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Broadband Direct

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

IN PERSPECTIVE: Half a loaf

July 31, 2009 8:30 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor | Comments

You could hardly get through a session at Cable Connection - Spring without someone bringing up cord cutting. Cable execs said they weren’t worried because: a) there isn’t much evidence of the phenomenon yet, and b) cable is selling the most popular broadband product.

MEMORY LANE: Dialing into progress

July 31, 2009 8:25 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technologywriter, Denver, Colo. | Comments

The first public call from a handheld mobile phone was placed on April 3, 1973, in midtown Manhattan. As was only fitting, the call was placed by Marty Cooper, an indefatigable Motorola engineer and inventor who had strolled outside the Hilton Hotel on Sixth Ave. to demonstrate the phone he had long championed and nurtured to life.

CICIORA’S CORNER: Analog’s passing

July 31, 2009 8:20 pm | by Walter S. Ciciora, Ph.D., Recognized Industry Expert on Cable and Consumer Electronics Issues | Comments

Well, it actually happened and the world did not come to an end – there was no blood in the streets, no popular uprising. High-powered analog broadcast television got shut down. Perhaps doing it in two steps helped.

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Open Mic: DOCSIS 3.0: Under new management

July 31, 2009 8:15 pm | by Jason Schnitzer, Founder and principal of Applied Broadband | Comments

Deployments of the latest and greatest DOCSIS version are well under way as subscribers enjoy an enhanced service experience thanks to the marvels of channel bonding.

CAPITAL CURRENTS: The new ATSC digital mobile video service

July 31, 2009 8:10 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

The next big thing in the television business might be mobile video – delivering digital TV programs to portable handheld devices. Or maybe not.

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Web Extras - August 2009

July 31, 2009 8:05 pm | Comments

"The Entitlement Proposition": “I’m struggling with one of the hottest topics in the rapidly changing world of consumer video entertainment: entitlement... In “Comcast shoots, scores with iPhone app,” Robuck writes: “It was the third-most popular free app in the App Store’s entertainment category... In “Validation for Canoe Ventures,” Santo writes: “A new study on the weakness of brand loyalty among American consumers is worth the cable industry’s attention.

The Entitlement Proposition: The challenge and opportunity for distributors

July 31, 2009 8:00 pm | by Keith Kocho, founder and president of ExtendMedia | Comments

I’m struggling with one of the hottest topics in the rapidly changing world of consumer video entertainment: entitlement. Matching consumers to the content, services and rights (entitlements) they desire is both a technical and business model challenge. It seems everyone has an opinion on this subject, and the range of opinions is very broad indeed. Who really benefits from this notion, and who pays for it?

Test & Measurement - A Preponderance of Evidence

June 30, 2009 8:45 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The problem is a surfeit of data so overwhelming that frequently it is literally impossible to extract meaningful information from the overflow in a timely manner. Oddly enough, the other half of the problem is that this volume of data is often hard to get to.

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Triple-play readiness in greenfield deployments

June 30, 2009 8:40 pm | by Yumi Kato, Product Marketing Manager, and Ken Fridley, System Engineer, of Sunrise Telecom | Comments

Most new developments, also known as greenfields, benefit from the use of new fiber-to-the-premises plant. Alternatively, the service provider may choose to utilize existing copper plant in a fiber-to-the-node configuration.

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Baselining VoIP service quality

June 30, 2009 8:35 pm | by Charlie Baker, Director of Product Management for Exfo Service Assurance | Comments

The network and infrastructure are architected, the product is developed, load testing of the infrastructure is complete, the marketing campaign is underway and customers are signing up at a blistering pace. You want your triple-play installation to go smoothly and don’t want to send a technician to the house for installation issues that can be detected automatically...

Finding the right fit for turnkey platforms

June 30, 2009 8:30 pm | by Mike Robuck, Senior Editor | Comments

Selecting the right turnkey platform is somewhat akin to going to a restaurant for the first time and selecting the prix fixe dinner. While you want to satisfy the palate without it taking a huge bite out of your wallet, the last thing you want is something that fails to suit your appetite.

IN PERSPECTIVE: Unsung heroes

June 30, 2009 8:25 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor | Comments

Actually having to compete with each other is putting cable operators and other service providers in an odd bind.

MEMORY LANE: Bring on the juice

June 30, 2009 8:20 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technologywriter, Denver, Colo. | Comments

According to the 1930 U.S. Census, 90 percent of the nation’s rural dwellers had no electricity. That is to say, no way to store meat without it spoiling and no way to light rooms at night except for candles or kerosene lamps. These conveniences were by then familiar to the majority of Americans who had electricity in the 1930s.

Open Mic: The value of learning through an SCTE chapter

June 30, 2009 8:15 pm | by Tom Gorman, SCTE board chairman and vice president of field operations for Charter Communications | Comments

On any given day, at any cable operator’s tech center, training is going on for: safety, competition, VoIP, SDV, tru2way, HD, new sales incentives, customer service, how to use reports, Cable 101, etc.

CAPITAL CURRENTS: Old waiver requests never die

June 30, 2009 8:10 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Back in 2006, a company called Clarity Media filed a waiver request under the FCC’s Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) rules to deliver multichannel digital television service at some 250 truck stops around the country.

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