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Broadband Direct

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

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.

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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.

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...

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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...

Gemstar takes it on the chin

August 29, 2002 8:00 pm | by Susan Rush | Comments

The U.S. International Trade Commission dealt Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. another blow yesterday, denying the interactive programming guide developer's request to review an earlier decision. In June, an ITC judge ruled that Gemstar competitors did not engage in unfair trade practices with regards to Gemstar's patented IPGs.

Comcast picks three embedded MTAs for upcoming VoIP deployment

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

Comcast Corp. will spread the wealth among embedded multimedia terminal adapter (eMTA) vendors for its planned primary Voice-over IP deployment n Philadelphia next year, as the company announced supply agreements with Arris, Motorola Broadband and Terayon Communication Systems. More specifically, Comcast said it will use Arris' Touchstone Telephony Modem, Motorola Broadband's new SURFboard SBV4...

Sonera puts off 3G network launch

August 29, 2002 8:00 pm | by Susan Rush | Comments

3G deployment has hit another bump in the road. The latest: Sonera Corp. is delaying the commercial launch of its third-generation wireless network until next year. The operator says it still plans to launch 3G services in Finland on Sept. 26, but instead of rolling them out on its new 3G network, the company will use its existing network.

BellSouth lowers 2002 forecast again

August 29, 2002 8:00 pm | by Susan Rush | Comments

Citing an overall weakness in the wireless sector, BellSouth Corp. has cut its full-year 2002 forecast for the second time. The Baby Bell is expecting earnings per share of between $2.06 and $2.13, a 7-cent reduction in an already lowered forecast. In July, the company said it was expecting to earn between $2.

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