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Comcast joins 4K club

December 18, 2014 | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Comcast has officially dipped its large toe into the 4K waters with today’s announcement that it’s offering a limited slate of programming in Ultra 4K via an on demand app. Authenticated Comcast subscribers can watch 4K programming from NBC and USA Network for free with today’s launch of the Xfinity in UHD app, which currently works on just 2014 Samsung UHD TVs.

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Broadband Direct

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

AT&T offering ‘Business Fiber’ in ATL

December 19, 2014 11:40 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

AT&T is now offering Atlanta area businesses a symmetrical 300 Mbps tier ahead of future plans to ramp the speeds up to 1 gigabit. The AT&T Business Fiber deployment followed on the heels of AT&T’s October announcement that it would launch its residential GigaPower service to the Atlanta area it serves.

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Submit those SCTE Cable-Tec Expo abstracts now

December 19, 2014 11:33 am | by Mike Robuck | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is actively recruiting abstracts for next year’s Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans. The deadline for abstract submissions, which will be reviewed by the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo2015 Program Committee that’s chaired by Liberty Global CTO and EVP Balan Nair, is Feb. 17.

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Sony hack adds to security pressure on companies

December 19, 2014 11:26 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Faced with rising cybercrime like the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, companies worldwide are under pressure to tighten security but are hampered by cost and, for some, reluctance to believe they are in danger. The Sony attack was unusual because it included threats of violence if the Hollywood studio released its movie "The Interview," a comedy that depicts the assassination of the North's leader. 

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BlackBerry pitches Classic in Hail Mary

December 18, 2014 12:49 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new phone that features a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones — and most smartphone customers — have embraced touch screens. With the Classic, BlackBerry is courting its core customer, the business user. The physical keyboard is something traditional BlackBerry users prefer because they find it easier than touch screens to type with.

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Dish welcomes Netflix in

December 17, 2014 12:43 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Dish said it is integrating Netflix into its service, available as an app to customers who have a second-generation Hopper DVR. The company plans to also roll out the app out on its Joey, Super Joey and Wireless Joey clients. Dish is still considering integrating Netflix content directly into its search functionality.

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Boingo, Time Warner Cable boot up Passpoint-enabled roaming

December 17, 2014 12:24 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Time Warner Cable and Boingo are laying claim to being the first companies in the world to launch a reciprocal Passpoint-based roaming network for their customers. The two companies announced a bilateral Wi-Fi roaming deal back in June and said then that they would complete a Passpoint-enabled integration later this year. 

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NYC premiere of ‘The Interview’ canceled as threats fly

December 17, 2014 12:06 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

The blow that the hacking attack has dealt Sony is spreading beyond the entertainment corporation itself to theater chains and movie goers alike. And the financial toll is adding up too. Threats of violence against movie theaters. The New York premiere of "The Interview" canceled. Leaks of thousands more private emails. Lawsuits by former employees that could cost tens of millions in damages.

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CableLabs conducts D3.1 interop

December 16, 2014 5:34 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

CableLabs said six vendors participated in an interoperability test of some DOCSIS 3.1 equipment. CableLabs declined to identify any of the vendors present. A spokesperson for the organization said that the types of devices present included at least one CMTS, one cable modem, and some test equipment.

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T-Mobile announces data stash rollover program

December 16, 2014 1:39 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | Comments

T-Mobile is going commercial with an idea that undermines one of the fundamental tenets of the broadband industry: data is not a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. From now on, if a T-Mobile customer pays for X amount of a data a month, they get to keep the allotment and roll it over into the next pay period.

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Vudu releases Jinni for search and discovery

December 16, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | Comments

Vudu is adding features that other services introduced some time ago, but is going further than many rivals by letting viewers select sub-genres (action comedies, buddy comedies, etc.), or all movies by plot (heros, romance, time travel, etc.), or mood, or years (the ‘30s, the ‘70s, etc.)

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Roku, Comcast do deal on HBO Go, Showtime streaming

December 16, 2014 12:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

After an impasse that stretched back several years, Comcast finally has brokered a deal with Roku that allows its subscribers to access HBO Go and Showtime Anytime streams on their Roku devices. The new deal was announced on Tuesday in a blog posting by Comcast’s Matt Strauss, senior vice president and general manager, video services, and came the day after HBO announced its streaming service was live on the Amazon Fire TV. 

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CES: Alticast gears up with IoT, CableCard-less demos

December 16, 2014 12:28 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

Multi-screen vendor Alticast will bring its cloud-based and Internet of Things (IoT) demos and products to next month’s Consumer Electronics Show as well as its CableCard-less security technology offering. With the recent passage of the STELA bill that dropped the mandate for CableCards, Alitcast’s AltiProtect demo at CES is noteworthy as the U.S. cable industry considers other security options that have been deployed abroad for years. 

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Research: Most smart home device owners willing to pay for tech support

December 16, 2014 12:24 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

The Internet of Things and connected consumer electronics devices are morphing the technical needs of consumers, according to a recent report. Park Associates' research found that more than 56 percent of smart home device owners were willing to pay extra for monthly tech support services.

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Verizon, Google ink patent agreement

December 16, 2014 12:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

In order to forestall any future litigation, Verizon and Google announced today that they have entered into a long-term cross license agreement that covers a wide range of their respective products and technologies. With the agreement in hand, Verizon and Google said they could focus on running their businesses without the risk of future patent litigation between the two.

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Cox close to wrapping up Homelife roll out

December 15, 2014 1:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | Comments

With Baton Rouge, La. going live last week, Cox Communications is close to having its home automation and security service launched across its entire footprint. The Cox Homelife service, which was first trialed in Phoenix three years ago, will be completely launched once Cox deploys it in Florida and Georgia in early February.

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