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Broadband Briefs for 1/07/08

Mon, 01/07/2008 - 8:11am
CED staff

* Hillcrest Labs closes additional $25M funding round
By Traci Patterson

Hillcrest Labs has completed an additional $25 million round of funding, led by new investor AllianceBernstein. Existing investors – including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Columbia Capital and Grotech Capital Group – also participated in the latest round of funding.

Hillcrest Labs will use the funds to further extend its pointer-based application creation platform and pointing technology to a wide range of devices that control and display digital media, the company said.

"We aim to bring a new 'point-and-click' paradigm to the television and beyond,” said Dan Simpkins, founder and CEO of Hillcrest Labs.  “This investment is further validation of our business and technology. In the end, we're committed to helping our partners differentiate their offerings by creating new ways to browse, discover and interact with digital media throughout the home."

* Linksys unveils new extenders at CES
By Traci Patterson

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Linksys unveiled its new Media Center Extender with DVD Player (DMA2200) and Media Center Extender (DMA2100), which will team with existing Linksys offerings to provide a complete home entertainment solution.

The extenders support the ability to send protected HD content to additional rooms, including recorded TV from over-the-air ATSC or CableCard tuners, the company said. And the new offerings are designed to leverage Dual-Band Wireless-N technology to receive content contained on a Media Center PC.

* DirecTV gets upgrade from Lehman Brothers
By Mike Robuck

Prior to this morning’s opening bell on Wall Street, DirecTV received an upgrade on its market prospects from a Lehman Brothers analyst, according to the Associated Press.

Analyst Vijay Jayant upgraded DirecTV today to “overweight” from “equal weight” despite a slowing economy and increased competition. Jayant also raised his target price from $30 per share to $32. DirecTV’s stock was at $21.70 per share at noon today after closing at $21.58 on Friday.

* Verizon’s FiOS TV offered to 500,000 households in Calif.
By Traci Patterson

Verizon’s FiOS TV service is now available to more than 500,000 households in California, and the telco has announced plans to expand the service to 1 million homes by the end of the year.

Verizon recently launched FiOS TV in southern California – including Downey, Santa Fe Springs, La Mirada and Norwalk – and won approval from the Public Utilities Commission to offer the service in 34 more California communities.

* Alcatel-Lucent names Thomas VP investor relations
By Traci Patterson

Alcatel-Lucent has named Remi Thomas as the company’s new VP of investor relations, effective Jan. 21.

Since 2005, Thomas has served as deputy research director at CA Cheuvreux. He joined CA Cheuvreux in 1996 as a financial analyst and has led the firm's technology sector.

* Knology completes Graceba acquisition
By Traci Patterson

Knology Inc. has completed its previously announced acquisition of Graceba Total Communications Inc., a triple-play services provider in Dothan, Ala.

The $75 million transaction was funded with the payment of $16 million of cash on hand and the proceeds of a $59 million incremental term loan facility under the company’s existing credit facility.

* BigBand achieves TL 9000 certification
By Brian Santo

BigBand Networks said it has been awarded TL 9000 certification. TL 9000 defines a strict set of standards for the design, development, production, installation, and maintenance of telecommunications products, software, hardware or services. BigBand’s TL 9000 certification, including ISO 9001:2000 recognition, is the culmination of an 18-month design and review of internal processes.

“TL 9000 certification officially recognizes BigBand’s solutions as carrier-class,” said David Heard, BigBand’s chief operating officer.

More Broadband Direct:

• CableLabs: Out with OpenCable, in with tru2way 

• Cox chooses NDS’ IEX STB testing solution 

• Microsoft pushes capabilities of IPTV at CES 

• Cisco products aim at connected home

• TiVo on board with Internet download of videos 

• Dish to ramp up HD channels this year 

• V erizon’s symmetrical FiOS Internet service reaches businesses 

• BT selects Motorola’s V-Boxes for digital TV service 

• Broadcom sticks with the connection theme at CES 

• Broadband Briefs for 1/07/08 

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