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Broadband Direct

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

Movielink marks VOD competition for cable

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Movielink LLC initiated a "soft launch" of its highly-anticipated, broadband-friendly Internet video-on-demand service last month, initially rolling out to a limited number of customers whose feedback will be used to refine the service. The Movielink service initially features titles from its suppliers and backers, including studios MGM, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios and...

Motorola sheds expense with DCT-1700

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Giving operators a way to offer digital programming to additional cable outlets without racking up huge expenses, Motorola Broadband introduced the DCT-1700, a digital cable set-top that provides the same features as the ubiquitous DCT-2000, but at a lower price. Motorola did not disclose pricing on the DCT-1700, but the DCT-2000, according to CED research, carries a list price of about $289 pe...

SeaChange software suite targets DVD-on-Demand

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

SeaChange International has introduced a new software application that aims to add DVD functionality to everyday digital cable set-tops. Available to cable operators in January 2003, the patent-pending application, part of SeaChange's VODlink software suite, was developed and built by Digital Video Arts, a SeaChange software developer division that provides client integration and integration w...


Cox sets the table for retail set-tops

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

OpenCable isn't a reality yet, but that hasn't stopped Cox Communications from priming the retail pump for digital set-tops. For starters, the MSO said two consumer electronics dealers in Virginia are making Motorola Broadband's new DCP501 Home Theater System available in their retail showrooms. The DCP501 features a DVD/CD/MP3 player, a digital audio/video receiver and a digital receiver that...

TV Linux Alliance releases first spec

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

The TV Linux Alliance–a consortium that is developing a Linux-based middleware for digital set-tops–has released its first specification, version 0.8. The initial spec defines the basic functionality for tuner-level and device definitions, and a future version will define standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for additional digital media.

CableLabs issues two new VOD specs

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

CableLabs, without much fanfare, released two video-on-demand specifications on Sept. 27 as part of an effort to help operators deploy VOD services more rapidly. The first, the 1.1 version of CableLabs' video-on-demand content specification, covers elements such as metadata formatting and video encoding thresholds.

Charter, Digeo get game

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Charter Communications said it has added gaming to its interactive channel lineup, making it available to more than 650,000 digital subscribers. The interactive games channel, called i-Games and created through the MSO's partnership with Digeo Inc., has boasted more than four million weekly screen views, with 20 percent of users accessing the service an average of 13 times per week.

Motive, BroadJump combine forces

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Consolidation hit the provisioning sector this fall as Motive Communications inked a deal to acquire BroadJump Inc. and combine operations in a stock-for-stock deal. The combined company will assume the Motive name and have in excess of $100 million in combined revenues in 2002, and more than $100 million in total assets.


Wi-Fi strengthens security

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Responding to criticism that 802.11x's legacy security mechanism, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), is extremely vulnerable to hackers and the prying eyes of "wardrivers," the Wi-Fi Alliance released a new, more secure version that can co-exist with legacy Wi-Fi-certified products. The new security technology, dubbed Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), replaces WEP and was created in conjunction with ...

BigBand, Fujitsu team on video bundle

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

BigBand Networks and Fujitsu Network Communications have forged a strategic relationship under which they will package BigBand's Broadband Multimedia-Service Router (BMR) gear with Fujitsu's Flashwave 4500 optical transport platform. The combination will enable cable operators to transport high-quality video programming via standard transport protocols such as Gigabit Ethernet and Sonet, the co...

Panasonic signs PHILA license

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Inching the industry closer to a day when TVs can be built with on-board cable set-top capabilities, Panasonic has become the first major TV manufacturer to sign the POD-Host Interface License Agreement (PHILA). The PHILA license gives Panasonic access to Motorola Broadband's proprietary DFAST (Dynamic Feedback Arrangement Scrambling Technique) copy protection technology.

Study: FTTH on a fast track

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Fiber-to-the-home installations will jump by 330 percent this year–from 72,100 homes passed to 315,000 homes passed–ultimately reaching between 800,000 and 1.4 million homes by 2004. That forecast, courtesy of the FTTH Council and prepared by market research firm Render, Vanderslice & Associates, is the culmination of more than 600 interviews at various levels of the FTTH secto...


Vendors make initial run at DOCSIS 2.0, CableHome 1.0

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

The launch of certification wave 24 at CableLabs shaped up to be a bellwether of sorts, as several vendors stepped forward to become the first to submit products for official testing on DOCSIS 2.0, CableHome 1.0 and PacketCable 1.0. On the DOCSIS 2.0 front, Motorola Broadband, Scientific-Atlanta, Terayon Communication Systems, Texas Instruments and Xrosstech all submitted cable modems or refere...

DVI: An acronym to be reckoned with in 2003

November 26, 2002 7:00 pm | by Jeff Baumgartner | Comments

Digital Visual Interface (DVI), a specification that delivers uncompressed digital data, is quickly spreading beyond its PC confines to touch other consumer electronics gadgets such as set-top boxes an DVD players and DVD recorders, reports In-Stat/MDR in a new study. In-Stat/MDR, a sister company to CED, said DVI, introduced in 1999, and its successor, High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDM...

Gartner: Ethernet switching shipments up, router market down

November 26, 2002 7:00 pm | by Duffy Hayes | Comments

New numbers from Gartner Dataquest show that while service providers weren't buying the number of routers that they were just a quarter ago, shipments of Ethernet switching gear to the enterprise market were up compared to a year earlier. Gartner pegs revenue for the worldwide service provider router (SPR) market at $445 million for the third quarter of 2002, a full 10 percent decline from the ...


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