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Broadband Direct

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

Cablecos weigh in on AtHome ruling, most still talking

December 2, 2001 7:00 pm | by Anne Kerven | Comments

On the heels of Friday's ruling allowing ExciteAtHome to renegotiate cableco contracts, the company says it is doing just that — save for AT&T Broadband. Meantime, other cable companies say they're switching customers over to semi-complete networks, and are negotiating to keep the others up and running on AtHome's systems.

GM hands off DirecTV to EchoStar

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Following months of negotiations, EchoStar Communications Corp. finally emerged as the winner of the DirecTV Inc. sweepstakes. In another deal in which Charlie Ergen appeared to have gotten the best of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, EchoStar is set to merge with General Motors Corp.'s Hughes Electronics Corp.

Intertainer, Microsoft team on PC-based VOD

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Extending a previous relationship, Intertainer Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have launched a streaming video-on-demand subscription service to MSN's ISP customers in 35 broadband markets, including hubs such as New York City, L.A., Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. Intertainer said it houses more than 70,000 hours of content, including movies like "The Mexican," "Fifteen M...

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Dorado forms cable unit

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Dorado Software Inc. has created a new division designed to help cable operators handle automated subscriber management and service activation of new broadband services. Terry Poindexter is heading Dorado's Folsom, Calif.-based cable division, and is overseeing the company's Redcell Access Cable product.

Juniper jumps on Pacific Broadband for $200

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Advancing on a more aggressive cable network equipment strategy, Juniper Networks Inc. inked a deal to acquire start-up Pacific Broadband Communications in a stock deal valued at $200 million. The deal, announced in mid-November and expected to close before the end of 2001, will give Juniper access to PBC's "Kodiak" line of cable modem termination systems, as well as the custom silicon and soft...

TWC taps multiple VOD vendors

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

A deluge of video-on-demand vendors came forth in recent weeks to tell the world that they are taking significant roles in Time Warner Cable's aggressive VOD strategy. Though word had spread earlier this year that the MSO and nCUBE Corp. had a VOD agreement in the hopper, the deal finally became official in early November, when the vendor said Time Warner Cable would buy 77 VOD servers for ser...

Conexant puts satellite chip in orbit

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Conexant Systems Inc. unveiled a single-chip dual-stream demodulator for satellite receiver systems. Targeting set-tops and receivers with personal video recording capabilities, Conexant's CX24130 can process two video streams simultaneously. "The attention in the last year is [focused on] PVR capability, and the ability to record something in the background while [the viewer] watches another ...

Sylantro weaves VoIP application plans

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

IP-based telephony services are still squarely in the nascent stage, but at least one company is making big application plans in the background for the day when deployment of the technology picks up the pace. Three-year-old Sylantro Systems' focus is on the business side of telephony applications, using IP as the mechanism to deliver them.

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Comcast defines initial HD strategy

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Comcast Cable Communications Inc. began marketing a tier of high- definition television services to about 1.3 million customers last month in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Comcast's initial HD lineup is comprised of programming from major networks such as ABC, NBC and CBS, as well as shows and movies from premium nets HBO and Showtime.

Charter forges Microsoft TV pact

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Giving Microsoft Corp.'s interactive television strategy a big boost, Charter Communications Inc. agreed to buy 1 million Microsoft TV software licenses over the next seven years. Charter, a champion of "thick-client" set-tops, said it would offer the software on Motorola Broadband-built DCT-5000 boxes and run applications supplied by Digeo Inc.

Cedar Point aims to simplify VoIP

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Cedar Point Communications hopes to make IP telephony a much simpler and less costly world in which to live. A typical, full-blown VoIP environment is comprised of a mishmash of call management servers, media gateway controllers, signal gateway and other network elements that link to the PSTN (public switched telephone network).

Microtune sings a set-top tune

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Hoping to find a comfy home inside cable-set tops and residential gateways, Microtune introduced the MT2100 family of chip-based tuners fabricated in silicon germanium. Microtune, which has been most active with cable modem RF products over the last three to four years, said its silicon will shine most under "must-carry" conditions, when cable operators distribute analog and digital channels.

Spyglass Integration has independence in mind

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

Aiming to kick-start the interactive television sector, Spyglass Integration officially opened its doors for business in October on a new 31,000-square-foot laboratory based in Lexington, Mass. Coupled with financial backing from Motorola Inc. and OpenTV Corp., Spyglass Integration's call to arms is to hasten the deployment of cable- and satellite-based iTV services via "back office" tests and...

CableLabs freezes PacketCable specs

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

In an expected move following the first certification and qualification of equipment based on DOCSIS 1.1, CableLabs said it has frozen specifications tied to PacketCable. Tied to that, CableLabs said it expects to align qualification testing of PacketCable-based products next year alongside the organization's existing DOCSIS testing schedule.

HighSpeed Surfing waxes modularity

November 30, 2001 7:00 pm | by Staff | Comments

HighSpeed Surfing Inc. has launched the SM 200, a modular cable modem with wireless and wired home networking components. The model, which is DOCSIS 1.0-based and upgradable to 1.1, employs "snap-on" home networking modules. The first module, the SM 200 AP, offers an 802.11b-based wireless access point to the modem's base unit.

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