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Broadband Direct

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

Capital Currents: That notorious copyright decision

May 7, 2013 8:10 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

You’ve certainly read about that notorious decision by the Librarian of Congress that made it illegal for a cell phone owner to “unlock” a cell phone so that it can be used with a different carrier. But that same decision, which came out last October, contains other elements, including some that apply more directly to our business.


Chasing big business

March 8, 2013 6:17 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

The lucrative small- to mid-size business (SMB) services market is growing organically to include larger enterprises and is now in phase two as cable operators and related service providers accelerate the expansion of their business services model to include the enterprise market.


Bang the DRM slowly

March 7, 2013 6:10 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

There isn’t a single legal concept that has inspired more heartburn in more facets of content distribution than digital rights management (DRM).  Consumers have a pretty good idea what DRM is, and plenty vociferously despise it with the same loathing they have for banks, airlines and their communications service providers.


Open Mic: Navigating television’s perfect storm

March 7, 2013 5:37 pm | by Jim Tanner, Chief architect at Clearleap | Comments

For today’s well-equipped TV watcher, pausing a program on the living room TV set and resuming it on the portable tablet is merely a matter of pressing buttons or swiping screens. A click here, a tap there, and in seconds the program hops from one screen to the next, uninterrupted and ready to resume. Or so it appears.


Cache as cache can: cable cozies up to nDVR

March 7, 2013 2:46 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Network-based DVR services have been waiting in the wings for years now, but their big debut seems to be only a matter of time now that content rights issues are thawing out and the network architectures are taking shape. nDVR will be, when paired with a content delivery network or cloud, one of the legs that TV Everywhere services stand on once it’s enabled.


New Products: Pasternack, Multicom, Fujitsu

March 6, 2013 6:21 pm | by CED staff | Comments

Pasternack Enterprises has a new line of 50-watt medium- power attenuators; Multicom has introduced a clear QAM SD/HD video distribution solution that eliminates the need for a set-top box; Fujitsu has announced the a Packet Optical Networking Platform (Packet ONP) for optical transport network (OTN) switching.


In perspective: Wait... what?

March 6, 2013 5:54 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Once upon a time, Time Warner was a giant media company with both a programming arm and a distribution arm. Investors demanded Time Warner Cable be spun off. After buying the rest of NBC Universal, Comcast now looks pretty similar to 2008 Time Warner.


Capital Currents: FCC broadcast spectrum incentive auctions

March 6, 2013 5:42 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

The big picture on FCC incentive auctions of broadcast spectrum, includes two key elements: 1) The transfer of at least 120 MHz of spectrum for mobile broadband use; and 2) The generation of enough revenues to pay broadcaster relocation costs, the funding of a national broadband public safety network, as well as support for deficit reduction.


Ciciora's Corner: Technology needs rich people

March 6, 2013 5:31 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

In some quarters, wealth has received a bad name. A little thought reveals that our industry and our careers strongly depend on there being “rich people.” Start-up endeavors need investors, people with at least a little excess money they can put at risk in hopes of making a return.

Engineering-Wise: The intelligent cable network

March 6, 2013 5:18 pm | by Daniel Howard Senior vice president of engineering and CTO of the SCTE | Comments

Besides the capacity and robustness improvement,  there’s something else about DOCSIS 3.1 and its use of OFDM) that excites me:  the network intelligence it enables. We already use DOCSIS  devices as network health probes, but OFDM will essentially  turn our equipment into multifunction test generators that can  be used to measure most of the key RF performance parameters.


Memory Lane: When the sky was the limit

March 5, 2013 9:15 pm | by Stewart Schley Media & technology writer | Comments

On Dec. 13, 1975, RCA gave the cable industry a pre-Christmas gift to remember when the first of RCA’s Satcom series of geostationary satellites was launched by NASA from a Delta 3000 rocket. That satellite and its progeny have endured for decades as an essential conduit for cable programming.


DOCSIS theft and cloning

March 5, 2013 8:52 pm | by Owen Parsons, cable access ops engineer III at Cox Communications | Comments

As long as there are services, there will be service thieves. Preventing this theft may take some con­figuration changes in software, firmware upgrades and the removal of problematic cable modems, as well as adjustments to CMTS settings. Combating service theft has been a series of moves and countermoves, not unlike a game of chess.


Making the second screen work

February 7, 2013 12:52 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Years after Netflix, smartphones and tablets all hit the scene, even those service providers capable of multi-screen delivery continue to struggle with the multi-screen phenomenon. That’s because even as service providers respond to viewers’ increasing appetite for video on screens other than the TV, consumers’ multi-screen behavior continues to evolve.


A kaleidoscope of moving parts

February 7, 2013 11:34 am | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

The once heavily tech-driven business model of small Tier 2 and Tier 3 cable and broadband service providers is morphing into a kaleidoscope of moving, interchangeable parts. Smaller operators whose subscriber counts number in the four- and five-figure range are fiddling with and tweaking their business models like never before.


Managing the multi-screen video transformation

February 7, 2013 10:56 am | by Paul Casinelli, product manager at IneoQuest Technologies | Comments

The multi-screen transformation has taken the video world by storm. Customers now expect the same video services they receive on their set-top box on their video-capable devices. Adoption of multi-screen services is occurring across the spectrum, running the gamut of service providers, content providers and enterprises.



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