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Broadband Direct

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

In Perspective: Diminishing returns

February 11, 2014 7:31 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Targeted advertising? Consider recommendation engines. No matter how sophisticated your slice-and-dice process, there are only so many things to recommend, and ultimately you’re left with 50 paths to “Surf Nazis Must Die.” The process works, but only to a point.

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Engineering-wise: Prepping tomorrow's workforce today

February 11, 2014 7:20 pm | by Mark Dzuban, President and CEO of the SCTE | Comments

Whether workers are customer-facing or in behind-the-scenes operational capacities, our programs are intended to provide the education that will make them well-versed in technology and savvy about the industry in which they work. Operators are seeing the value.

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Ciciora’s Corner: Failure

February 11, 2014 7:17 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

Failure stings engineers and technologists a lot less than other folks. That’s because we experience it as part of our work and we expect it in at least small measures. Non-technical folks are devastated by failure; they don’t know how to handle it. Technical folks aren’t happy about failure, but see it as a learning opportunity.

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Capital Currents: TV Broadcasting – The Next Generation

February 11, 2014 7:07 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

The emerging picture of ATSC 3.0 resembles a combination of ATSC 2.0 and DVB-T2, and if that's the case, U.S. broadcasting is looking at a significant chicken-and-egg problem. Consumers will have to buy new TVs, and broadcasters will have to switch to a new broadcasting system, but nobody will make a move unless someone else goes first.

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CED’s 2013 Pacesetter Awards

December 6, 2013 3:42 pm | by CED | Comments

For the ninth time, CED honored luminaries in the cable industry with its Pacesetter Awards. This year’s edition was held in October at the Omni Hotel next to the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta. This year's recipients are pacesetting engineers from Time Warner Cable, Columbus Communications, Virgin Media, and Cable One. 

Cable-Tec Expo 2013 Round-Up: What’s Up, DOCSIS?

December 4, 2013 8:20 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor in Chief, and Mike Robuck, Senior Editor | Comments

Members of the gang that helped create CCAP and DOCSIS 3.1 have already moved on to the next thing. Ready for digital forward links, remote PHY, and the next next-generation architecture network (N2GAN)? Also, updates on the Reference Developer Kit and the Converged Cable Access Platform, and more.

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Women in Technology winner 2013: Stephanie Mitchko-Beale

December 4, 2013 7:49 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Stephanie Mitchko-Beale, senior vice president of video infrastructure software at Cablevision Systems, has led engineering teams that helped establish Cablevision’s high-speed data product, built support systems for video on demand, and worked on the company’s ground-breaking network DVR (nDVR) services, helping Cablevision win several technical Emmy's along the way.

What’s next for DOCSIS: Modulation options and impacts in HFC networks: COFDM and low-density parity check, Part 2

December 4, 2013 7:16 pm | by Brady Volpe and Conrad L. Young | Comments

Many wonder how today’s HFC networks will support high order modulations such as 4096-QAM. There are two technologies in the DOCSIS 3.1 specification that will enable this. One is Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (COFDM) and the other low-density parity-check (LDPC) forward error correction. LDPC is the “C” (coded) part in COFDM. 

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Solving the Friday night deluge

December 3, 2013 8:20 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The reactions to Netflix have varied throughout the cable industry. Some are irritated by a competitor highjacking their broadband pipes for free. Others see Netflix augmenting the value of their broadband product or as a complement or add-on to their own video services. Both can be true.

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Home Networking: Cloud DVR has got next

December 3, 2013 7:51 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Aside from the demand for video more content “anytime, anywhere, on any device,” broadband penetration and the migration to IP are also terraforming the home networking landscape. One area that is emerging is cloud DVR, which allows subscribers to store content from their DVRs in the cloud, or more accurately, in data centers.

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In Perspective: What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

December 3, 2013 7:21 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

In 2014, CED willcelebrate its 40th year covering...well, an expanding universe of things. Forty years ago, CED had a tidy little focus covering the infant cable TV business, but in the intervening decades, cable companies moved into telephony and Internet access and business services and wireless connectivity and home automation and more.

Open Mic: Combining QoE and QoS for TVE services

December 3, 2013 7:19 pm | by Steve Liu, Vice President of Video Network Monitoring, Tektronix | Comments

TV Everywhere is an imperative for MSOs, but like all new services, it poses several challenges as operators strive to ensure quality while simultaneously expanding their multi-screen deployments. Unlike traditional linear MPEG-2 services, TV Everywhere relies on the H.264 codec coupled with adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming. Unsurprisingly, these new technologies pose quality concerns.

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Memory Lane: Highway star

December 3, 2013 7:07 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Comments

There are grand and vocal disagreements flying about today as governments and private parties square off over the supposed usefulness of next-generation networks capable of hurtling digital data to everyday consumers at speeds of 1 gigabit per second or faster. Skeptics argue investing in super-fast networks is folly.

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Ciciora’s Corner: Walt’s Laws on Ideas

December 3, 2013 7:00 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

I once heard a boss referred to as “leaves”. He went beyond “not being able to see the forest for the trees.” He couldn’t even see the trees for the leaves! But as the boss, his ideas had to be explored and even implemented. Most failed, but that was expected. He was involved in the early days of the organization and, as such, gained a position from which no one was able to dislodge him.

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Engineering-wise: General principles

December 3, 2013 6:58 pm | by Mark Dzuban, President and CEO of the SCTE | Comments

Who better to turn to for advice on that than General Colin Powell? The Leadership Primer from the former Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff is “must” reading: not just for those in the position of building teams and driving change, but for the broader workforce as well.

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