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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Technology development is accelerating, and consumer and enterprise demand for bandwidth-hungry content and applications continues to expand. The need for global standardization has become an industry prerequisite, driven by the needs of service providers to deliver robust new services quickly and cost-effectively.
The big thing in TV land at CES, in terms of both hype and actual size, was 4K TVs, aka ultra-high-def, or Ultra HDTVs. The great thing about shows like CES is that they show you exciting possible futures. Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that 4K TVs are pretty darn nifty.
There is a movement toward usage-based pricing that borrows from an electrical utility model of the early 1900s. Today’s megabits are yesterday’s kilowatts, and like power companies before them, service providers appreciate the symbiotic relationship that device makers can deliver.