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Broadband Direct

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

Engineering-Wise - Putting lessons learned to work

September 4, 2012 10:15 pm | by Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of the SCTE | Comments

You have to work pretty hard to make a connection between yard work and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, but Shawn and I moved into a new – more on that in a minute – home, and the last several months have been spent transitioning from chaos to order.

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Capital Currents - The FCC’s ‘annual’ report on video competition

September 4, 2012 10:05 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, president of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

The FCC recently released its 14th “Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming.” The most interesting part to me was the back story, and the nearly five-year interval between the 13th report and the 14th.

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The power equation: No factor too small or too big

August 20, 2012 2:01 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The electronics industry as a whole has been working on ways to save energy for years, but there are plenty of ways to save much, much more. Ongoing efforts are now involving everything from increasing the efficiency of products as basic as power supplies, to improving chip design for telecom equipment, to a nascent effort to define a means to manage the energy consumption of every element of entire communications networks.

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Options abound for boosting cable upstream speeds

August 20, 2012 1:33 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

In a shot across the cable industry’s bow, Verizon rolled out a revamped data lineup that included significant speed upgrades on the return path earlier this summer. To go with its 300 Mbps downstream speed, Verizon is now offering an upstream speed of 65 Mbps in addition to 150/65, 75/35 and 50/25 tiers. Comcast’s highest return path speed can burst up to 20 Mbps, while Cablevision clocks in with 15 Mbps on the upstream.

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Digital RF modulators for CCAP

August 20, 2012 12:08 pm | by Ajay Kuckreja, principal member of technical staff at Maxim Integrated Products | Comments

The demand for cable broadband digital video and data is increasing downstream data rates at 30 percent to 40 percent per year. Meanwhile, consumers expect to keep spending on an increasing number of connected devices at home, helping to assure future growth in downstream demand.

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In Perspective - Sprinkles and a cherry

August 16, 2012 2:18 am | by Brian Santo | Comments

I’ve got an idea on how to improve the regulatory environment for video and other communications services that no one else seems to be suggesting, though I’m sure it will work. I am equally sure it isn’t being suggested because it’s unthinkable.

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Memory Lane - Switching signals

August 16, 2012 2:07 am | by Stewart Schley, media and technology writer | Comments

“Switching is easy, oh it’s essential. And you know, when you flick it, you can start a new episode.”

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Ciciora's Corner - Feed the screens

August 16, 2012 1:54 am | by Walt S. Ciciora, expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

The march of technology continues to accelerate, and we must respond. The response has to be: Feed the screens.

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Open Mic - Usage billing essentials for success

August 16, 2012 1:42 am | by Patrick Knorr, general manager of regional accounts at Synacor | Comments

For most cable operators, usage-based billing has long been on the list of “things we ought to get around to.” You know it makes sense, but how do you begin without customers coming after you with torches and pitchforks?

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Engineering-Wise - Energy: A cliffhanger we don’t want to see

August 16, 2012 1:23 am | by Marty Davidson, vice president of engineering and network operations at the SCTE | Comments

Consumers are being presented with more and more technology-based goods and services every day. The sheer amount of these goods and services is staggering compared to years past.

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Capital Currents - Skipping commercials

August 16, 2012 12:59 am | by Jeffrey Krauss, president of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Several news items recently made me think about the technology involved with skipping commercials.

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From fantasy to reality

July 18, 2012 8:21 am | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

The delivery of video content to multiple screens by Tier 2 and 3 cable operators has long come under the heading of sheer fantasy. Not anymore. Now it’s real.

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Installation and repair go commercial

July 5, 2012 1:03 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The exact same trends roiling the consumer market are having a profound effect on the way communications service providers (CSPs) conduct their business.

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Built for speed: Comcast RDK

July 5, 2012 12:41 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

In today’s competitive market, cable operators need to be both nimble and thrifty when it comes to developing new products and services.

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An evolutionary approach to Gigabit-class DOCSIS

July 5, 2012 12:29 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

That cable companies would evolve their networks from HFC tech to FTTH, with its attendant gigabit transmission rates, was never in doubt. The questions have always been about the timeframe and what the intermediary steps would be.

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