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Broadband Direct

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

Dear Sony: please let us help you screw the terrorists (and give you money in the process)

December 17, 2014 11:28 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Dear Sony; Please release “The Interview” on demand on the Playstation Network. Between those who actually want to see the movie, and those who want to metaphorically lift a middle finger to terrorists, I think your audience might be as big as all of America.

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Juniper hopes Gainspeed will be its point of convergence with cable

December 8, 2014 1:14 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

One way to enable SDN and NFV would be to ditch the CMTS, and put control functions in a standard edge router loaded with specialized control software. That’s what Gainspeed and Juniper have been working on together, expecting that cable's path will intersect with its own as cable moves toward end-to-end IP networking.

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AT&T walks back Title II threats... a little

December 2, 2014 1:47 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

“Uncertainty” doesn’t really mean anything, and uncertainty doesn’t derive from reclassification, it derives from the industry’s reaction to it: lawsuits. Show us exactly how reclassification would cost more – not including the litigation costs – or admit it’s all just whining. Put up or shut up.

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Report: Roku still rules the roost for streaming media devices

December 2, 2014 1:09 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

When it comes to streaming media players, Roku still reigns supreme followed by Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. According to a report by Parks Associates, Roku was the leading brand with 29 percent of sales in the United States while Chromecast took over second place from Apple TV with a market share of 20 percent compared to Apple’s 17 percent.

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Dish, CBS agree to second extension

November 26, 2014 10:58 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Video blackouts are a real buzz kill for those tryptophan-induced Thanksgiving comas, so on that note CBS and Dish Network agreed to extend their retransmission talks for the second time. The two sides had settled on a five-day extension on Nov. 20 before the second extension was announced Tuesday night.

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A Perry Mason twist in the FCC's favor

November 25, 2014 8:40 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

In Washington, D.C., a set of programmers are holding up two major corporate takeovers because they don’t want a few extra lawyers to become privy to the trade secrets in their retrans consent contracts. Meanwhile, in Washington State, a Court of Appeals just ruled there no grounds for claiming that the terms of retrans agreements are trade secrets.

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AT&T dangles prospect of Shop While You Watch app

November 24, 2014 1:10 pm | by Editor | Comments

The idea has been kicking around for years: give viewers the ability to buy whatever they see on their screens being worn, used, eaten, or in any other way displayed. AT&T is considering doing that for U-verse. AT&T is calling the concept Shop While You Watch, and it seems to be floating the idea to see if anyone will bite.

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Cha-Ching! TWC’s Marcus, DirecTV’s White to score big bucks

November 21, 2014 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus and DirecTV CEO Mike White are the envy of Dr. Evil. Marcus, who has been on the job for 11 months, and White are poised to cash in for considerably more than Dr. Evil’s $1 million dollar plan to ransom the world.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick ships, sort of

November 19, 2014 12:42 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Amazon announced that its Fire TV Stick has started shipping today, and said that the stick was its fastest selling Amazon device ever. But it looks as though you’ll have to wait until after the holidays to get your hands on one. Last month Amazon announced it was taking on Chromecast and Roku, among others, with its Fire TV Stick, which provides instant access to movies, TV shows, music, photos, apps, and games. 

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AT&T chair: go Title II and we'll sue

November 12, 2014 1:15 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

If the FCC were to attempt to reclassify broadband as a communications service under Title II, the industry will immediately sue to block the move, AT&T Randall Stephenson vowed. Furthermore, communications companies will stop investing in their networks.

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Media: Apple, Google hook up Disney on cross platform deal

November 4, 2014 12:54 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

It’s not exactly “cats living with dogs,” but the needle for enabling TV Everywhere services may have budged a fraction with the news that Google and Apple will allow purchased Disney movies to be viewed on each other’s platforms. 

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Proposed FCC compromise will be a win for the industry

October 31, 2014 2:16 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler may drop attempts at Title II reclassification, but in exchange will approve the Comcast / Time Warner Cable and AT&T / DirecTV mergers only with conditions that will bar them from engaging in paid prioritization. It's a win for MVPDs, but will they accept it?  

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Comcast’s Roberts: ‘Customer service should be our best product’

October 24, 2014 12:54 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Comcast has suffered several customer service related black eyes this year, including the overly zealous customer service rep that refused to cancel a former subscriber’s service and the allegation that the nation’s top cable operator got another disgruntled customer fired for complaining about his customer service. Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts took to the customer service stump during Thursday’s third quarter earnings call.

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Distribution contracts and the benefits of a strategic petard

October 22, 2014 6:58 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Programmers are holding up Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner Cable and AT&T's merger with DirecTV because they don’t want 108 people from learning the details of their contracts with their distributors. The argument should be blown up from underneath them with a well-placed metaphoric landmine.

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Who is this Polka guy, and why is he saying such heinous things?

October 21, 2014 12:19 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

“Why won't you give cable subscribers the same rights you're evidently giving broadband customers under the ‘CBS All Access’ plan?” Maybe because broadcasters will make much less money if viewers get to choose to pay for each of the major networks, because everyone expects that tens and tens of millions of viewers won’t.

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