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Broadband Direct

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

WorldGate launches Go!TV Games Network

September 2, 2002 8:00 pm | by Susan Rush | Comments

WorldGate is jumping into the interactive gaming sector with the introduction of its Go!TV Games Network. The interactive network enables gamers in the same house or different households to go head-to-head using WorldGate's ultra-thin client architecture. Players also can participate in online chats.

SeaChange launches VOD tour

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

In an effort to help the cable industry spread the good word about on-demand services to consumers, SeaChange International Inc. has kicked off its "VOD Experience Tour." Headlining the tour is SeaChange's "All-Television Vehicle, a 41-foot rig equipped with the necessary gear to show off VOD in all its glory.

WSNet to help rural ops market digital

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Cable sells services, not technology–or at least, that's the message WSNet is trying to deliver to rural cable operators with a new marketing tool crafted to lure digital cable subscribers and keep them away from DBS. WSNet, which helps small- and medium-sized operators deliver affordable digital programming, will launch in the fourth quarter a consumer marketing campaign, touting "That'...

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Collette, Soderquist not away for long

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Michael Collette and Craig Soderquist–two cable industry veterans–resurfaced over the summer after brief respites, each assuming the top slot at their respective companies. Media software provider Ucentric Systems named Collette, a former OpenTV and ICTV marketing executive, as its CEO. At Ucentric, Collette will direct the company's strategies involving media distribution software...

BIAP notches 'PiTV' deals

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

BIAP Systems, a developer of personalized "artificial intelligence" software for set-tops, said it has secured agreements with USA Media Group, MetroCast Cablevision and the National Cable Television Cooperative, an organization that represents cable systems serving about 14 million subscribers. BIAP's PiTV application runs on digital set-tops and uses A.

SCTE calls for board of directors nominations

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) said it is accepting candidate nominations for seven seats on its board of directors for the 2003-2005 term, including Region 1 (California, Hawaii and Nevada), Region 2 (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming), Region 6 (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin), Region 9 (Florida, Georgia and South Carolina), Region ...

Liberate diversifies with Sigma buy

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Middleware vendor Liberate Technologies fattened its technology portfolio with the acquisition of Canada-based OSS company Sigma Systems Group for roughly $62 million in cash. Sigma threw in $20 million to help finance the deal, which could close by the third quarter of 2002. Liberate, like its competitors, has been stung by a slow-moving iTV sector.

CableLabs moves on OCAP

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

CableLabs said its second OCAP (Open Cable Application Platform) interoperability event on July 22 was a success, as 15 different vendors joined in with "critical pieces" that make up the specification's puzzle, including hardware platforms, middleware implementations, interactive television applications and development and test tools.

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FCC mandate aims to jolt DTV to life

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Hoping to jump-start the digital television era, the Federal Communications Commission voted in mid-August to mandate the installation of off-air DTV tuners in nearly all new television sets by 2007, a decision that rankled the Consumer Electronics Association. As part of the FCC's five-year plan, the requirement will start with larger, more expensive televisions, a move designed to minimize t...

Xbox Live launch set for Nov. 15

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Hoping to boost sales in an ultra-competitive gaming console sector, Microsoft Corp. said it will mark the one-year anniversary of the Xbox by launching its much-anticipated broadband-only, multiplayer service. On Nov. 15, Microsoft will begin selling a starter kit for its new multiplayer service, dubbed Xbox Live, for $49.

HSA to liquidate

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Closing the book on a former cable modem service provider, High Speed Access Corp. announced it will dissolve and liquidate. HSA said it will submit the plan to company shareholders for approval. HSA sold most of its assets to Charter Communications in February for about $81 million.

HITS enters digital surround with Dolby 5.1

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

AT&T's Headend In The Sky (HITS) is offering Dolby Digital 5.1 audio on "select premium services" following a technology deal with Dolby Laboratories. Dolby 5.1, a multichannel audio scheme, provides five full channels: front left, front right, center, surround left and surround right, plus a low frequency effect channel required for special effects and action sequences, which represents th...

Real, Microsoft stoke streaming media battle

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

RealNetworks Inc. and Microsoft Corp. upped the streaming media ante recently, with each company introducing a new streaming platform designed to outdo the other. For its part, RealNetworks took the open road with the unveiling of "Helix," a platform for the creation of digital media products and applications "for any format, operating system or device.

Charter re-ups with CSG

August 31, 2002 8:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Despite an ongoing legal tiff with its largest customer, AT&T Broadband, CSG Systems International got some good news over the summer, announcing that Charter Communications had re-upped its customer care and billing deal with the company through 2012. Financial terms were not disclosed, but CSG will continue to provide billing support for Charter's video and high-speed data customers, incl...

Analyst: Software problems riddled Cablevision's Sony roll-out

August 29, 2002 8:00 pm | by Jeff Baumgartner | Comments

Cablevision Systems Corp. inked a deal to deploy Scientific-Atlanta Inc. digital set-tops and headend equipment partly because the existing Sony Corp. platform was plagued with software problems, according to one analysis. That conclusion came from Anton Wahlman of Needham & Company Inc., who issued a report on the subject just ahead of Thursday's announcement from Cablevision that it had t...

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