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Broadband Direct

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

Test time

July 31, 2008 8:50 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor | Comments

Historically, executive suites were nearly impervious to any mention of test and measurement. Lately, however, cable companies have come to appreciate that the latest generation of T&M equipment may be as critical for retaining subscribers as DVRs have been in attracting them and gigabit routers have been for serving them.

Brave new world: Electronic video monitoring

July 31, 2008 8:45 pm | by Andrew Sachs, Director of Marketing, IPTV Service Assurance, JDSU; and Russell Wise, Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Volicon | Comments

Fine-tuning the network for optimal performance is no longer enough. In a competitive environment, quality of service (QoS) has become so important for retaining and growing the subscriber base that channel monitoring is now not only justifiable but necessary.

Commercial Ethernet services redefine QoS testing

July 31, 2008 8:40 pm | by Patrick Riley, Product Marketing Manager, Sunrise Telecom Inc. | Comments

Proper network pre-qualification and monitoring is imperative to ensure that service quality is maintained from the headend, through the network backbone, and to the customer premises as more customers are added and more services are offered.

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After February 17, the call deluge

July 31, 2008 8:35 pm | by Traci Patterson,Web/News Editor | Comments

The switch to all-digital signals is only six months away. What happens if thousands of terrestrial-broadcast viewers switch to pay TV? Are MSOs prepared if millions do?

INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT • South America

July 31, 2008 8:25 pm | Comments

Broadband/Cable operators and statistics in South America.

IN PERSPECTIVE: Go cheap, young man

July 31, 2008 8:20 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor | Comments

The deployment of DOCSIS 3.0 might be expected to complicate the balance of pricing and value, but it may in fact simplify matters.

MEMORY LANE: AT & T’s coaxial creation

July 31, 2008 8:15 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer, Englewood, Colo. | Comments

AT&T’s U-verse, the IP-based wireline video service that passes 9 million U.S. homes, depends on a latticework of optical fiber and twisted-pair phone lines to pass television signals along to its customers.

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CICIORA’S CORNER: HD camcorder adventures

July 31, 2008 8:10 pm | by Walter S. Ciciora, Ph.D., Recognized Industry Expert on Cable and Consumer Electronics Issues | Comments

I’ve always felt that those who work in television should have direct experience in television. Years ago, when I worked for a manufacturer of set-top boxes, I strongly urged my colleagues to be cable subscribers. Surprisingly, this wasn’t obvious to a few of them.

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CAPITAL CURRENTS: The story behind the undeserved black eyes

July 31, 2008 8:05 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Who cares about changes in the rating system? What’s really going on here? Why did the FCC give these companies a poke in the eye? Well, in point of fact, it wasn’t easy to find out what was really going on.

DOCSIS 3.0: About more than bandwidth – Not!

July 30, 2008 8:30 pm | by Jim Barthold, Contributing Editor | Comments

Despite its potential to bond channels and drive bandwidth into triple-digit megabits, DOCSIS 3.0 is “not all about bandwidth,” said Chris Kohler, senior director of engineering for Motorola’s Broadband Solutions Group during a panel discussion at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2008 in Philadelphia in June.

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Tru2way Love

June 30, 2008 8:45 pm | by Brian Santo, Michael Robuck and Traci Patterson | Comments

Some critics consider television a vast wasteland, but with the advent of tru2way and the sophisticated interactive applications tru2way is making possible – finally becoming available and on display at the recent Cable Show – TV might yet become what it always had the potential to be: something to really love.

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The human vision system and video QoE

June 30, 2008 8:40 pm | by Dr. Stefan Winkler, Principal Technologist, Symmetricom | Comments

Poor-quality video can lead to high operational and support costs, customer dissatisfaction, and revenue loss. If operators want to avoid those risks, they must take proper steps during the launch and lifecycle of video services to ensure high service quality.

Enhancing tech support – without agents

June 30, 2008 8:35 pm | by Steve Chirokas, Vice President, SpeechCycle | Comments

Every digital service provider has a telephony infrastructure to handle customer calls, billing systems with a wealth of subscriber information, and support equipment to maintain services. What if you could allow callers to truly take advantage of these systems and actually enhance customer care without agent assistance? Sounds too good to be true, right?

Mentoring to improve productivity (the right way!)

June 30, 2008 8:30 pm | by Tom Gorman, vice president of field operations at Charter Communications, and Don Gall, CTO of Pangrac & Associates | Comments

Mentoring is a type of training that, formally or informally, helps to insure that the knowledge and values that make a company successful have continuity over the long haul. This is by no means a new concept, and is in use today by many well-known and prosperous companies including Microsoft, Boeing, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Southwest Airlines, and State Farm Insurance.

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INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT - Australia & Singapore

June 30, 2008 8:25 pm | by CED Staff | Comments

Australia Major Operators: Austar, Foxtel, Optus, Telstra, TransACT... Singapore Major Operators: MobileOne, Pacific Internet (PacNet), Singapore Cable Vision (SCV), SingTel, StarHub.

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