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Broadband Direct

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

BigBand takes VOD to the edge

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

BigBand Networks Inc. expanded its broadband horizons with the introduction of a video-on-demand product that integrates quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) and RF upconversion with the company's flagship Broadband Multimedia-Service Router (BMR). Dubbed the BigBand VOD Edge, the product combines QAM RF with the BMR's switching and media processing, and supports protocols such as Gigabit Ethe...

Convergys adds integration with ICOMS 5.0

December 1, 2002 7:00 pm | by Duffy Hayes | Comments

With the pressure on to squeeze more and more operational efficiencies out of current networks, the latest release of the Convergys ICOMS billing and customer care system adds extra layers of integration and new support for the transaction-based services operators are anxious to offer. Convergys said ICOMS Release 5.

SCTE reveals 2003 board election candidates

December 1, 2002 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers announced the candidates for the organization's 2003 board of directors election. SCTE said it will distribute paper ballots in January, but, for the first time, the Society will allow members to vote online. SCTE plans to announce the election results in April, with newly-elected directors taking office during the 2003 Cable-Tec Expo, which wil...

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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.

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.

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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...

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.

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