Broadband Briefs for 7/11/08
• DirecTV subs rack up 1M DVR recordings using Internet, phones
By Mike Robuck
DirecTV said this week that its customers have scheduled more than one million digital video recorder (DVR) recordings remotely by using their mobile phones and the Internet.
DirecTV surpassed the one million recordings milestone this week for its DVR Scheduler, which is a free service that allows customers to remotely program their recordings by using a mobile phone or the Internet. DirecTV did a soft launch of the DVR Scheduler in January, followed by the official launch in May.
“The positive response we have received for the DirecTV DVR Scheduler has truly surpassed our expectations,” said Eric Shanks, EVP of DirecTV Entertainment.
• Verizon’s high-speed Internet service expands in W. Mass.
By Traci Patterson
Verizon is adding two towns to its high-speed Internet expansion project in western Massachusetts: Washington and Shutesbury.
The towns join a list of 23 other communities that were announced earlier this year. Verizon is investing more than $200 million this year to expand its network throughout Massachusetts, and when completed, the project will make Verizon’s High-Speed Internet service available to thousands of consumers in western Massachusetts.
Verizon technicians have already begun laying the groundwork for the new service, also known as DSL. The service will give Internet users the ability to download at speeds of up to 3 Mbps.
• Motorola IP set-tops include VCAS
By Brian Santo
Verimatrix and Motorola have entered into a reseller agreement, whereby the former’s Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for IPTV has been integrated with the latter’s IPTV products.
Motorola’s advanced VIP series IP set-top boxes fully support the VCAS for IPTV solution and are deployed in IPTV systems around the globe. Motorola and Verimatrix are working together to integrate and certify new VIP set-top models.
“Our customers benefit from our agreement with Motorola as it provides them with a turnkey solution for a faster and more secure deployment environment – already approved by major studios and broadcasters,” said Steve Oetegenn, chief sales and marketing officer for Verimatrix.
• Vonage granted its first patent
By Brian Santo
Vonage said it has received approval of its first patent, called "Method and Apparatus for Placing a Long Distance Call Based on a Virtual Phone Number." The invention allows customers to use a virtual number to contact parties at distant locations without incurring long distance charges.
Vonage was crippled last year by rivals that demonstrated that the VoIP provider had been infringing on several patents held by others. Companies can discourage rivals from suing them for patent infringement by threatening countersuits. Vonage, without any patents of its own, was in no position to do so. Developing a patent portfolio of its own, then, becomes a defensive strategy.
The company explained that a virtual number allows a Vonage customer to have a secondary number where they can be reached. For example, a Vonage customer can get a secondary phone number with the same area code as his mother, so when his mother tries to contact him, she can as a local call even if he lives across the country.
Vonage’s patent is No. 7,386,111.
• Convergys names Goetz CIO
By Traci Patterson
Convergys Corp., which provides relationship management solutions to cable operators and others companies, has named Jim Goetz as chief information officer (CIO).
Goetz will be responsible for strategic planning and global implementation of the information systems and technology function for Convergys, including programming, systems development, database management, computer operations, telecommunications and outsourcing. Goetz will also interact with clients as the strategic leader for Convergys’ technology solutions from an internal and outsourcing perspective, the company said.
Most recently, Goetz served as CIO for the ServiceMaster Co., where he led initiatives in technology infrastructure, applications and business capabilities. Prior to that, Goetz worked for IBM Global Services, where he led the development and implementation of e-business services for telecom, media, and Internet-based companies.
• Wi-Fi TV plans to enhance Web site
By Traci Patterson
Wi-Fi TV Inc. has a new plan to increase its viewers, market share for Internet TV, revenue and total corporate value. The plan will put the company in a position to become a well-known global Web site with an exit strategy of being sold to a larger company, and/or gaining corporate value, Wi-Fi TV said.
The specific goals for the next-generation Wi-Fi TV Web site are divided into four categories: Personal TV Stations Launch, Business TV Stations Upgrades, Site Upgrades, and China and Global Expansion.
Wi-Fi TV provides Social Internet TV, a TV delivery platform that has a geographic sphere out-distancing any traditional cable or over-the-air TV broadcaster, according to the company. On the company’s Web site, viewers can watch hundreds of TV stations and chat with other viewers watching the same program. Viewers can also download a free dialer to make phone calls and host live video parties.
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