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Broadband Direct

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

Ucentric preps for 2002 deployments

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Digital home entertainment start-up Ucentric Systems said it has completed its initial phase of service operator trials, and is preparing a third-generation of its software platform for cable deployments in the second half of this year. Though Ucentric's focus is on software for set-top boxes and media servers, the company has supplied prototype hardware to trial participants, including C...

On-demand takes center stage at CTAM

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Video-on-demand and subscription-VOD were hot topics at last month's CTAM Digital Conference in Los Angeles, as operators and programmers explained how such services could be marketed to generate revenue and bust digital churn. Comcast Corp. officials, for example, said it will entice consumers with free SVOD trials, as well as other marketing tactics designed to remove barriers of consum...

Changes afoot at Moxi

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Despite a splashy coming-out party at January's Consumer Electronics Show, apparently not all sailing is smooth at Moxi Digital Inc. For starters, Steve Perlman, former co-founder of WebTV, stepped down as Moxi's CEO to become vice chairman and "devote more time for creative projects at Rearden Steel Studios," the company said.


Ricochet redux

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Rising like a Phoenix from the ashes, Ricochet Networks has launched a technical trial of its high-speed, wireless Internet access network in Denver. Aerie Networks acquired Ricochet Networks from bankrupt Metricom Inc. for $8.25 million.Ricochet said the Denver test is the first step toward re-deploying the service and its patented MicroCellular Data Network.

Study: High-speed subs ripe for up-sell

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Broadband subscribers are more apt to be up-sold for "core" services during a broadband qualification or installation, revealed a new study from Mindwave Research and BroadJump Inc. The study, which polled 1,046 randomly selected and qualified residential broadband subscribers, found that consumers have a large attraction to "core" services.

Philips ups the middleware ante with MHP

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

In a move that could pit Philips in the highly competitive middleware market, Philips Softworks has teamed with silicon vendor STMicroelectronics to develop "solutions" for applying Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) technology in set-top boxes and digital televisions. Under the agreement, both companies will develop and market "pre-integrated" versions of the Philips MHP 1.

CableLabs serves up metadata in VOD spec

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

In a move that could play a huge role in forthcoming "everything" on-demand services, CableLabs has completed the first set of specifications related to handling descriptive data–also known as metadata–associated with on-demand video "events." The specification, dubbed V.10, is designed to create a common approach to handling metadata, which can identify VOD movie titles or ev...

Broadband reaching the mainstream

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

In what could be considered a watershed event, broadband surfing in January 2002 accounted for more than half of all time spent on the Internet, reported Nielsen//NetRatings. That marked the first time that broadband usage outpaced narrowband usage (see accompanying chart). NetRatings also found that about 21.


MSNBC taps Net Insight gear for video back-haul

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Following a trial launched last October, MSNBC has inked a deal with Net Insight's domestic partner, Qmedia, to access capacity on a bi-directional back-haul video network that links the programmer's presence in Washington, D.C. and New York. MSNBC will use the network to feed video of press conferences and briefings from the White House as well as news programs such as "Hardball" and "Da...


Wink gets game

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Wink Communications said it will develop and offer interactive television games via an affiliation deal with Two Way TV Inc. Wink added that it will distribute the games through existing partnerships with TV operators. The initial Wink-Two Way offering will include "virtual game channels" comprised of simple trivia, casino, arcade and word games.

EarthLink cuts out the wait with cable home network service

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Complementing a similar strategy for its DSL service, EarthLink said it has started to offer a home networking service bundle to its cable modem ISP customers. EarthLink's home networking service and gateway hardware will leverage both wired and wireless links to share high-speed connections and files among several PCs and peripherals on a home network.

Comcast opens high-speed doors to United Online

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Ushering in its own open access strategy, Comcast Corp. inked a non-exclusive deal with United Online Inc. to offer multiple ISPs in the MSO's cable modem markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The agreement gives United Online, owner of NetZero and Juno, the ability to offer broadband ISPs services for the first time.

Incanta down to skeleton staff as it seeks survival funding

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Jeff Baumgartner | Comments

Falling prey to market and financial pressures that have hit scores of broadband and technology start-ups, Incanta Inc. is down to a skeleton crew while the broadband content company attempts to raise more cash to stay afloat. Atlanta, Ga.-based Incanta is now down to six staffers, down from about 37 last week, a company spokesman said.

Industry trio produces iTV/VOD/IPG package

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

TV Guide Interactive Inc., WorldGate and Concurrent Computer Corp. pooled their respective products and services to construct a combined iTV/VOD package the trio expects to release to cable operators this summer. The services are designed to work on Motorola Inc.'s DCT-2000 set-top box and not use a middleware platform, the trio says.

Shaw, Rogers target dial-up users

March 31, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

In an attempt to convert dial-up users to faster broadband connections and to lure entry-level Internet users, Canadian MSOs Rogers Cable Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. are offering "Internet Lite" services. Shaw has launched the service, and Rogers plans to offer it this month. Slower than traditional cable modem services but much faster than dial-up connections, the new Lite version ...


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