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Broadband Direct

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

HTML5, RDK, and HbbTV: Revitalizing the TV user experience

October 16, 2013 1:23 am | by Kirk Edwardson, Director of Marketing, Espial | Comments

Today’s consumers demand a much more compelling and personalized video user experience than ever before, based on their daily interaction with tablets, smartphones, and an ever-growing number of other sophisticated connected devices. Yet, until recently, delivering this experience on the TV screen was no simple task.

New Products: Witbe, GreenPeak, Miranda, thePlatform, Optelian

October 16, 2013 1:14 am | by CED | Comments

Witbe recently launched version 2.0 of its OTT Robots, which were designed to provide Content Delivery Network (CDN) infrastructure monitoring for CDN operators and service providers that are offering multi-screen and over-the-top (OTT) video services.

In Perspective: Tea Network

October 16, 2013 1:04 am | by Brian Santo | Comments

The beginning of the commercial Internet was notable for an awful lot of stupid stuff, starting with young entrepreneurs who insisted that “Information wants to be free,” and who even more fatuously dismissed people who insisted that a business ought to turn a profit by accusing them of “just not getting it.”

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Memory Lane: Homage to protocol past

October 16, 2013 12:58 am | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Comments

Time division multiplexing is a core enabling technology that has long powered the modern telephone network. TDM techniques, tracing back to Baudot’s telegraph multiplex system of 1874, have powered modern telecommunications for a long, long time. But there are signs now that time may be running short for TDM.

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Open Mic: Customer experience drives future innovation

October 16, 2013 12:42 am | by Kevin Hart Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Cox Communications | Comments

In the last two years, we’ve spent a significant amount of time to break down traditional organization silos and to create an environment where a steady cadence of infrastructure and product enhancements and innovative, collaborate thinking are prevalent. 

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Engineering-wise: Unknown unknowns

October 15, 2013 11:37 pm | by Mark Dzuban, President and CEO, SCTE | Comments

As an industry that delivers important telecommunications services to our customers, we need to anticipate and be prepared to respond to the natural and manmade events that can jeopardize our ability to meet our customers’ needs. Even when we expect the unexpected, the effects on our networks can be extreme.

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Capital Currents: DASH—The Next Big Thing?

October 15, 2013 11:32 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

With video, you want a continuous stream of video, you don’t want stuttering. So the DASH solution is to break up the program into short segments, and send each segment at a data rate adequate to deliver a continuous, non-stuttering stream. If that means delivering some segments at less than high definition quality, so be it.

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CVAA and CALM mandatory requirements -- why and how

October 8, 2013 7:14 pm | by Jim Welch, senior consulting engineer, IneoQuest Technologies | Comments

As of this month, all pre-recorded programming edited for internet distribution must now be close captioned. That's on top of video description content and the requirements of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act designed to eliminate huge volume spikes in video ads.

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Arduous trek to living room for glasses-free 3D may be getting smoother

September 17, 2013 8:13 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

For years, 3D’s arduous trek from the friendly confines of theaters to the traditional environs of mainstream living rooms has been stalled by unfilled promises of advancing technologies, by exorbitant costs, and by lack of content. But mostly it’s been about the clunky glasses required to experience 3D.

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Is HEVC ready for prime time?

September 17, 2013 8:03 pm | by Sophie Percheron, Product marketing manager for live distribution, Ateme | Comments

Ten years after the transition from MPEG-2 to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, history is about to repeat itself with the arrival of HEVC, also known as H.265, the successor of H.264/MPEG AVC. The standard was approved in January, and just a few months later a live end-toend HEVC content delivery chain was demonstrated for the French Tennis Open event in early June 2013, providing tangible proof that HEVC is on a path toward commercial deployment.

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RDK is moving at lightning speed

September 17, 2013 7:53 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

One year after the Comcast Reference Design Kit (RDK) made its public debut at The Cable Show, the platform has more than lived up to its “service velocity” goal. In short, the RDK went from being a PowerPoint presentation at last year’s Cable Show, to a viable platform that is cutting down on development cycle for not only set-top boxes and gateways, but also applications.

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DIY gives way to outsourcing in Multi-screen

September 17, 2013 7:19 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

For service providers, the challenges of multi-screen are no less daunting for being well known. It is a marvelously complex process to deliver video to an ever-expanding universe of devices running multiple major operating systems all with different screen sizes and supporting unique combinations of streaming formats and digital rights management (DRM) schemes.

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Engineering-wise: Creating the cable generalist

September 17, 2013 7:09 pm | by Steve Harris, Senior Director, Advanced Network Technologies, SCTE | Comments

As the industry is dismantling its video, voice and data silos, it is creating new opportunities for cable professionals to increase their value to their employers, their industry and themselves. By mastering the entire landscape of the network, service offerings and customers, the next-generation professional is able to drive deployment of high-quality, highly reliable services that are helping cable maintain its competitive edge.

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Ciciora’s Corner: Oshkosh

September 16, 2013 8:35 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

As I write this, I have just returned from Oshkosh, Wisconsin and the big air industry show called AirVenture. Two things impressed me about this experience that have relevance to the cable industry: the age of the population and what that industry is doing about insuring a future for itself.

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Memory Lane: Power play

September 16, 2013 8:29 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Comments

In Chicago, the great fire of 1871 wiped out much of the business district, and the capitalists came running. The fire’s fury had produced an attractive, greenfield opportunity for building infrastructure in what was the world’s fastest growing city. Nearly two dozen electricity entrepreneurs competed to carve out operations in small delivery sectors.

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