Broadband Briefs for 05/10/10
• Comcast, NBC to sell 1 TV station in Los Angeles
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) – Comcast says NBC Universal will sell one of the three Los Angeles stations it owns as the cable TV company prepares to acquire NBC.
Comcast Corp. is trying to clear a regulatory hurdle as it moves to complete the purchase of a majority stake in NBC Universal. NBC Universal currently owns the NBC station in Los Angeles, one for the Spanish-language Telemundo network and an independent Spanish-language station, KWHY.
Federal regulations usually bar companies from owning more than two stations in a local market. NBC has been operating under waivers from the Federal Communications Commission.
• CMC’s Hits unveils first EBIF app for 3-D TV
By Mike Robuck
The Comcast Media Center’s Hits division has unveiled its first EBIF (Enhanced Binary Interchange Format) enabled interactive application that’s optimized for 3-D TV.
The CMC said the momentum of 3-D programming in the marketplace presented a challenge for video programming that was not in 3-D source code, such as guides or tickers. Hits addressed that concern with technology that allows 3-D and 2-D content to be viewed simultaneously.
The technology can be used by MSOs to ensure that visual elements such as text or buttons can be delivered in high-quality, viewer-friendly feeds to their growing 3-D TV subscriber base.
• CMC rolls out ETV apps for cable ops
By Mike Robuck
The Comcast Media Center’s Hits division recently announced a managed platform designed to reduce the costs and improve the process for delivering enhanced television (ETV) applications to cable systems.
Hits’ AxIS ETV Solutions for Programmers includes data PID (packet ID) distribution, management and monitoring from Hits Advanced Interactive Services (AxIS).
The service allows cable-programming networks to deliver ETV applications without integrating them into their linear programming, incurring incremental transponder costs, or impacting video quality.
• Wi-Fi to come in much faster, short-range flavor
By Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – The industry group that supports Wi-Fi is adopting a new technology that should boost data speeds more than 10 times at short distances, which could replace video cables in the home entertainment center.
The Wi-Fi Alliance said it is joining up with the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, or WiGig, which has been developing ways to exploit the 60 GHz frequency band for extremely high data speeds between devices in the same room.
The technology will probably take two years to show up in products, said Wi-Fi Alliance marketing director Kelly Davis-Felner. The first ones might be Blu-ray players that can send their high-definition video signal wirelessly to compatible TV sets. Later, portable devices such as video cameras could get the ability to send video wirelessly.
A separate group, the WirelessHD Consortium, has developed technology to exploit the same frequency band with the same aims. WirelessHD is further along in development. It is used in some paired transmitters and receivers for HD video that came out last year. The focus of WirelessHD was originally narrower, only video and audio streaming, but it has recently expanded to include data networking, just like WiGig.