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Broadband Direct

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

Satellite plans pose new competition

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Satellite Skywatcher and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

First, a review. Geostationary satellites ("GEO") orbit the Earth in a circular orbit at an altitude of 36,000 km, with an orbital period exactly equal to the 24-hour rotational period of the Earth, so they appear to be stationary as the Earth rotates. (What I said in my July column about balancing of gravitational forces was wrong; the satellite's centrifugal force balances the Earth's gravity.

US West playing hardball in the majors

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

Yes, it's true that the abrupt change of strategy within US West Media Group (the parent company of Media One) will throw some lives out of kilter and force some hard decisions among MediaOne employees who are native Bostonians faced with relocation. After all, when the media giant acquired the former Continental Cablevision last fall, company CEO Bud Hostetter was assured the company headquart...

Video perks give data a sharper image

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Fred Dawson | Comments

The prospects for adding innovative and high advanced types of video-enhanced content to high-speed data channels have brightened considerably in recent months, thanks to emergence of new software tools that not only support video distribution, but greatly alter the functionality within the data feed.


Building an efficient headend for data

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Adrian Jones, Director, Strategic Channel Development, Terayon Communication Systems | Comments

This is the second part of a series addressing the major headend architectural and operational issues in deploying data services over a broadband cable network. These articles examine ways to optimize the headend architecture for broadband data services, the major ingredients in designing a headend to support such services, key considerations when deploying data services and ways of integrating...

What comes first? The human or the machine?

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty | Comments

As many in the industry have recently discovered, telecommunications competition is a very sharp, two-edged sword. While it supposedly invigorates market forces and spurs innovative services, it can also cause a considerable amount of upheaval in individual companies scrambling to improve their competitive edge.

Primed for video?

August 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Dana Cervenka | Comments

Sonet equipment, long the darling of the telco industry, is now being embraced by cable operators for the transport of new, high-speed data services, as well as for a support platform for their forays into voice services. But while the Sonet (synchronous optical network) platform has long been optimized for voice and data, the question remains — will Sonet soon see its day in the sun as a...


Will digital roll-out speed ITV, HDTV deployment?

July 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Fred Dawson | Comments

The cable industry's move into digital TV has suddenly become much more complicated than the first phase of that process was expected to be, thanks in large measure to how long it has taken to get started. Through the four-plus years since Tele-Communications Inc. CEO John Malone spelled out plans for the 500-channel digital TV system, operators waited for the boxes to arrive at price points th...


Is HDTV doomed from the beginning?

July 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Interfacing With the Digital World and President of Tele-communications and Technology Policy | Comments

A year ago, I reported on a disagreement between two groups of TV manufacturers over which command language to use with this interface. Unfortunately, the disagreement still exists. There is no agreement on a standard. And time is running out. The EIA established a standards committee, called R4.1, to develop a standard interface for a communications bus to interconnect a cluster of digital TVs...


Spectrum waste and digital must-carry

July 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Walt Ciciora | Comments

His approach was very confrontational, not at all polite, and "in your face." He insisted that the NAB's position is that "must-carry" applies to digital television, and that there is no compromise on this. What about viewers' (My!) rights? I couldn't contain myself I had to ask a question. I asked about my rights as a viewer.

DBS competition and the great smokescreen

July 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

The article suggested that, despite seemingly insurmountable odds, huge capital start-up costs and a quick divorce from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., that EchoStar eagerly awaits the launch of two new satellites. Get real, Charlie. Yes, it's true EchoStar did manage to coax another $375 million out of its investors money that will be used to build and launch those two satellites.

A natural complement

July 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Yvette C. Hubbel, Manager of Business Development, Telecommunications Systems Division; and John Sabat, Jr., Manager of Systems Engineering, Telecommunications Systems Division; Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company | Comments

Introduction The introduction of 1.9 GHz Personal Communications Services (PCS) has spurred an explosive growth in mobile telecommunications. Predictions are that new wireless voice and data services for business and residential users will complement, and someday possibly replace, today's wired and wireless service.


Round and round the testing goes...

July 31, 1997 8:00 pm | by Michael Lafferty | Comments

As new services make their way into the cable pipeline, the demand is building to develop comprehensive, effective and efficient (in both time and money) testing and measurement equipment, procedures and protocols. While management keeps looking over their collective shoulders at the competition forming fast on the horizon, they're putting increasing pressure on their engineering professionals ...

Modems, test gear, return path hot at Expo

June 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by CED Staff | Comments

What this year's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo may have lacked in new whiz-bang announcements was more than made up by a buoyant, optimistic sense that the cable industry is preparing itself for entry into a long, competitive battle to provide consumers with a dazzling array of new services. Cable modem news again dominated this show, attended by 8,200 cable operators and exhibitors who flocked to Orland...


Cable may not have the data field to itself

June 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Fred Dawson | Comments

iCS operates six stocking warehouses in the United States. In addition, its VueScan division maintains stocking facilities in Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Itochu Cable Services has also signed an agreement with Lucent Technologies to distribute its complete line of fiber optic cable products in North America.

Copy protection issues

June 30, 1997 8:00 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, Digital Copy Cat and President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Now that the cable industry and the TV set makers have pretty much worked out their differences on interconnecting set-tops and digital TV sets, the remaining controversies deal with copy protection. Copy protection is important because it must be built into digital set-top boxes and digital TVs, or else the movie studios won't allow their products to be distributed over cable.


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