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Broadband Briefs for 12/19/08

Fri, 12/19/2008 - 7:00am

Charter adds 4 HD, 4 digital channels to St. Louis lineup
By Traci Patterson

Charter Communications has added four new high-definition (HD) channels and four new digital channels to its programming lineup in the St. Louis area.

"We are pleased to offer our customers eight additional channels," said Steve Trippe, vice president and general manager of Charter's St. Louis operations. "And with Charter On Demand and Charter's digital video recorder capability, our customers can watch what they want, when they want.”

The new HD channels are: Food Network HD, HGTV HD, National Geographic Channel HD and Golf Channel HD. The new digital channels are: Hallmark Movie Channel, ReelzChannel, American Life TV and The Sportsman Channel.

Qwest lowers rate of highest-speed Internet service in Ariz.
By Traci Patterson

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, Qwest has lowered the cost of its highest-speed Internet service to make it more competitive in Phoenix and Tucson.

Qwest is lowering its 20 Mbps tier from $99.99 per month to $59.99 per month for residential customers. The move puts its highest-speed service on par with Cox Communication Inc.’s fastest service in those markets, the Journal reported.

Qwest’s service is available in Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale and Tempe, Ariz.

Toner Cable Equipment names Helling as sales rep for Latin Amer.
By Traci Patterson

Toner Cable Equipment Inc. has appointed Elizabeth Martinez Helling as the company’s Latin American sales representative.

Helling will be responsible for sales in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Toner Cable Equipment, headquartered in Horsham, Pa., is an international supplier and distributor of technological equipment used to build and improve cable television and television signal distribution systems.

Apple TV charged with patent violation
By Brian Santo

Apple is being sued for patent infringement for the wireless technology it uses in Apple TV, Airport Express and its Macintosh computers.

The plaintiff is EZ4 Media, which bought the patents in question from Universal Electronics (UEI) in March. EZ4 claims that three former employees of UEI were hired by Apple, and that those three helped Apple develop its wireless technologies, according to Information Week.

“Each of these employees had access to UEI's confidential and proprietary information and left UEI for Apple within 30 days of each other in the second quarter of 2005," the complaint says, according to Information Week. “Apple TV was commercially introduced in September 2006."

YouTube begins hosting HD video
By Brian Santo

YouTube has quietly introduced HD video. The company has posted a page specifically for HD video (available here). The amount of content is today extremely limited by YouTube standards; the video quality is far superior to what’s typically found at the site.

The HD video resolution the site will accept is 1290 x 720 (16x9 HD). It will support video encoded in H.264, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4.

Although YouTube has signaled its intent to host long-form video, it’s not ready to accept enormous user files. The company’s HD page, first noted by CNET, will accept HD files up to a maximum of 20 GB in size.

Nielsen Online: Work time is online video time
By Traci Patterson

About 65 percent of online video viewers stream content while at work, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, compared with 51 percent of online video viewers who stream content on the weekends, between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The data is according to Nielsen Online, which concluded that at-work hours are “primetime” for viewing online video.

Nielsen Online also provided overall online video usage for September and October 2008. In October, time per viewer increased by 10 percent, while the number of unique viewers and total streams remained relatively flat month-over-month.

More Broadband Direct:

• Obama urged to devote stimulus funds to broadband

• JDS Uniphase names CEO, president

• CableLabs certifies Netgear's EMTA for DOCSIS 3.0, PacketCable

• Thomson garners industry's first DLNA certification VoIP gateway

• Peerless standardizes on Sonus

• Verizon expands service offerings in Pa., Calif., N.Y., Ohio

• SCTE's standards program reaccredited by ANSI

• Panasonic to buy Sanyo in $9 billion deal

• Research says TV sales will slump in '09

• Broadband Briefs for 12/19/08

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