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Broadband Direct

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

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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Wait a sec...

August 20, 2013 1:31 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The cloud is being sold as the greatest innovation since the food industry started building zip-lock technology into the packages of everything from hot dogs to shredded cheese, but there have been concerns: can cloud computing scale to cover hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and aren’t you just courting trouble by automatically building in too much delay? But the world is safe for the cloud, according to ActiveVideo.

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RDK Management a good move by TWC, Comcast

August 15, 2013 3:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

With the formation of RDK Management, Comcast and Time Warner Cable not only reaffirmed their own commitment in regards to developing new boxes on the Comcast RDK, but also signaled to the rest of the cable industry that the RDK was truly an open community.

OTT: an entree with a side of IPDR

July 31, 2013 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Incognito Software just released data that pretty much settles the “over-the-top: friend or foe?” debate, at least in North America. OTT is has widely come to be seen as an opportunity, and MVPDs are actively preparing for it. Part of that preparation is learning how to deliberately collect, store, and analyze IPDR data.

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UPC offering separate neighborhood SSID Wi-Fi access

July 2, 2013 11:53 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

While Comcast announced last month that it would open up a separate, public Wi-Fi network on customers’ home gateways, Liberty Global’s UPC Netherlands also has second SSIDs enabled. Since most of UPC’s  cable plant is underground, it needed to find another way to turn on more Wi-Fi hotspots. 

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Charter ♥s Time Warner Cable!

June 28, 2013 12:32 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

The merger & acquisition boys are bored and frustrated, and that can spell trouble. The way these guys work is that stuff has to happen and it doesn’t much matter what it is. So now the rumor mill is churning that Charter Communications, prompted by new investor Liberty Media, might buy Time Warner Cable. Or Cablevision. Or both!

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Comcast’s Wi-Fi wish list: Hotspot 2.0, 160 MHZ spectrum

June 10, 2013 10:41 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

While Wi-Fi has cemented itself as the go-to strategy for enabling mobile broadband, there’s bigger and better technology on the horizon. Tom Nagel, Comcast’s senior vice president of business development, would like to add a couple of things to his Wi-Fi playlist.

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Aereo: Cable’s retrans friend

April 12, 2013 12:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

It was a busy week for Aereo, including comments that emerged from broadcasters at the NAB conference in Las Vegas. Aereo’s business model is a direct threat to broadcasters, but if it emerges victorious in court it could be beneficial to some cable operators. One cable operator executive said that Aereo’s use case was “more of an opportunity than a threat for the MSOs.”

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An itch for telecom reform

March 15, 2013 2:46 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

More than two decades after the Cable Act of 1992, and almost that long since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, it appears that the sentiment that it’s time for wide-ranging, substantive telecom reform is beginning to coalesce among legislators.

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Bundlebums

February 27, 2013 2:07 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Cablevision’s antitrust suit against Viacom is long overdue, but it might also be too late. Trends are leading the industry is heading toward an a la carte model, which promises to undermine programmers’ ability to bundle. The question is: how long will the suit drag out?

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Milius and milestones

February 8, 2013 5:02 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Ray Milius and his team are responsible for engineering matters at Starz. Starz is not among the largest programmers, but it frequently is among the first programmers to adopt new technologies. Recently, Ray and his team got Starz into TV Everywhere with its Encore and MoviePlex On Demand And Play services.

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