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Broadband Briefs for 8/21/08

Thu, 08/21/2008 - 8:00am

Verizon’s FiOS expands in 9 N.J. cities, towns
By Traci Patterson

Consumers in nine more New Jersey cities and towns now have access to Verizon’s FiOS TV service.

FiOS TV and broadband services are now available to consumers in Camden, Paterson, Salem, Elsinboro, Leonia, Hainesport, Secaucus, North Plainfield and Watchung. The latest expansion makes 304 the total number of New Jersey cities and towns where FiOS services are available.

And Verizon is offering new customers who subscribe to FiOS TV between now and Oct. 4 their choice of a year's free use of either a high-definition (HD) digital video recorder (DVR) or an HD Home Media DVR.

DirecTV adds local HD channels in Lincoln, Rochester
By Traci Patterson

DirecTV is now offering local high-definition (HD) programming to customers in the Lincoln, Neb., designated market area. The following broadcast networks are available in HD: KLKN/ABC, KOLN/CBS and KHAS/NBC. The satellite provider is also now offering local HD programming to customers in the Rochester, N.Y., designated market area. The following broadcast networks are available in HD: WHAM/ABC, WROC/CBS, WUHF/FOX and WHEC/NBC.

With the additions of Lincoln and Rochester, DirecTV now offers local HD broadcast channels in 79 cities, representing nearly 77 percent of U.S. TV households.

The ongoing launch of local HD channels is part of the continuing expansion of DirecTV’s HD programming, which includes the addition of 44 new HD local channel markets by the end of 2008. With those new markets, DirecTV said that it will provide local HD broadcast channels in 121 cities, representing more than 88 percent of U.S. TV households. The satellite operator recently expanded its HD programming lineup and now offers more than 130 HD channels.

Dish offers consumers DTA converter box
By Traci Patterson

Dish Network is offering two additional solutions to consumers affected by the upcoming digital transition: 1) the TR-40 CRA by Dish Network, an entry-level, digital-to-analog (DTA) converter box; or 2) consumers may opt to sign up for Dish Network's recently-introduced American or Latino Welcome Packs, featuring 20 channels for less than $10 per month.

The TR-40 CRA qualifies for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) TV Converter Box Coupon Program, Dish said. The box is priced at $40 and is free when a government coupon is applied (minus shipping and taxes).

"We made a commitment to sell a $40 coupon-eligible converter box – making it free when a government coupon is applied – and are delivering on that commitment with our entry-level TR-40 CRA," said Tom Stingley, executive vice president of sales and distribution for Dish Network. "Our digital-to-analog converter boxes, along with the $9.99 programming package solutions, are additional ways Dish Network is making high-quality TV more accessible to consumers nationwide."

Widevine fattens patent portfolio
By Brian Santo

Attempting to strengthen its global intellectual property position, Widevine Technologies has expanded its global patent portfolio to 55 issued patents, with more than 1,900 claims, granted by more than 25 sovereign nations.

The company said it has received patents in areas that cover application level encryption, cross domain content security, device certificates, downloadable conditional access, evolving detectors, fingerprinting, flow control, forensic watermarking, media tracking, obfuscation, real-time piracy detection and response, security renewals, quality of service and usage controls.

Widevine specializes in multiplatform and multiformat DCAS, digital rights management (DRM), digital copy protection and forensic watermarking solutions for content owners, telco, cable and Internet service operators.

More Broadband Direct:

• Comcast, Intel, Yahoo connect on tru2way widgets

• Move, Intel prep Internet TV devices for WiMAX

• AT&T forms its own geek squad

• AT&T aims broadband offer at students, cable subs

• Hillcrest Labs takes legal action against Nintendo

• AmberFin names Deaner as CEO

• Broadband Briefs for 8/21/08

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