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Broadband Direct

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

Striking twice

July 25, 2013 3:55 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

In 2002, the two satellite companies started touting HD, and only when it became clear that their having more HD channels was gaining traction with consumers did cable companies add some alacrity in their drive to expand their HD packages. 

Say what?

July 25, 2013 3:42 pm | by Stewart Schley | Comments

In the early 1950s a trio of researchers at Bell Laboratories took great pains to hear and understand the varying acoustical patterns associated with the human expression of vowels. They paid attention to subtle differences in the phonetics associated with a soft “o” versus those of an elongated “e.” 

The Next Generation

July 25, 2013 3:13 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora | Comments

Since you are reading this publication, you are most likely a cable telecommunications technologist. If you are like most of the technologists I have known, you enjoy your career and are enthusiastic about all things technical and scientific.


HTML5 and cloud-based UIs – a reality check

July 25, 2013 3:04 pm | by Robin Wilson | Comments

There’s hardly a discussion held today on user interfaces (UI) that does not expound on the wonders of HTML5 as their core building block. And similarly, no future TV delivery platform is fashionable unless it has a cloud-based component.

Staying energized

July 25, 2013 2:56 pm | by Mark Dzuban | Comments

I’ve never been a fan of the “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” line of thinking. I’ve always felt that it diminishes the importance of education and overweights the value of networking and connections. 

FCC loses a big court appeal

July 25, 2013 2:22 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss | Comments

The FCC has lost another big case at the Court of Appeals, with this one likely to have a big impact on cable TV programmers and the ability of cable operators to decide which programmers to carry, and on which tier. The specific case involves Comcast and the Tennis Channel. 

Time Warner Cable upgrades home phone app

June 19, 2013 1:35 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The MSO upgraded its VoiceZone Connect App, which now gives TWC phone subscribers access to their home phone service from almost anywhere, at anytime. Customers can now click-to-call outside of the home, enabling them to use their calling plans (including international calling plans), away from home.


Home automation wherever you are...

June 18, 2013 7:37 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Home services – packages that include some combination of home automation, home monitoring, and home security – have a long way to go before they rival any of the other elements in the residential bundle in terms of revenue. But the potential is there and initial indications are highly encouraging.


Comcast's Stemper takes care of business

June 18, 2013 7:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Bill Stemper, president of Comcast Business Services, spent part of the Cable Show in Washington D.C. being honored by his peers in the cable industry. After a 30-year-career in cable, Stemper chalked up a win in the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s Vanguard Awards in the cable operations and management category.


Exploring the benefits of a Fiber Deep architecture

June 18, 2013 6:47 pm | by John Dahlquist | Comments

Regulators, institutions and businesses all continue to expand green initiatives. Cable operators are no exception to this trend as they continue to look for ways that can help them reduce power consumption and evolve their networks in order to increase their return on investment and become more socially responsible.


Deploying CCAP: Not just another box swap

June 18, 2013 6:24 pm | by Jorge Salinger and Ty Pearman | Comments

As service offerings continue to expand and the end users’ appetite for these services continues to grow, MSOs are putting a tremendous effort into keeping up with the demands on the edge network. The concern is the finite resources, including space, power and cooling, used to handle these expansions within the headend and/or hub.


Connectors in the field make plug and play WDMs a snap

June 6, 2013 12:07 am | by Tom Warren | Comments

With some forethought and up front engineering, the connectorization of WDM components may relieve much of the pain associated with WDM deployments. Let’s take a quick look at how most MSOs are currently installing WDM components and propose some alternatives that could reduce the restoration time of field outages to hours instead of days.


In Perspective: Flexinets

June 5, 2013 11:39 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

When people watch video on cellular networks, the meter is running, and that’s a severe inhibitor to increased consumption. Wireless carriers are understandably reluctant to stop running the meter.  So what to do? Subsidize the minutes, somehow - an idea ESPN has been floating. 


Open Mic: Taking the tethers off of TV Everywhere services

June 5, 2013 11:25 pm | by Michael Willner | Comments

There is one more big challenge - TV Everywhere isn’t really everywhere is it? Unfortunately, if you’ve got a TVE app on your iPad, you still can’t access all those great shows and movies in lots of places. You’re out of luck if you’re traveling or simply not connected to a high-speed pipe, as is the case for most of us many times a day.


Engineering-wise: Time for the Time Domain

June 5, 2013 11:10 pm | by Daniel Howard | Comments

It’s time for upstream engineers to start thinking in the time domain as well as the RF spectrum domain. We can use time domain data to maximize our upstream capacity and robustness as we load up the upstream with DOCSIS 3.0 carriers, turn on S-CDMA, and/or prepare for OFDM in DOCSIS 3.1. The good news is that there are lots of options for how to get that data.



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