Broadband briefs for 4/27/06
* WildBlue extends free install offer
Satellite broadband service provider WildBlue Communications has extended a free installation offer through May 31. Installation typically runs $179.95.
WildBlue's original plan was to offer free installation through April 1, but decided to extend it due to "high customer demand."
Separately, WildBlue named Mike Casullo to chief information officer. Casullo most recently served in the same capacity for On Command Corp. He is also late of Qwest Cyber.Solutions, VeloCom Inc., and Tele-Communications Inc. (now part of Comcast).
* Westell CEO sets summer retirement
Westell Technologies, a supplier of DSL modems and other broadband gear, said company President & CEO E. Van Cullens plans to retire by July 2007, subject to the naming of a successor.
Cullens plans to remain on the company board, however.
* Broadcom set-top audio codecs now support Dolby
Broadcom Corp.'s AVC/MPEG-2/VC-1 family of HD digital video decoder chips for satellite, cable and IP set-top boxes and media gateways now supports Dolby Digital Plus and Coding Technologies' MPEG-4 aacPlus specifications.
The inclusion of Dolby technology reduces the bit rate requirements for delivering audio in high-definition DVD and broadcasting, digital video and radio, and Internet music applications.
* Sling Media officially going mobile
Sling Media has released the commercial version of its SlingPlayer Mobile, new software that gives Slingbox owners the ability to watch and control their home TV from any network-enabled mobile phone or computer.
The SlingPlayer Mobile software is compatible with devices that run Windows Mobile Pocket PC 5.0 and 2003 Second Edition. The software retails for $29.99; the mobile version is a free upgrade to Slingbox owners who purchased and registered their device on or before April 26, 2006.
* Harmonic to add support for Dolby Digital Plus
A few days after announcing a similar deal with Broadcom Corp., Dolby Laboratories said Harmonic Inc. plans to support Dolby Digital Plus in future versions of its Divicom codecs. Dolby Digital Plus offers the same quality available today with Dolby Digital but requires less bandwidth while maintaining compatibility with millions of existing Dolby Digital receivers.
* TiVo promotes in house lawyer
TiVo Inc. has promoted Matthew Zinn as SVP, general counsel, secretary and chief privacy officer. Zinn joined TiVo in June 2000 as the company's chief legal officer, and is responsible for overseeing all legal, regulatory, legislative and consumer privacy issues for TiVo.