Broadband Briefs for 1/04/08

Fri, 01/04/2008 - 7:00am
CED staff

* Cox Northern Virginia launches HD on-demand
By Traci Patterson

Cox Communications Northern Virginia has launched HD on-demand in Fairfax County and the Fredericksburg region featuring content from Starz and Showtime.

Any Starz or Showtime subscribers who have an HDTV and an HD receiver from Cox can access the new content for free. Cox Northern Virginia now offers 31 HD channels.

* Sling meets the BlackBerry at CES
By Brian Santo

Sling Media’s SlingPlayer Mobile software has been ported to run on RIM BlackBerry smartphones.

Sling Media will demonstrate the capabilities of the Sling-enabled BlackBerry at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, though the devices will not be commercially available until later this year. Once available, users will need only to purchase SlingPlayer Mobile for a one-time charge of $29.99.

* Allot buys Esphion 
By Mike Robuck

Allot Communications announced on Thursday that it had acquired Esphion Limited, a New Zealand-based developer of network protection products for carriers and Internet service providers (ISPs), for $5.5 million. Allot, which develops IP service optimization technologies based on deep packet inspection (DPI), will pay $3.5 million, as well as up to an additional $2 million, if certain requirements are met this year.

Allot said it would integrate Esphion’s products and technology into its entire product portfolio, including the recently announced Allot Service Gateway, which is a standards-based platform for broadband service control and optimization capable of supporting more than 20 Gbps of traffic.

* DirecTV expands HD channels in Pa., N.Y.
By Traci Patterson

DirecTV is now offering local HD programming to customers in the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Pa., areas. The new channels are WNEP/ABC and WOLF/FOX. And in Albany, Schenectady and Troy, N.Y., the satellite provider is now offering the following local HD programming options: WRGB/CBS, WTEN/ABC, WNYT/NBC and WXXA/FOX.

With the new additions, DirecTV now offers local HD broadcast channels in 70 cities. DirecTV’s rollout of local HD programming is part of a nationwide expansion of HD programming that includes 89 national HD channels.

* Verizon’s FiOS TV hits Rowley, Mass.
By Traci Patterson

Verizon’s FiOS TV service is now available to some 1,800 residents of Rowley, Mass. Verizon now offers the service in 61 Massachusetts communities – in more than 400,000 households.

* China tightens regulatory grip on Internet video broadcasts
By Traci Patterson

According to Bloomberg News, the Chinese government is tightening its regulatory grip on media content offered in the country by allowing only state-run Web sites to broadcast video or radio via the Internet.

Beginning Jan. 31, Internet broadcasting license applicants must be government-run entities, and operators will be banned from offering content promoting sex, violence, gambling or religious cults, as well as content divulging state secrets, according to China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

* Sigma Design buys HD video processor technology
By Brian Santo

Sigma Designs has bought the assets of the VXP Image Processing business from Gennum. The VXP group develops single-chip image processors delivering broadcast studio quality, artifact-free images for professional AV processing, video projection and digital TV applications. Sigma intends to use the technology in a planned line of integrated media processor for HDTV and other markets.

Sigma Designs will pay about $18 million in cash and assume certain unspecified liabilities in exchange for assets of the VXP group, its current product line, inventory and equipment. The acquisition is expected to close by mid-February.

More Broadband Direct:

• ACA asks FCC to bar networks from abusing market power 

• Cisco draws a bead on CES 

• Meraki to deploy free Wi-Fi in San Francisco

• Amimon, Belkin to show wireless HDTV connectivity at CES 

• Vongo, Starz serve up content to Samsung’s P2 portable player 

• STMicroelectronics intros pair of set-top chips 

• Broadband Briefs for 1/04/08 



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