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Broadband Direct

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

Boxes big at CES show

January 8, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week brought out gadgets and gizmos and a lot of cable set-top boxes. Some of the notable ones, as reported by Multichannel News, include: Motorola, remembering the popularity of TVs when they were first combined with VCRs, has unveiled a digital-cable set-top box with a built in DVD player and home theater audio/video receiver.

Cable not dishing it

January 8, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

The year 2000 saw cable TV lose a few ingredients to its subscriber mix. Direct broadcast satellite has spooned into cable TV's market share and served itself two percent of the industry's subscribers. The FCC released a report showing that, while cable is still the dominant pay medium, as of June 2000, cable had 80 percent of the pay television industry, down from 82 percent for the same perio...

Open Entertainment more confining

January 7, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

Open Entertainment is releasing new software that could limit consumers' TV viewing and recording habits. Its Internet Media Transceiver Platform (iMTX) features copyright protection within its encryption capabilities. This means that subscribers' days of buying a pay-per-view movie and recording it for unlimited playback could be over.

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New study says consumers want their home networking

January 7, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

Ucentric, a home networking platform provider, has the results of its online study that suggests consumers want home networking to streamline their lives as well as enhance their communications and entertainment options. The study, dubbed the Ucentric/Roper Connected Home Study, says almost 30 percent of broadband subscribers are ready for technology that will interconnect all of the electronic...

Speaking of home networking

January 7, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

TeraLogic and Texas Instruments (TI) have put their heads together and created a new platform for creating digital consumer electronics devices with increased interconnectivity. TeraLogic's Cougar development platform uses TI's IEEE 1394 add-in card to expand the Cougar platform's ability to design digital TVs, personal video recorders, digital set-tops and home networking gateways.

Microsoft Ultimate TV delivering neat package

January 7, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

Microsoft TV is offering what it thinks is the ultimate entertainment solution: DirecTV programming, digital video recording, I-TV and Internet access all rolled into one package. Ultimate TV has an added bonus of using two tuners, enabling viewers to watch two live programs simultaneously, watch one live show while recording another, or even record two live programs that are airing at the same...

Update on the FCC's struggle with dual-carriage

January 7, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

The possible new leader of the FCC says he would prefer the agency not intervene in industry squabbles regarding the future of TV. Current FCC Commissioner Michael Powell says the agency is getting closer to addressing digital-TV disputes and the FCC will eventually do something on how must-carry rules apply to digital broadcasting.

Sony's new tube top-heavy

January 4, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

Sony is turning loose a new gadget in the consumer electronics market, a product that will catch the fancy of those who must have the latest and greatest. The respected electronics firm is expected to unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a 40-inch flat-glass tube television that will weigh in at more than 250 pounds.

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Must-carry becoming dual-carriage?

January 4, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

The Federal Communications Commission could vote on an issue next week that was supposedly up for debate in the distant future. The FCC may vote on an agenda item that would require cable operators to carry analog and digital TV signals simultaneously. The cable industry is criticizing such a requirement as a free ride for all commercial TV stations.

Virtual visiting brought to you by Inter-Con/PC

January 3, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

Inter-Con/PC has taken those home video conferencing cameras off the PC and plopped them down on the set-top, bringing video conferencing into living rooms. The Totebook 6500 Video Conferencing Internet TV set-top box package combines a 56K modem, 6GB hard drive and 64 MB RAM with a camera. Users can talk, as well as see and transfer files to friends or coworkers on a real-time basis or send fu...

Interactive digital on the PC

January 3, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

While Inter-Con/PC is luring users to the couch, a new company is enticing subscribers back to their PCs, offering digital TV broadcasts on computers. Launched just after the new year, the Raleigh, N.C.-based company AccessDTV is hoping to entice PC users to tune, view, record and replay digital television broadcasts on their computers.

Mediacom tightening its clusters

January 3, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

Following a pattern that several other MSOs have this year, Mediacom has purchased systems totaling 14,000 subscribers from AT&T Broadband, better arranging its system clusters. The deal is valued at $34 million. Mediacom bought operations located in and around Fairhope, Ala., which are next to the company 's existing southern-region systems.

Words to be wary of: Trust me

January 2, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

Hackers, thieves and people who cause electronic havoc just for the fun of it are everywhere on the Internet. So there is nothing wrong with added security. Thomson Multimedia has chosen Entrust 's embedded digital certificate technology for its cable modems. The digital certificates are embedded in the modems, authenticating the validity of cable modems before allowing them access to a cable o...

Motorola mastering set-tops

January 2, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

Branching out to all corners of the globe, Motorola 's advanced set-top box, the Streamaster 5000, is being deployed to subscribers in Canberra, Australia and for VibeVision customers on Canada's eastern seaboard by TransACT and Aliant Telecom, respectively. The Streamaster 5000 will deliver full-service broadband interactive television services through VDSL (very high digital subscriber lines).

Cablevision selling programming arm Rainbow Media

January 1, 2001 7:00 pm | by Karen Kessler-Tanaka | Comments

Cablevision Systems has put its Rainbow Media programming arm up for sale, and several companies who are likely buyers are being courted for the cable network unit, the New York Times reported Tuesday. To be considered, USA Networks, Liberty Media, General Electric's NBC unit and Comcast have been told they must submit bids by Jan.

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