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Broadband Direct

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

Avoiding the demise of broadcast TV

January 31, 2000 7:00 pm | by Walter Ciciora HDTV is Essentially Doomed by the FCC's Rules on Simulcasting. | Comments

This column asks a difficult question: Does DTV mean the demise of broadcast television? And it presents a possible disastrous outcome which is an unintended consequence of DTV. This is not a prediction, but an inquiry into a possibility. Note that the issue is not whether broadcasters will cease to exist.

Meet the new boss

January 31, 2000 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

So, just who is this guy, this Steve Case, this soon-to-be new top dog of the nation's second-largest cable company? Like him or not, Case is a pure, in-your-face, entrepreneurial marketing genius. Starting as a youth, he brainstormed with his brother Dan, searching for ways to make money. Making the most out of the daily contact he had with people on his paper route, he sold seeds, Christmas c...

Flexing your bandwidth

January 31, 2000 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editorial Director, Broadband | Comments

Increasing bandwidth demands from the roll-out of new services, coupled with falling costs of optical components and fiber cable, are forcing broadband network operators to once again review the way they're designing their networks. More often than not, they're becoming increasingly interested in reducing node sizes-sometimes to a level considered economically impossible just a few short years ...


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.


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...


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...


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...


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 ...


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 ...


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...


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.


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