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Broadband Direct

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

Free space optics go commercial-class

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Seeking to eliminate outages for the emerging free space optics (FSO) sector, AirFiber Inc. has launched the AirFiber 5800, an FSO platform that incorporates new levels of fault-tolerance and immunity to beam interference caused by birds and other intruders. That combination will allow carriers to offer service level agreements through wireless FSO technology for the first time, as the system ...


Pulsent claims new compression scheme puts MPEG to shame

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

After toiling away in stealth mode for more than four years, Pulsent Corp. emerged with claims that its streaming media codec is superior to block-based MPEG as well as proprietary derivatives offered by companies like RealNetworks Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Pulsent believes its technology, which aims to boost bandwidth efficiency by 400 percent over MPEG-2, is best suited for bandwidth-sapping ...

BigBand reaches digital milestone

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

BigBand Networks Inc. said its Broadband Multimedia-Service Router (BMR) now serves more than 500,000 digital cable subscribers in North America, thanks in part to deployment deals with Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Blue Ridge Communications and Canadian MSO Rogers Cable. BigBand, which is working with other undisclosed operators, said it reached that milestone less than six months af...


XML the centerpiece for rival iTV initiatives

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Claiming that interactive television applications and content are riddled with too many proprietary elements, two separate groups are pushing new open standards for iTV production based on extensible markup language, or XML. The first is based on a baseline standard spec initially developed by iTV provider GoldPocket Interactive, outlined in a white paper at www.

CableLabs issues CableHome 1.0 specs

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

CableLabs has issued specifications for CableHome 1.0, an industry-wide effort designed to extend DOCSIS to home networking devices. CableLabs said it expects to begin CableHome product certification testing during the second half of 2002. In addition to "hands-off" provisioning, CableHome also addresses security firewall measures and tools designed to help cable operators diagnose and solve h...

Conexant chip integrates cable modem and MPEG decoder

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Conexant Systems has launched the CX24430, a set-top box chip that combines a cable modem and an MPEG decoder for interactive cable applications. In addition to digital set-tops, the chip could also be deployed in broadband home gateways and other advanced interactive cable devices. The full function CX24430 targets the worldwide cable market and goes for $37 per unit in volume.

Powell asks for digital volunteers

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell in early April issued a plan that aims to goose the digital-television migration. Noting that the plan is "voluntary," Powell suggested that ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and pay nets HBO and Showtime could populate at least 50 percent of their primetime schedule with HD programming or other "value-added" digital television programming during the ...

Movie man Cameron could boost MPEG-4

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

If MPEG-4 needed a big name to help it build some momentum against its proprietary competition, it's got one now. Academy Award winning director James Cameron has joined forces with software start-up iVAST Inc. to develop a slate of MPEG-4-based interactive programming. Specifically, Cameron will leverage iVAST's MPEG-4 platform and services for his EarthShipTV video entertainment channel.


802.11x extends market reach

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

With the Bluetooth wireless protocol failing to live up to expectations in the wireless networking world, competing wireless technologies on the 802.11x platform continue their rapid growth into new markets across the globe. In April, Royal Philips Electronics announced the first 802.11a WLAN solution to receive the CE Mark for the European Union market.

CableLabs greenlights more DOCSIS 1.1 gear

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

CableLabs said it certified a record 12 DOCSIS 1.1 cable modems and embedded multimedia terminal adapters, and qualified and re-qualified a total of three cable modem termination systems following the completion of wave 21. CableLabs says it awarded the coveted DOCSIS 1.1 stamp to cable modems from Accton, Arris, Askey, Conexant, Quanta, Samsung, Scientific-Atlanta, Tellabs, Terayon, Thomson a...

e-BOX paints an MPEG-4 future

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Seven high-profile companies have pooled their products to form e-BOX Corp., a Tokyo, Japan-based venture that will supply North American and Asia Pacific operators with a digital cable platform based on MPEG-4 technology. Pushing e-BOX Corp. along is Comcast Corp., which is advising the new venture and will conduct trials based on its MPEG-4 delivery system.

Scientists envision A.I. for set-tops

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

A team of BIAP Systems scientists outside of Washington, D.C., working on intelligent agent technology for the company's government projects, shrunk the resulting software's footprint and adapted the technology for set-top boxes. The result is software that sends intelligent agents –feelers that go out onto the Web and retrieve specific information they've been told to seek–from se...

Jedai assembles executive team

April 30, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Jedai Broadband Networks said it has fleshed out its executive team as the start-up prepares for future product deployments designed to extend cable plant into the business sector for high-speed data and voice services. Leading the way is Jedai's new President and CEO Michael Pritz, the former vice president of marketing and product management at Clarent Corp.

Competition consolidates in Texas

April 29, 2002 8:00 pm | by Duffy Hayes | Comments

The market for competitive cable and broadband services is heating up in Texas, with the recent news that competitive providers Grande Communications and ClearSource will combine under the Grande name. Grande, which is building a high-speed broadband network in the Central Texas corridor including the markets of Austin, San Antonio and San Marcos, will add a total of 12 ClearSource franchises, ...

Pace, Ucentric team for entertainment

April 29, 2002 8:00 pm | by staff | Comments

Pace Micro Technology and Ucentric Systems are combining their muscle in the digital entertainment market. The companies are teaming to deliver digital entertainment via a wireline or wireless home network. Pace will integrate its digital home gateway technology with Ucentric's media distribution software platform and applications.


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