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Microsoft to buy Minecraft maker for $2.5 billion

September 15, 2014 | by Associated Press | Comments

Microsoft will acquire the maker of the long-running hit game Minecraft for $2.5 billion. The technology company said it will buy Stockholm-based game maker Mojang. Minecraft, which lets users build in and explore a Lego-like virtual multiplayer world, has been downloaded 100 million times on PC alone since its launch in 2009.

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Broadband Direct

Daily news and top headlines for broadband communications engineering and design professionals

Virgin Media tunes up 1-Gig test with ‘narrow trenching’

September 16, 2014 12:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media, which is the largest cable operator in the UK, will fire up a small 1-Gigabit trial in the Cambridgeshire village of Papworth that will feature a new trenching technique for laying fiber. Virgin Media said it would lay fiber in Papworth by using “narrow-trenching,” which it claims could reduce the cost of the network roll out by 33 percent. 

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Time Warner Cable to broadcast last 6 Dodger games on local TV

September 16, 2014 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

After being shut out of broadcasts of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ baseball games this season, Time Warner Cable announced that local fans would be able to watch the final six games on a local TV station. Dodgers fans were frozen out of this season’s broadcasts because other cable, telco and satellite video providers weren’t able to come to terms with Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA, which televises Dodgers games.

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ViXS, Entropic drop litigation efforts

September 16, 2014 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Entropic and ViXS announced this morning that they have settled all of their legal differences, which included alleged patent violations and unfair trade practice allegations, while agreeing to cross-licensing deals that cover the patents that were at the root of the litigation. Entropic launched the first legal volley in May of last year when it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ViXS.

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'Minecraft' could boost Microsoft's mobile reach

September 16, 2014 12:20 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Microsoft's decision to spend $2.5 billion for the creator of the hit game "Minecraft" could help the Xbox maker grab attention on mobile phones, a new priority for the company. But the move carries risks, as gamers can be fickle. Although the Lego-like multiplayer game is currently the top paid app for the iPhone and Android devices in the U.S., today's popular hit could be tomorrow's dud.

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Mediacom checks off two retransmission deals

September 15, 2014 12:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Mediacom Communications, which has been a vocal proponent for new retransmission agreement guidelines, announced this morning that it had reached new agreements with LIN TV and Vaughan Media. With LIN TV and Vaughan onboard, Mediacom has also signed retransmission consent agreements with ABC and Fox TV Holdings this year.

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France bristles as Netflix advances in Europe

September 15, 2014 12:08 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Netflix is tapping into six new markets Monday hoping to gain a big subscriber base around Europe, but is facing a frosty welcome in France. Well-established French competitors are trying to head off a Netflix wave, the government wants oversight and the cinema industry wants Netflix to invest heavily in French productions.

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Dish, Nagra integrate security to cut off piracy

September 12, 2014 1:49 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Nagra said Dish Network is first customer to deploy its new security system, which hardwires conditional access into set-top chips. The approach should frustrate pirates who infiltrate control word networks, steal control words, then distribute them, enabling anyone to hack into content.

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HBO Europe marries Go to linear TV

September 12, 2014 1:24 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

HBO Europe is delivering HBO Go to affiliates through ActiveVideo’s CloudTV StreamCast platform, an arrangement that will allow video distributors to distribute HBO Go directly to any set-top box. HBO Europe operates in 14 territories in eastern and central Europe and the Netherlands.

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Elemental's Delta server takes multi-screen to new level

September 12, 2014 12:53 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Elemental Delta is based on the company’s transcoding technology, and can be configured either as an edge server or an origin server. The system combines JIT packaging, origin services, intelligent caching, dynamic ad insertion and replacement, and end-to-end encrypted content protection functions.

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Cable One adds sports surcharge to subscribers’ bills

September 12, 2014 12:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Due to burgeoning sports programming costs, Cable One has added a monthly sports surcharge of $2.94 across its footprint. The surcharge, which will take effect in the next billing cycle, impacts all residential standard cable tier subscribers.

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TiVo stretches sales reach in Europe

September 12, 2014 12:10 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

TiVo has strengthened its sales team in Europe with new offices and staff in Austria, England, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The new offices will help TiVo better serve its European customers, which include ComHen in Sweden, Ono in Spain, and Virgin Media in the UK.

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CTIA: Mobile drives new levels of sports engagement

September 12, 2014 12:00 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | Comments

The consensus at the CTIA Day 3 sports panel discussion is that mobile is fundamentally changing how sports fans experience the game. Andrea Kremer, chief correspondent for the NFL Network, spoke with Colin Smith, managing director of digital media at NASCAR; John Kosner, executive vice president of digital and print media at ESPN, among others.

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ZigBee controls set-tops and smart home devices with same remote

September 11, 2014 1:48 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

ZigBee Remote Control 2.0 includes a “Find My Remote” feature, the ability to connect to other devices in the smart home, as well as complete control of the set-top box or TV set.  All parts of a ZigBee smart home network can be operated with the same remote control.

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Thomson's new transcoder based on Intel QSV

September 11, 2014 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Thomson said it collaborated directly with Intel on a new product in its ViBE line, the ViBE XT1000 Xtream Transcoder. The XT1000 employs Thomson’s own Mustang video encoding algorithms and is based on Intel’s Iris Pro Graphics 5200 and Core i7 processors.

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UXP updates user experience software

September 11, 2014 1:07 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

UXP Systems said it will have a new revision of its Mint Software Suite later this month that enables individual user and household profiles across devices and services, and decouples user profiles from billing accounts, allowing for trial users, moving of user profiles between accounts and multiple accounts-per user.

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