears to be no, with some exceptions.

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HBO scripts a pay-TV sequel: Memory Lane

December 2, 2014 9:18 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Comments

Now HBO is redrawing the lines again by embracing the idea of a direct-to-consumer video service. It may feel revolutionary, but HBO really isn’t making pay-TV history. Because the model of a premium cable channel spinning off an online variation had already come. And gone.

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Proactive network maintenance: Engineering-wise

December 2, 2014 9:10 pm | by Marty Davidson, VP Engineering & Network Operations, SCTE | Comments

PNM began with CableLabs’ reference implementation of their tool utilizing pre-equalization to address linear noise and interference problems. But PNM today is much more than pre-equalization. It’s about customers, it’s about their quality of experience, and it’s about operational efficiency and changing the way we look at service performance.

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Watching TV: Ciciora’s Corner

December 2, 2014 8:42 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

Many years ago, late at night, my wife came into the family room and asked me what I was doing. I told her I was “watching TV.” She noted that there was no programing on, just a test pattern. I wasn’t watching programming, I was watching TV! As an engineer in the research department at Zenith in the Chicago area, I was educating my eyes.

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Lip synch revisited: Capital Currents

December 2, 2014 7:57 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Ever since the earliest days of digital television, broadcasters have struggled to deliver a television signal with the sound and picture synchronized. That’s because the end-to-end chain from production to compression to storage to distribution to decompression consists of devices that each introduce some latency.

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Talking the talk for better search and recommendation

October 2, 2014 4:12 pm | by Daren Gill, vice president, product, Rovi Corporation | Comments

For many years, effective voice-based search technologies have eluded businesses that have tried to introduce next-generation input methods to customers. Confined to basic navigation and so-called “magic words,” speech-based commands have been ineffective and often hard for consumers to use. The widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets, as will as Apple's Siri, has led to a renewed interest in this genre of technology.

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Behind the curtain: How Comcast drives VOD usage

September 18, 2014 8:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Special events like Watchathon help Comcast’s more than 20 million video subscribers drill down into its 50,000 video assets on their set-top boxes, 400,000 online assets and the 20,000 pieces of video that are available via its Xfinity Go App. The stunts also help move the TV Everywhere ball forward.

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Small cells: Recognizing the opportunities, meeting the challenges

September 18, 2014 8:03 pm | by Ed Myers, vice president of telecommunications and sales, Parallel Infrastructure | Comments

The wireless data revolution and its impact is analogous to Boyle’s Law, which states that a gas will expand to fill the available space. The same can be said for a data network. The more throughput available, the more uses people will find to fill up that pipe.

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The role of tech hobbies

September 18, 2014 7:46 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

Ciciora’s corner: An enthusiastic technologist is likely to be much more productive, innovative, and engaged. He or she will likely enjoy the job to a higher degree and perform better. Genuine enthusiasm for technology cannot be contained. It spills over into hobbies and other activities.

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