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Broadband Direct

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

Fifty Years

June 18, 2014 8:00 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

Ciciora's Corner: I got a shocking call. I was asked if I would be willing to serve on my college class’ 50th anniversary celebration committee. What? Or as my pilot and ham radio friends would say: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?" Fifty years! That cannot be! But it is! That brings back a flood of old memories.

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A rational way to deliver video description audio

June 18, 2014 7:52 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

Capital Currents: I’ve written before about the problems of delivering the video description audio track to legacy cable set-top boxes. Now the cable industry seems to have figured out how to transition to a more rational approach. We’ll see if broadcasters are willing to go along.

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Contributed feature: Thinking inside of the box with SDNs

June 12, 2014 3:19 pm | by Dave Martin, vice president of product management, Edgewater Networks | Comments

Network functions virtualization (NFV) is emerging as an alternative to traditional network design. Coupling NFV with a software defined networking (SDN) infrastructure can provide maximum flexibility and automation for MSOs' business service offerings.

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Online video: $5 billion worth of dirty little secrets

June 2, 2014 2:06 pm | by Chris Hock, senior vice president, business development and marketing, BlackArrow | Comments

While online video advertising continues a very aggressive and impressive growth trajectory, some folks are starting to dig in to what exactly they are getting with those impressions, and the story is not looking quite as rosy as perhaps everyone thought. (Contributed article.)

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Cable operators can cash in on international calls

May 22, 2014 5:35 pm | by Pete Pattullo, CEO, NetworkIP | Comments

An ILD platform solution offers cable TV operators the opportunity to increase their ILD revenues dramatically within months and to sustain that revenue growth over the long term. Further, the migration/integration process from the previous solution to the cloud-based platform requires only a few weeks to complete.

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Comcast uncoiling Viper across video services

March 26, 2014 6:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Comcast started developing its organically grown Viper platform several years ago as a way to build a cloud-based, IP video infrastructure that would deliver live streams, full linear lineups, on-demand video, cloud DVR service and other digital video products and services to the full range of IP devices.

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A revolution in plant maintenance

March 26, 2014 5:55 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

DOCSIS 3.1 turns every single cable modem into a network probe that can be used to identify network impairments. The approach makes use of DOCSIS pre-equalization on the upstream. Different network impairments will have specific signatures that can be sifted out of the pre-equalization data. The technique not only identifies upstream problems, but it also locates them with gratifying precision.

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Mobile backhaul a pillar in TWCBC’s commercial services

March 26, 2014 5:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

One of the pistons driving the business services growth at Time Warner Cable Business Class is mobile backhaul. In this Q&A with CED, TWCBC's Thane Storck, group vice president, carrier services, spoke about the history of cellular backhaul, the state of the current market and more opportunities down the road.

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HEVC: Coming Soon to a Device Near You

March 26, 2014 3:19 pm | by Kanaan Jemili, SVP, Product Management, Rovi | Comments

Content producers don’t want to invest in the technology needed to create HEVC programming without a significant installed base of HEVC-capable playback devices. And hardware manufacturers don’t want to invest in HEVC players until there’s more HEVC content. One way to break the stalemate and drive adoption of HEVC is to go direct to consumers – to make available software that includes HEVC creation and playback support.

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New Products: Fairview Microwave, CSG Systems

March 25, 2014 8:08 pm | Comments

Fairview Microwave recently launched a new line of armored coaxial test cables, which were designed to withstand the rigors of continued field and production line testing. | CSG International an-nounced the recent worldwide launch of its new cyber security platform, which was designed for the enterprise security sector.

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Open Mic: The Value of Service Hardening

March 25, 2014 8:00 pm | by Patty Chen, Consulting Manager, IBB Consulting Group | Comments

With competition for subscribers fiercer than ever, retention is paramount for every operator. As MSOs offer services ranging from VOD and cloud user interfaces to Wi-Fi and DVR, delivering reliability via infrastructure improvements has become key to keeping customers happy.

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Engineering-wise: NextGen Digital Video over NextGen DOCSIS

March 25, 2014 7:54 pm | by Daniel Howard, CTO, SCTE | Comments

Modern cable networks provide dynamic digital video transport that is a mix of linear, switched, and on-demand MPEG2 transport streams, as well as multicast, narrowcast and unicast IP video streams carried over DOCSIS, Wi-Fi, or carrier Ethernet.

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Ciciora's Corner: Disruption

March 25, 2014 7:51 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, Expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Comments

Major innovation comes in prospering businesses only rarely and with great difficulty. Prosperity brings growth and a growing enterprise has scarce resources which are fully allocated to the present business. Current customers demand all available resources be applied for their needs, leaving little to none to promote new innovation. 

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Capital Currents: Did the FCC Lose the Battle But Win the War?

March 24, 2014 7:30 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Comments

You can tell that the Court of Appeals decision that struck down the FCC net neutrality rules is important because there have been so many opinions flying around about what it means. Some commentators claim the decision goes far beyond the issue of net neutrality to give the FCC authority to regulate virtually any aspect of the Internet.

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Memory Lane: Will the circle be unbroken?

March 24, 2014 7:26 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Comments

If you slice through the snake of black cable that connects to your TV set and peer directly into the exposed innards, you’ll see a circle. Inside it, at the center, is a conductor, which in turn is shielded by insulating material and surrounded by a concentric outer conductor. You’re staring at an essential enabler of the modern telecommunications revolution: coaxial cable.

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