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Broadband Direct

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

Movidis takes VOD to 'molecular' level

December 1, 2002 7:00 pm | by Jeff Baumgartner | Comments

Video-on-demand start-up Movidis Inc. has introduced a new media server designed to cut costs to less than $65 per stream. The 3-RU-high Molecular Media Server (MMS) 1000, which sports dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, is anchored to Movidis' distributed VOD architecture, an approach that saves cost and space requirements, the company said.

Acterna bows 'TechSync' portfolio

December 1, 2002 7:00 pm | by Roger Brown | Comments

Seizing on the "lower costs or die" trend that now dominates the cable TV industry, Acterna has introduced TechSync, a portfolio of interactive communications test instruments, software and services aimed at helping network operators maximize profitability and flexibility while reducing operating and overhead costs.

Broadband backs 'Xbox Live'

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

A total of 13 U.S. and Canadian broadband service providers are the first to publicly support the "Xbox Compatible" program, an initiative designed to make it easy for gamers to experience "Xbox Live," a broadband-only multiplayer service that launched Nov. 15. The current list of North American broadband service providers that will support Xbox Compatible include Bell Canada, BellSouth Corp.

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S-A, Luminous launch metro area network solutions

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Building on a previous alliance, Scientific-Atlanta and Luminous Networks have launched a metro area network solution for cable operators based on resilient packet ring (RPR) technology. The latest combination will support a range of packet-based voice, video and data services and help operators create more efficient packet-based platforms, the companies said.

Pillai named Young Engineer of the Year

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Pragash Pillai, senior engineer of digital video technologies for Charter Communications Inc., has been named the 2003 Young Engineer of the Year. The award–sponsored by Pace Micro Technology, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers and CED sister publication Multichannel News–recognizes engineers under 30 for their contributions to the cable industry.

Movielink marks VOD competition for cable

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Movielink LLC initiated a "soft launch" of its highly-anticipated, broadband-friendly Internet video-on-demand service last month, initially rolling out to a limited number of customers whose feedback will be used to refine the service. The Movielink service initially features titles from its suppliers and backers, including studios MGM, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios and...

Motorola sheds expense with DCT-1700

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Giving operators a way to offer digital programming to additional cable outlets without racking up huge expenses, Motorola Broadband introduced the DCT-1700, a digital cable set-top that provides the same features as the ubiquitous DCT-2000, but at a lower price. Motorola did not disclose pricing on the DCT-1700, but the DCT-2000, according to CED research, carries a list price of about $289 pe...

SeaChange software suite targets DVD-on-Demand

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

SeaChange International has introduced a new software application that aims to add DVD functionality to everyday digital cable set-tops. Available to cable operators in January 2003, the patent-pending application, part of SeaChange's VODlink software suite, was developed and built by Digital Video Arts, a SeaChange software developer division that provides client integration and integration w...

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Cox sets the table for retail set-tops

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

OpenCable isn't a reality yet, but that hasn't stopped Cox Communications from priming the retail pump for digital set-tops. For starters, the MSO said two consumer electronics dealers in Virginia are making Motorola Broadband's new DCP501 Home Theater System available in their retail showrooms. The DCP501 features a DVD/CD/MP3 player, a digital audio/video receiver and a digital receiver that...

TV Linux Alliance releases first spec

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

The TV Linux Alliance–a consortium that is developing a Linux-based middleware for digital set-tops–has released its first specification, version 0.8. The initial spec defines the basic functionality for tuner-level and device definitions, and a future version will define standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for additional digital media.

CableLabs issues two new VOD specs

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

CableLabs, without much fanfare, released two video-on-demand specifications on Sept. 27 as part of an effort to help operators deploy VOD services more rapidly. The first, the 1.1 version of CableLabs' video-on-demand content specification, covers elements such as metadata formatting and video encoding thresholds.

Charter, Digeo get game

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Charter Communications said it has added gaming to its interactive channel lineup, making it available to more than 650,000 digital subscribers. The interactive games channel, called i-Games and created through the MSO's partnership with Digeo Inc., has boasted more than four million weekly screen views, with 20 percent of users accessing the service an average of 13 times per week.

Vendors make initial run at DOCSIS 2.0, CableHome 1.0

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

The launch of certification wave 24 at CableLabs shaped up to be a bellwether of sorts, as several vendors stepped forward to become the first to submit products for official testing on DOCSIS 2.0, CableHome 1.0 and PacketCable 1.0. On the DOCSIS 2.0 front, Motorola Broadband, Scientific-Atlanta, Terayon Communication Systems, Texas Instruments and Xrosstech all submitted cable modems or refere...

Study: FTTH on a fast track

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Fiber-to-the-home installations will jump by 330 percent this year–from 72,100 homes passed to 315,000 homes passed–ultimately reaching between 800,000 and 1.4 million homes by 2004. That forecast, courtesy of the FTTH Council and prepared by market research firm Render, Vanderslice & Associates, is the culmination of more than 600 interviews at various levels of the FTTH secto...

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Panasonic signs PHILA license

November 30, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Inching the industry closer to a day when TVs can be built with on-board cable set-top capabilities, Panasonic has become the first major TV manufacturer to sign the POD-Host Interface License Agreement (PHILA). The PHILA license gives Panasonic access to Motorola Broadband's proprietary DFAST (Dynamic Feedback Arrangement Scrambling Technique) copy protection technology.

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