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Broadband Direct

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

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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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Memory Lane: Cable then and now – halfway home

June 5, 2013 11:05 pm | by Stewart Schley | Comments

A tipping-point momenin cable television history happened sometime in the fall of 1987, when the industry’s presence among U.S. homes topped 50 percent for the first time. The achievement produced legitimate cause for celebration, as an industry that had spent its first three decades struggling to survive could now effectively claim to be the dominant medium for television reception in the country.

New Products: Sonus, Digital Rapids, Averna/Pace

June 5, 2013 9:11 pm | by CED | Comments

Sonus Networks has upgraded its session border control (SBC) portfolio with software and hardware enhancements; Digital Rapids recently started shipping version 3.8 of its the Digital Rapids Stream software; Averna has forged a design-validation partnership with Pace that it said would accelerate customer premise equipment certification (CPE) for cable operators. 

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Usage-based service management

June 5, 2013 8:38 pm | by Stephan Collins and Bob Hunt | Comments

The profitability of fixed broadband service providers is being threatened by the tremendous growth in residential broadband Internet usage. MSOs could restore diminishing residential broadband profitability by moving to a model that matches usage to service tiers. 

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Huawei founder: we won't spy

May 9, 2013 2:18 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

During 26 years at the helm of Chinese tech giant Huawei, founder Ren Zhengfei has never once agreed to be interviewed by a journalist. Until now. Huawei is taking steps toward trying to dispel its image as a secretive and opaque company, and to reassure the world of its good intentions.

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The 2013 CTO Roundtable

May 8, 2013 1:35 am | by Brian Santo | Comments

Time Warner Cable’s Mike LaJoie, Cablevision’s Yvette Kanouff, Cox Communications’ Kevin Hart, and Buckeye Cablesystem’s Joe Jensen share their thoughts on some of the most prominent technological challenges they are dealing with today, and a few they might have to contend with tomorrow.

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Second-screen CTO Vendor Roundtable

May 8, 2013 1:10 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

CED’s CTO roundtable has mined the thoughts of cable operator executives for years now, but this is the first iteration of a vendor CTO roundtable. CED narrowed the field to chief technical officers, or the equivalent, that play a part in the multi-screen ecosystem.

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Open Mic: Cable’s best strategy for winning the multi-screen numbers game

May 8, 2013 12:23 am | by Buddy Snow, President, CEO, Morega Systems | Comments

Service providers are transitioning to a multi-screen service model, offering subscribers access to media content at home and on the go across TVs, PCs, and mobile devices. These media mobility services remain annoyingly cumbersome today, but the industry recognizes the need to push forward and smooth out the wrinkles as quickly as possible.

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Ciciora’s Corner: The Second Half of the Chess Board

May 7, 2013 8:51 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

Futurist Ray Kurzweil is reported to have coined the phrase “the second half of the chessboard” to illustrate the impact of exponential growth. The cable industry and the semiconductor industry have both experienced exponential growth. Let’s use this interesting idea to take a closer look at exponential growth.

Memory Lane: Predicting the Internet, cable-style

May 7, 2013 8:37 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Comments

If you’ve been around awhile, or are of “a certain age,” you may recall a few early attempts to couple cable’s distribution infrastructure with text and graphical information. You know: stuff you might label today as “content.” Starting in the early 1980s, a parade of initiatives flew across cable’s radar, launched by some big names (then) in media and publishing, plus a few homespun start-ups.

Engineering-Wise: Cable’s place atop the operations world

May 7, 2013 8:26 pm | by Marty Davidson, VP Engineering & Network Operations, SCTE | Comments

Cable has made incredible progress in network and service reliability/availability. From vast improvements of the early days to the introduction of lifeline services like voice, we have reduced customer reported troubles from 40 percent to under 3 percent in an amazingly short time. Network troubles have followed a similar trajectory.

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