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From NAB: A reckoning is coming. Not now, but soon enough

April 10, 2014 | by Brian Santo | Comments

Ultra high definition TV. Workflow management. End-to-end multi-screen (or “over the top”) delivery. For anyone even remotely involved in content preparation and distribution, those were the three big themes at the NAB Show that concludes today. And there’s a glut of vendors aiming to provide each of those technologies.

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Broadband Direct

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

Apple-Comcast! Hurry! Everybody Over-React!

March 24, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

This ends up being less than The WSJ makes it out to be… at first. After paragraphs and paragraphs of speculation, the paper reports that Apple is asking for an arrangement Comcast has no doubt already laughed off, assuming the report has all the details.

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Comcast-TWC: It's personal

February 13, 2014 1:44 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Malone is a tremendously astute executive, who knows full well that Wall Street loves a deal. Furthermore, TWC had been turning in some disappointing quarterly results, and Wall Streeters fervently despise disappointment. All that combined with the retirement of Glenn Britt, and TWC looked like a pretty good opportunity.

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FCC's IP dreams: Lifeline? Meh.

January 31, 2014 1:24 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The FCC is encouraging experiments in moving from POTS to VoIP. As a practical matter, the FCC is talking to phone companies, but the results might have some ramifications for cable operators that got into the voice market with VoIP, as well as those cable operators who also operate POTS networks.

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Comcast enters Charter-TWC saga

January 27, 2014 4:07 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The likelihood that Comcast will participate in the takeover of Time Warner Cable seems to be increasing, with word leaking out that if Charter Communications were to buy TWC, Comcast would be interested in buying TWC’s New York City, North Carolina, and New England systems from Charter.

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Gun shy

January 14, 2014 1:24 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

If there’s anybody who knows how to get screwed in a merger, it’s Time Warner Cable. TWC was a pawn in AOL’s acquisition of Time Warner, among the most disastrous mergers in history. Time Warner subsequently used TWC as a piggy bank it could bust open, emptying TWC of cash when it spun off the MSO.

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Beans & Cornbread, and optical LAN

December 24, 2013 1:18 pm | by Editor | Comments

Optical local area networking has some clear advantages. It is roughly comparable in price, and can last for 50 years or more. Fiber requires vastly less infrastructure to support, and significantly less maintenance. It is far more difficult to tap, and is impervious to EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) disruption.

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Born free

December 13, 2013 12:17 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Two bills were introduced to fix the video market, one from Rep. Steve Scalise, one from Rep. Anna Eshoo. You have to wonder if Scalise was even trying. Just look at that acronym: NGTMA. What are we supposed to do with that? Pronouncing it is a nightmare: N-n-ngitma? Ingateema? Nagtama?

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In the media: Cox also sets its sights on TWC

November 27, 2013 12:29 pm | by Editor | Comments

The landscape for the sell-off of Time Warner Cable continues to shift with Cox Communications reportedly joining Comcast and Charter/Liberty Media as a potential suitor. Citing un-named sources, The Wall Street Journal reported that privately held Cox was considering whether it wanted to join in on the bidding for Time Warner Cable.

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Does anyone have a real reason to buy TWC?

November 25, 2013 2:08 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Late Friday, those agitating for consolidation in the cable industry floated the notion of Charter Communications and Comcast bidding on Time Warner Cable together, then breaking it up into pieces, with each claiming chunks. The news was well received by Wall Street merger-and-acquisition (M&A) experts and investors, who bid up the values of the stock of any MSO rumored to be party to any such deal. 

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Last call for Britt

October 31, 2013 12:59 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

After 41 years in the cable industry, Time Warner Cable CEO and Chairman Glenn Britt took part in his last quarterly earnings conference call this morning. Britt spent about the first 20 minutes of the call with analysts speaking about the state of the cable industry in general while providing his own views and experiences.

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Technology is the impetus for a Comcast-Netflix deal

October 30, 2013 12:04 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

There is no shortage of speculation about whether Comcast doing a deal with Netflix makes business sense – some say yes, some say no – but there are few evaluations of whether a Comcast-Netflix deal makes technological sense, which is key to why a Comcast-Netflix agreement is far more likely than not.

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The politics of Cox's FlareWatch

October 3, 2013 12:50 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The margins on the low-cost, IP-based TV package might have been half what they were on Cox's comparable standard video package, but was that why the MSO pulled the plug on the service after only three months? Even after announcing FlareWatch was only an experiment?

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Divergent paths to TV everywhere

September 19, 2013 12:15 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

That service providers will have to deliver TV everywhere is a foregone conclusion, but a couple of recent announcements – one from Sling and another from TiVo – provided an interesting juxtaposition of alternatives of how to accomplish the feat.

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TWC’s Britt ‘It’s not a free market’

September 9, 2013 12:59 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

With today marking the one-week anniversary of CBS and Time Warner Cable ending their month-long stare down over retransmission fees, and with another dustup looming between Disney/ESPN and Dish Network, Time Warner Cable CEO and Chairman Glenn Britt has some advice for pundits covering programming fee dustups: Go read the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992.

Transparent caching catching on

August 29, 2013 4:18 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Transparent caching is essentially edge caching, ultimately on behalf of OTT providers.  Several companies have solutions in which they cut deals with either the MVPDs or with the CDNs to do transparent caching. The amount of equipment that needs to be added can be minimized, and the improvement in quality of service (QoS) ultimately benefits everyone all up and down the value chain.

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