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Broadband Direct

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

Engineering-Wise - Get your cable networks ready for higher capacity

November 19, 2012 12:06 pm | by Daniel Howard, senior vice president of engineering and CTO of the SCTE | Comments

The race is on to develop the next-generation access signaling schemes for cable operators to keep up with Nielsen’s Law growth in network capacities and speeds delivered to customers. CableLabs and the SCTE have partnered in new and deeper ways to accelerate the deployment of DOCSIS 3.1.

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Capital Currents - The FCC’s attack on Channel 37

November 19, 2012 11:18 am | by Jeffrey Krauss, president of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

The FCC has a plan to induce broadcasters to give up some of their frequency spectrum assignments so that more spectrum becomes available for mobile communications. But the FCC plan might also bump the radio astronomy scientists out of off-air TV Channel 37.

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IPTV: Coming soon to a town near you

September 30, 2012 12:18 am | by Brian Santo | Comments

With IP-based video technology maturing, there is a growing number of smaller companies able to provide subscribers in their typically exurban-to-rural areas with services and features that include larger packages of top-ranked channels (with more of those channels in HD), multi-room DVR, TV Everywhere-type services and hybrid features like Caller ID on TV.

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TV Everywhere or Errors Everywhere

September 29, 2012 11:40 pm | by Steve Liu, vice president of video network monitoring at Tektronix | Comments

Cable operators, telecom carriers, satellite providers and other service providers are racing to build the infrastructure necessary for delivering any program, on-demand or live, to any device at any time and over any access network. Being first to market with that ability could be a tremendous advantage.

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$Billions up for grabs in SIP trunking

September 29, 2012 7:34 pm | by Doug Wadkins, chief technical officer of Edgewater Networks | Comments

Cable operators may have a golden opportunity in the business services market. Old-style PBXs in the enterprise equipment market are gradually being updated to IP PBXs. On the one hand, some new IP-based services are possible with these new systems. On the other hand, however, TDM trunking of those IP PBXs is still the predominant method of interconnection.

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In Perspective - Novelty act

September 29, 2012 6:33 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The ultimate product in the TV business is not content. It is the presumed attention of the viewers of that content, sold in aggregate to advertisers. Advertising has been the cornerstone of the TV business since back when the only screens available were the dials on radios.

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Memory Lane - Wake up and smell the webcam

September 29, 2012 6:20 pm | by Stewart Schley, media and technology writer | Comments

Whether the delivery agent is Coca-Cola, coffee or chocolate, a solid jolt of caffeine has fueled the creation of many a technology breakthrough. So it’s only fitting that the first known demonstration of an Internet-delivered photo stream involved the popular stimulant.

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Ciciora's Corner - Patent wars

September 29, 2012 5:59 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power to establish patent and copyright laws. Because it’s a constitutional issue, patent cases are tried in federal court and can be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. A patent is the right to exclude someone from making, selling or using a patented invention.

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Open Mic - The future of TV Everywhere is here

September 29, 2012 5:39 pm | by Ramin Farassat, vice president of product marketing and business development at RGB Networks | Comments

While not every operator has rolled out a complete multi-screen TV Everywhere service offering, there is certainly sufficient activity worldwide for us to say that TV Everywhere is truly here. In fact, forward-thinking operators are already planning “what’s next” when it comes to TV Everywhere.

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Engineering-Wise - Kamen to keynote Expo

September 29, 2012 5:15 pm | by Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of the SCTE | Comments

Dean Kamen is keynoting SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. There’s no way to say that without it sounding like a promotional announcement, but maybe that’s what it should be. Because no matter how innovative we are – and, trust me, my hat is off to the cable community when it comes to new approaches – no one exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation like Kamen.

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Capital Currents - Cell phone standards and antitrust behavior

September 29, 2012 4:59 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, president of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

As those of us who participate in industry standards development are continually reminded, since standards have strategic and competitive importance, they must be developed using fair methods by committees that allow wide participation and consider all proposals.

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CPE: Digital transport adapters expand their horizons

September 28, 2012 2:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

In the family of customer premises equipment (CPE), digital transport adapters (DTAs) may lack cachet when compared with the latest set-top boxes, digital video recorders (DVRs) and gateways, but DTAs are playing an increasingly important role in cable operator deployments.

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Hacking on the rise

September 28, 2012 2:07 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

There have always been hackers, but as computer and telecom networks merge and become more extensive and interconnected, it seems that the incidence of hacking is increasing. But the point is that no organization should feel cocky about its security.

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Fast and furious: Building a network in 60 days

September 5, 2012 12:55 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Comments

Assembling a network from scratch in 60 days isn’t for the faint of heart. Rarely, if ever, has it been done before on the scale of the Pac-12 Enterprises networks that will begin this month, delivering more than 850 events annually to seven linear channels, and eventually beyond.

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FPGAs: The “G” doesn’t stand for “Green” – but it could

September 5, 2012 11:40 am | by Aaron Behman, senior marketing manager, and Joe Palermo, systems architect for the broadcast and consumer segment, of Xilinx | Comments

In the last couple of years, service providers have developed a greater awareness of how they can take better control of their energy use and energy costs. For every piece of cable equipment produced, there is an associated, additional cost to cool that equipment.

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