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Broadband Direct

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

Packet Man

December 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editorial Director | Comments

Mark Coblitz has everyone faked out. His vast knowledge of arcane RF transport issues, the intricacies of TCP/IP protocol stacks, packet-based telephony and myriad other subjects often lead people, including engineers, to think he is one, but surprise! He's not. Similarly, some might see the bookish redhead as little more than a quiet, introspective thinker.

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New millennium, new revenue streams

December 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by Thomas G. Robinson, Executive Vice President, CBG Communications | Comments

According to a recent study by Standard & Poor's, the cable industry will need to rapidly escalate revenues to the equivalent of just under $100 per subscriber per month in order to recoup acquisition costs (and this does not include capital expenditures related to network upgrades). While growth in residential market revenue streams is key, the time is certainly ripe for the business infra...

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Modernizing network power

December 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by CED staff | Comments

Four or five years ago, when competitive pressures were leading many cable operators to consider offering telephony services over their networks, the process of upgrading cable networks to carry power for telephone services topped engineering discussions. Those conversations covered a range of issues, from the shift to 90 volts from 60 volts, to technician safety and the corrosive effects of pa...

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The COFDM problem

December 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Digital TV Dawdler and and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Broadcasters have a problem. Sinclair Broadcasting has petitioned the FCC to allow the use of COFDM (Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) modulation as an alternative to 8-VSB for digital broadcasting, because it appears that COFDM does a better job of correcting dynamic multipath interference.

Serendipity in Philadelphia

December 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editorial Director | Comments

During my meeting with Mark Coblitz in Comcast's opulent Philadelphia headquarters, it became obvious to me that it was extremely wise to select him as CED's Man of the Year. I had heard him speak before, most recently at a CableLabs-sponsored PacketCable briefing. I recall being impressed by his ability to "talk tech" and also being surprised when he said he wasn't an engineer by trade.

Aiming for eyeballs

December 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by Fred Dawson, Contributing Editor | Comments

The two leading cable data service providers are putting a new generation of broadband content tools to use in aggressive growth strategies that represent clashing views of cable's future. With some 1.5 million cable subscribers between them, Excite@Home Inc. and Road Runner are pulling out all the stops to capitalize on their advanced infrastructures to deliver eye-popping content and ads that...

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Evaluating VOD deployment options

November 30, 1999 7:00 pm | by Quintin Williams, Director of Sales, Eastern Region, Concurrent Computer Corp | Comments

The digital age is now upon us. With millions of digital set-tops now deployed in cable networks, and thousands more being installed every week, network operators are beginning to look beyond simple broadcast services toward new, interactive services, One service that many operators are banking on is video-on-demand.

Products of the Millennium

November 30, 1999 7:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

It allowed cable to penetrate major U.S. markets, and most experts agree this single event forever changed the cable industry and defined it as a legitimate communications medium. Yet with each step the industry takes, cutting-edge technologies and dazzling new hardware are proving to be its hallmark, and are expected to lead cable into a new millennium of great promise, great technologies and ...

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What ever happened to digital radio?

November 30, 1999 7:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Enhanced Digital Listener and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Sometimes, the development of new technology takes much longer than expected. Consider, for example, CD-quality, terrestrial digital radio broadcasting. Work has been underway for at least 10 years on various schemes to migrate from analog FM radio broadcasting to digital broadcasting. (See June 1991 "Capital Currents.

Converging Video, Voice, and High-Speed Data

November 30, 1999 7:00 pm | by Stephen D. Dukes, Vice President, Digital Broadband Technology, MediaOne Labs | Comments

With the advent of new services, the need for additional routing fabric grows beyond the capacity of a typical headend. The headend has traditionally consisted of equipment focused strictly on the broadcast of analog video and audio signals. However, with the introduction of new services and technologies such as high-speed data, circuit switched telephony, Internet telephony, and digital video ...

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DSL technology looms ever larger

November 30, 1999 7:00 pm | by Fred Dawson, Contributing Editor | Comments

Recent technical advances in DSL equipment have vastly transformed the prospects for telcos and other users of telco wires in the intensifying battle for broadband service customers. Support for self-installation, including use of "splitterless" digital subscriber line systems, and new miniaturized components that make it possible to deploy DSL into remote areas which were unreachable heretofor...

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Crafting in - home Internet services for mass markets

November 30, 1999 7:00 pm | by David Benham, Manager of Product Marketing, Consumer LIne of Business, Cisco Systems | Comments

Science fiction, move over. The New World network for the home is on the horizon. And it's fundamentally changing the way people will communicate and exchange information. Thanks to broadband access, futuristic networked services and appliances in the home-previously the realm of inspired science fiction writers-are now emerging and potentially profitable.

Delivering advanced services

November 30, 1999 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor-Chief; and Bill Menezes | Comments

As the world prepares to leave the 20th century behind, the traditional "cable TV" industry is undergoing dramatic change. Networks are being digitized and fiberized to allow myriad new services to be transmitted to consumers. Digital video, high-speed data and telephony services are about to reach the mass market.

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Lucent Settles Into Cable's Neighborhood

October 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

Lucent Technologies' emerging role as an equipment and service provider to the cable industry, along with its growing technical contributions through its association with CableLabs, are helping to drive the company deeper into cable's neighborhood. The well-heeled Bell Labs cousin is getting serious about its cable business, evidenced by a 1999 flurry of key acquisitions, strategic alliances an...

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TCA launches modem self-insallation program

October 31, 1999 7:00 pm | by Aleksandr Milewski, Senior Field Applications Engineer, Terayon Communications Systems | Comments

One of the greatest challenges facing MSOs is how to deploy data service systems quickly and cost-effectively in order to build revenue and recoup start-up costs faster. But if it takes a truck roll and a specialist to install every cable modem, how can deployment be either rapid or inexpensive? TCA Cable TV, now a part of Cox Communications, met this challenge with an aggressive subscriber mod...

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