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Broadband Direct

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

New products, November 1998

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Monitoring ingress Trilithic's Ingress monitoring system

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Is IP telephony in your future?

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by Fred Dawson, Contributing Editor | Comments

The technical pieces are rapidly coming together to open a path for cable into a vast range of service possibilities revolving around the functionalities of IP telecommunications. Within the industry, the two leading task forces charged with defining the parameters that will make such services possible are close to solidifying the key draft specifications as vendors prepare to roll out products...

Set-top box operating systems

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by David Iler, Associate Editor | Comments

The "brains" inside the next generation of advanced digital set-top boxes will be any one of a number of small, sophisticated operating systems that fall within the burgeoning category of "embedded applications." For now, PowerTV, the operating system chosen for Time Warner's Pegasus box, and Windows CE, the OS apparently selected by Tele-Communications Inc.

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Set-top boxes: Get ready for the never-ending upgrades

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor. | Comments

As the cable industry ventures ever further into the digital era and begins wide-scale deployment of set-tops, like it or not, the industry will discover, and more importantly have to learn to live with Moore's Law-that components will get better, faster and cheaper every 18 months. As a result, cable professionals will be living their own version of the popular children's fable and movie, "The...

OpenCable closing in on a standard

October 31, 1998 7:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor | Comments

Just like cable modems, the key to an interoperable, retail-available digital set-top is a standard to which manufacturers around the world can build. And just like cable modems, the digital set-top standard has made incredible progress in a short amount of time. It was only a year ago that CableLabs' Executive Committee officially stepped on the gas and put the "OpenCable" standardization effo...

Turnkey solutions: Bringing smaller ops online

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty, Associate Editor. | Comments

Conventional wisdom says high-speed data-over-cable means you have to be big for the economics to work. As a result, companies have been designing huge data networks and planning for the traffic they'll carry. Yet interestingly, mid-sized and small operators are rushing into the high-speed data industry, often beating their larger brethren to the punch.

Comparing high-speed data turnkey providers, part I

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Below is part I of CED's October, 1998 comparison of high-speed data turnkey providers, which accompanied our article: Turnkey solutions: Bringing smaller ops online. Subscriber/customer totals represent cable subs or homes passed by a cable system. @Home Network 25 Broadway Redwood City, CA 94063 Tel: 650-569-5000; Fax: 650-569-5100 Web address: http://www.

Comparing high-speed data turnkey providers, part II

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Below is part II of CED's October, 1998 comparison of high-speed data turnkey providers, which accompanied our article: Turnkey solutions: Bringing smaller ops online. Subscriber/customer totals represent cable subs or homes passed by a cable system. HSA Corp. 4100 E. Mississippi Ave., Ste. 1150, Denver, CO 80222 Tel: 303-256-2000; Fax: 303-256-2050 Web address: http://www.

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Christmas On Hold?

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by David Iler, Associate Editor. | Comments

The Internet has always been about waiting-waiting for Web pages to download; waiting for more reliable and faster service; waiting for that killer application. Now the cable industry, with bandwidth-hungry customers anxious to move into the fast lane of the information superhighway, waits as the clocks ticks on an important deadline.

Evaluating upstream modulation techniques

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by Jeyhan Karaoguz, Ph.D., Principal Staff Engineer, Research and Advanced Development, Internet and Networking Group, Motorola. | Comments

The North American cable industry's adoption of the Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) is solving long-standing problems of interoperability. But while this offers the cable industry the promise of lowered costs and good reliability, it presents only a partial solution to the vexing problem of interference on the upstream link between subscriber and headend.

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Pass the buck and point the finger

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Finger Pointer-in-Chief and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Digital television will get here soon, but the broadcasters, TV manufacturers and movie-makers are squabbling with each other over various last-minute details. This squabbling could blossom into huge battles that delay the deployment of digital television, or they could be settled quickly. While new disputes seem to arise every month, this month's hot topics are copy protection, V-chip content ...

Who killed DTV?

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown, Editor | Comments

Let the finger-pointing officially begin. The long-awaited transition to digital television is running into snags. Given its complexity, that probably doesn't come as a surprise to most engineers. But for politicians and others, it's shaping up to be a public embarrassment. With digital TV scheduled to go live in November, you can be sure that if there are delays, regulators will come looking f...

Morphing to a software-centric future

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor. | Comments

The morphing of the cable industry from its traditional hardware-centric mentality to a more complex and puzzling software-centric bent is affecting even the most pro-active cable operators, and with them, a whole generation of vendors who are scrambling to find the ideal network management and application software solutions.

Putting the right pieces in place

September 30, 1998 8:00 pm | by John Mattson, Manager, Product Marketing, Broadband Networks; and Jim Forster, Distinguished Engineer, Cisco Systems Inc. | Comments

Cable operators and their affiliates building broadband cable modem networks are experiencing exceptional demand growth. This expansion in subscribers and services is projected to accelerate through the remainder of 1998 and 1999, and is a major reason for the growing market value of most players within the cable industry.

Will new content push HFC's limit?

August 31, 1998 8:00 pm | by Fred Dawson, Contributing Editor | Comments

The cable industry will soon be confronted with a paradigm shift in interactive television that could drastically affect how operators design their networks and even how they make money. In a nutshell, the new challenge arises from the fact that, contrary to previous assumptions, consumers are likely to have a wide range of sources to choose from for access to long-form, on-demand television vi...

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