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Virgin Media tunes up 1-Gig test with ‘narrow trenching’

September 16, 2014 | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media, which is the largest cable operator in the UK, will fire up a small 1-Gigabit trial in the Cambridgeshire village of Papworth that will feature a new trenching technique for laying fiber. Virgin Media said it would lay fiber in Papworth by using “narrow-trenching,” which it claims could reduce the cost of the network roll out by 33 percent. 

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Broadband Direct

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

France's Orange offers $4.4B for Spain's Jazztel

September 16, 2014 1:36 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

France's Orange has offered 3.4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) to buy the operations of Spanish telecommunications company Jazztel. The deal would make Orange/Jazztel the second largest fixed-line broadband Internet operator in Spain, after market leader Telefonica SA.

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'Minecraft' could boost Microsoft's mobile reach

September 16, 2014 12:20 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Microsoft's decision to spend $2.5 billion for the creator of the hit game "Minecraft" could help the Xbox maker grab attention on mobile phones, a new priority for the company. But the move carries risks, as gamers can be fickle. Although the Lego-like multiplayer game is currently the top paid app for the iPhone and Android devices in the U.S., today's popular hit could be tomorrow's dud.

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Rovi takes guide to the cloud

September 15, 2014 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Rovi introduced the cloud-based version of its Rovi Guide, and published a reference design for a set-top box based on Broadcom’s BCM7445 Ultra HD SoC and running Nexus-Trellis software. The cloud-based version of Rovi Guide is an HTML5-based, multi-platform media programming guide.

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ONO taps into TiVo’s cloud APIs

September 15, 2014 12:20 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

ONO, the largest cable operator in Spain, will be among the first cable operators to tap into TiVo’s APIs in order to offer its subscribers improved TV Everywhere services. ONO, which was already a TiVo customer, will integrate TiVo's service capabilities into its multi-screen mobile and web applications, including search and discovery capabilities and remote PVR recording management functionality.

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Mediacom checks off two retransmission deals

September 15, 2014 12:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Mediacom Communications, which has been a vocal proponent for new retransmission agreement guidelines, announced this morning that it had reached new agreements with LIN TV and Vaughan Media. With LIN TV and Vaughan onboard, Mediacom has also signed retransmission consent agreements with ABC and Fox TV Holdings this year.

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France bristles as Netflix advances in Europe

September 15, 2014 12:08 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Netflix is tapping into six new markets Monday hoping to gain a big subscriber base around Europe, but is facing a frosty welcome in France. Well-established French competitors are trying to head off a Netflix wave, the government wants oversight and the cinema industry wants Netflix to invest heavily in French productions.

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Microsoft to buy Minecraft maker for $2.5 billion

September 15, 2014 12:05 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Microsoft will acquire the maker of the long-running hit game Minecraft for $2.5 billion. The technology company said it will buy Stockholm-based game maker Mojang. Minecraft, which lets users build in and explore a Lego-like virtual multiplayer world, has been downloaded 100 million times on PC alone since its launch in 2009.

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AT&T eyes bundle of DirecTV and 50Mbps wireless broadband

September 12, 2014 6:54 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

If its acquisition of DirecTV is approved, AT&T plans to dedicate spectrum for a fixed wireless broadband complement to satellite TV services, according to comments AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega. He also said signaled that AT&T has no interest in building out Wi-Fi networks.

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Dish, Nagra integrate security to cut off piracy

September 12, 2014 1:49 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Nagra said Dish Network is first customer to deploy its new security system, which hardwires conditional access into set-top chips. The approach should frustrate pirates who infiltrate control word networks, steal control words, then distribute them, enabling anyone to hack into content.

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HBO Europe marries Go to linear TV

September 12, 2014 1:24 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

HBO Europe is delivering HBO Go to affiliates through ActiveVideo’s CloudTV StreamCast platform, an arrangement that will allow video distributors to distribute HBO Go directly to any set-top box. HBO Europe operates in 14 territories in eastern and central Europe and the Netherlands.

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Elemental's Delta server takes multi-screen to new level

September 12, 2014 12:53 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Elemental Delta is based on the company’s transcoding technology, and can be configured either as an edge server or an origin server. The system combines JIT packaging, origin services, intelligent caching, dynamic ad insertion and replacement, and end-to-end encrypted content protection functions.

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Cable One adds sports surcharge to subscribers’ bills

September 12, 2014 12:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Due to burgeoning sports programming costs, Cable One has added a monthly sports surcharge of $2.94 across its footprint. The surcharge, which will take effect in the next billing cycle, impacts all residential standard cable tier subscribers.

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TiVo stretches sales reach in Europe

September 12, 2014 12:10 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

TiVo has strengthened its sales team in Europe with new offices and staff in Austria, England, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The new offices will help TiVo better serve its European customers, which include ComHen in Sweden, Ono in Spain, and Virgin Media in the UK.

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CTIA: Mobile drives new levels of sports engagement

September 12, 2014 12:00 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | Comments

The consensus at the CTIA Day 3 sports panel discussion is that mobile is fundamentally changing how sports fans experience the game. Andrea Kremer, chief correspondent for the NFL Network, spoke with Colin Smith, managing director of digital media at NASCAR; John Kosner, executive vice president of digital and print media at ESPN, among others.

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ZigBee controls set-tops and smart home devices with same remote

September 11, 2014 1:48 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

ZigBee Remote Control 2.0 includes a “Find My Remote” feature, the ability to connect to other devices in the smart home, as well as complete control of the set-top box or TV set.  All parts of a ZigBee smart home network can be operated with the same remote control.

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