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News summary for 10/03/07

Wed, 10/03/2007 - 9:38am
CED staff

Time Warner Cable launches IPTV for business customers
By Brian Santo

Time Warner Cable Business Class has introduced an IPTV service that delivers real-time, high-speed broadcast TV directly to the computers of its customers. Called BusinessLink.tv, the service is available in some of TWC’s New York and New Jersey markets.

The 10-channel IPTV line-up requires a LAN with a core bandwidth capacity of 4 Mbps, and is delivered via cable modem. The BusinessLink.tv software runs on off-the-shelf hardware and standard operating systems, with minimum network resource utilization, and a combined audio and video stream to ensure A/V synchronization, TWC said. 

The TV networks available are: NY1 News, CNN, CNN Headline News, CNN International, CNBC, CNBC World, Bloomberg TV, Fox News, Fox Business News, and The Weather Channel.

The company is offering free 30-day trials of BusinessLink.tv.

New Swarmcast patent covers broadband video
By Brian Santo

Swarmcast was granted a patent that appears to cover a wide variety of techniques to distribute data – including video – over a peer-to-peer network. The techniques are variously described in the patent as multisource streaming and, in the company’s parlance, “file swarming.” The basic description suggests the patent could conceivably apply to almost any packet-based broadband network.

US Patent 7,277,950, “Packet Transfer Mechanism Over a Peer-to-Peer Network,” describes a class of data transfer technology whereby data is broken up, distributed to other sources and then reassembled at an endpoint, according to the company.

Swarmcast says the patent covers core algorithms that form the foundation of many common modes of next-generation network data transfer, including peer-to-peer, grid content delivery and multi-source streaming.

Multi-source streaming enables the delivery of full-screen, live and on-demand Internet video in HD quality to global audiences over standard broadband, the company said.

If there’s a truly unique element to the patent, it appears to be that the specific approach described “approaches the mathematical bounds of efficient utilization of the capacity of a complex network,” as the company describes it.

Cox adds TBS, CNN HD to lineup
By Traci Patterson

Cox Communications has added TBS HD and CNN HD to its lineup for the MSO’s digital cable subscribers. Cox has said that it intends to expand its HD lineup to 100 channels.

On Tuesday, Comcast announced that it will carry the two HD channels in its Massachusetts and New Hampshire markets.

And last week, Cablevision also added TBS HD to its cable offering. The Major League Baseball divisional playoffs begin today, and TBS will carry 27 potential games in HD.

Showtime uses Moto to deliver Smithsonian Channel in HD MPEG-4
By Mike Robuck

The MPEG-4 wave is starting to build with broadcasters. Today Motorola said that it will provide an HD MPEG-4 AVC encoding system for the Smithsonian Channel, which plans to show all of its programs in HD.

Showtime Networks will distribute the MPEG-4 programming for the Smithsonian Channel starting in the fourth quarter of this year. Motorola has also announced similar deals for AVC platforms with HBO and Starz.

The Smithsonian Channel will use Motorola’s SE-5100 MPEG-4 AVC HD encoders to encode video content into the MPEG-4 format, which will then be distributed via satellite.

The signals will then be sent to the Smithsonian Channel’s cable or telco affiliates who have installed Motorola’s DSR-6050 Digital Satellite Receiver-Transcoder at their headends. In some cases, the content will be converted back to MPEG-2.

"Motorola's MPEG-4 solution allows us to deliver this programming with the superb video quality that really does the content justice," said Jim Occhiuto, vice president, engineering, Showtime Networks, in a statement. "The system's flexibility and efficiency will allow us to roll out even more HD channels during the coming years."

Entropic bows new triple play software for MDUs, home
By Mike Robuck

Entropic Communications said today that its new software, called c.Link Access 1.5, is available for purchase. The software was designed to deliver triple-play services over cable connections in multi-dwelling units, high-density dwellings and single-family homes.

The new software enhances Entropic’s current c.Link Access triple play solution by supporting new features such as: multicast filtering, Internet Group Management Protocol, IP Type of Service mapping, and Virtual LAN support. Entropic’s c.Link is designed to work over operators’ existing coaxial cable infrastructure.

"Entropic continues to develop leading solutions which address the needs of our service provider customers," said Jim Zhao, Actiontec's director and general manager for APAC Broadband CPE Business, in a statement. "The additional feature set of c.Link Access 1.5 software provides a robust, low-cost vehicle for delivering high-quality, premium services for our customer base."

CommuniGate launches Pronto! beta
By Traci Patterson

CommuniGate Systems has released a public beta of its unified communications framework, Pronto!

Pronto! - which provides a single point of access for all voice and data communications - is built on Adobe Air, a cross-operating system application runtime for building and deploying rich Internet applications (RIAs) to the desktop.

With Pronto!, users can open separate windows for IM, calendars, events and e-mail, and they can drag and drop or upload content. The latest version also provides an offline/online transition because Pronto! automatically detects the presence of an available network and prompts the user to send any queued messages.

“With Air, Pronto! delivers a more powerful, intuitive experience that puts the Web 2.0 office in the user’s hands today,” said Jon Doyle, VP of business development at CommuniGate. “We see Pronto! as a unique, extensible framework where social networks and businesses can plug in applications leveraging the powerful unified communications applications in mash-ups.”

Broadband Briefs for 10/03/07

* Harmonic adds board member
By Traci Patterson

Harmonic Inc. has appointed Patrick Gallagher to the company’s board of directors. Gallagher also serves on the board at Gentronics and is VP of the board at Golden Telecom.

During his 17-year tenure at British Telecom, Gallagher held several senior management positions - including group director of strategy and development and president of BT Europe - and was a member of the BT executive committee. He has also served as co/vice chairman and CEO at Flag Telecom.

* TiVo International promotes exec
By Traci Patterson

TiVo Inc. has promoted Joshua Danovitz to VP and GM of TiVo International. Danovitz joined TiVo in 2004 as GM of TiVo International, developing TiVo's overseas strategy and creating cross-border partnerships.

“Joshua has played a critical role in the development and execution of our international strategy, initially forging our partnerships in Mexico and Australia,” said Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo. “This strategy creates a clear path to develop opportunities with international service providers and broadcasters to extend TiVo's reach into key markets around the world.”

* Network engineering expert joins Aurora
By Brian Santo

Aurora Networks expanded its sales team with network engineering expert James “Doug” Weiss, who Aurora named director of national accounts, responsible for overseeing the sales and service activities for Comcast’s East Coast systems.

Weiss spent 14 of the last 18 years optimizing networks for Comcast Cable, most recently holding the position of senior director of network engineering.  During his tenure, Weiss engineered Converged Regional Area Networks (CRANs) in major metropolitan markets throughout the country, enhanced network architecture and managed bandwidth capacity to support the deployment of advanced services, and designed headends and hub sites.

* Intel joins MoCA
By Mike Robuck

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA)  announced today that Intel has joined as a contributing member. (MoCA) is an open, industry-driven initiative promoting distribution of digital video and entertainment through coaxial cable in the home. MoCA technology is designed to provide the backbone for whole home entertainment networks of multiple wired and wireless products. 

"Intel has been instrumental in driving the development and establishment of standards in home connectivity," said Charles Cerino, president of MoCA, in a statement. "Their membership further demonstrates MoCA's growth as the smart way to distribute high definition video in and around the home."

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