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Broadband Direct

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

Harnessing the power of interoperability

February 6, 2013 11:59 am | by Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum | Comments

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.

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In Perspective - Stick a 4K in 3-D: It's done

February 4, 2013 1:08 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

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.

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Memory Lane - Broadband’s latest wrinkle

February 4, 2013 12:54 pm | by Stewart Schley, media and technology writer | Comments

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.

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Ciciora's Corner - Should you get a patent?

February 4, 2013 12:16 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

Have you ever considered getting a patent yourself? Should you? This is not an easy decision. It’s a lot of work, and it is expensive. Done right, it’s very expensive. And that’s just the beginning. A patent is the right to exclude someone from making, using or selling your invention.

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Open Mic - Showcasing the value of personalization

February 4, 2013 12:07 pm | by Peter Docherty, founder and CTO of ThinkAnalytics | Comments

There are so many TV choices available that it’s virtually impossible for consumers to discover what’s really there. The challenge is proactively presenting subscribers with personalized content recommendations, instead of forcing them to work hard to find something they like to watch.

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Engineering-Wise - United and prepped for battle

February 4, 2013 11:41 am | by Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of the SCTE | Comments

I’ve always been impressed by the coordination required to keep our country safe. From our nation’s earliest skirmishes to the invasion of Normandy and Operation Desert Storm, teamwork across all branches of the armed services has been essential to the protection of our nation, and the world. It’s much the same in our industry.

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Capital Currents - Video quality assessment

February 4, 2013 11:26 am | by Jeffrey Krauss, president of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

The FCC has a proceeding underway to update its cable TV technical regulations. For the most part, there is agreement that the version of SCTE 40 adopted last year contains the appropriate technical specifications for digital cable systems. But the FCC also asked whether it should regulate the picture quality that is delivered to viewers.

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CED's Broadband 50

January 14, 2013 1:22 pm | by CED Magazine | Comments

Before we Start Over with a New Year, here’s a Look Back at 2012 through the prism of CED’s Broadband 50, which is now 12 years old. We have scoured the cable world to come up with the people, stories and trends that were the most meaningful.

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CED Person of the Year

January 4, 2013 12:26 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

For Cequel Communications Holdings, doing business as Suddenlink, 2012 was the occasion of a remarkably simultaneous culmination of several multi-year efforts. These efforts included both engineering and business aspects, which ultimately amplified each other.

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The future of MPEG video transport over QAM

January 4, 2013 11:52 am | by Conrad Clemson, director of strategy and product management for Cisco’s Service Provider Video Technology Group | Comments

In this age, with every point in the distribution line being threaded through and through with IP-based technologies, it is important to consider the near-, mid- and long-term future of the MPEG video transport architecture this industry invented and built.

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Upfront - January 2013

January 2, 2013 5:55 pm | by CED Magazine | Comments

LRG: The 13 largest MVPDs lost about 53,500 net additional video subscribers in Q3 2012; TDG Research: 13 percent of broadband subscribers do not subscribe to cable-like pay-TV services; Ericsson: Approximately 40 percent of all phones sold in Q3 2012 were smartphones; and IIA: Broadband-enabled savings increased nearly $1,200 per American household from last year.

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In Perspective - Scrying for soup

January 2, 2013 1:33 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Last year, I predicted that somebody might finally do something interesting with tru2way. Would studiously ignoring tru2way be considered “something interesting”? Judges? OK then, 2013.

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Memory Lane - An instant hit

January 2, 2013 1:23 pm | by Stewart Schley, media and technology writer | Comments

It was only six years ago that Netflix, then known mainly as a mail-order distributor of DVD movies, launched a novel streaming video service it called, blandly enough, the “instant watching” feature – later to be rebranded “Watch Instantly.” The rest is, of course, history.

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Open Mic - Taking fiber deeper into the network

January 2, 2013 1:08 pm | by Johnny Hill, chief operating officer at Clearfield | Comments

Most MSOs deployed 12 fibers to each node in the 1990s, as the cost difference from a two-fiber cable to a larger-count cable was the difference of pennies. This forward-thinking attitude is now paying dividends. There are a multitude of different options for MSOs to leverage their existing assets.

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Engineering-Wise - Some lessons from Sandy

January 2, 2013 12:28 pm | by Derek DiGiacomo, senior director of the information systems and energy management program at the SCTE | Comments

In the weeks after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Mid-Atlantic region, cable was a whirlwind of activity. Engineering crews worked tirelessly to ensure that critical facilities were up and running and that key telecommunications services would be quickly restored.

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