Broadband briefs for 3/01/07
* ICTV to demo 'ActiveVideo'
ICTV Inc.  was the first vendor out of the chute to announce what it will demo at the CableLabs  Winter Conference, set for March 4-7 at the Hyatt Regency in Denver.
ICTV said it will show off how its platform can support "Web-driven, television-viewed advertising opportunities." ActiveVideo, ICTV noted, composites Web programming into standard video streams and delivers it as standard on-demand MPEG-based streams - a format that the existing footprint of digital cable set-tops can handle.
Although the CableLabs winter confab is generally closed to the media, the R&D org is holding a press call on March 5 to discuss the event's "Innovation Showcase."
* Shaw broadens phone reach
Shaw Communications  announced the availability of its home phone services, Shaw Digital Phone and Shaw Digital Phone Lite, to residents of Vernon, British Columbia.
Shaw Digital Phone utilizes Shaw's broadband network, which reaches 3.2 million customers and also provides cable TV, high-speed Internet, telecommunications services through Shaw Business Solutions and satellite direct-to-home services through Star Choice.
Shaw Digital Phone offers unlimited long distance within Canada and the U.S., and allows 1,000 minutes of international calling per month to 50 additional countries. Shaw Digital Phone Lite offers anytime calling at 4 cents per minute to Canada, the U.S. and 50 additional countries.
* ARRIS scores Japan CMTS deal
ARRIS'  reputation for enabling VoIP has paid off again, this time in the form of an order for its C4 CMTS placed by Katch Networks, a cable operator in Japan.
Katch Networks, which provides primary line service to 227,000 homes in Aichi Prefecture, plans to implement the KDDI Cable Plus Primary VoIP service. KDDI is one of Japan's largest telecom providers; cable service providers use KDDI's network to provide primary line VoIP telephony service over HFC, ARRIS explained.
* Comcast, Sinclair extend retrans negotiations
Comcast  and Sinclair Broadcast Group , continuing to wrangle over a retransmission consent agreement, have extended the deadline on their talks to March 10. The original deadline was today. Last year, when retrans negotiations between Sinclair and Mediacom Communications  grew contentious, Sinclair pulled the plug, forcing the MSO to drop Sinclair channels from its lineup for months. The two came to an accommodation just in time for Mediacom to restore Sinclair stations' broadcasts of the Super
Bowl. Comcast, with the deadline extension on its talks with Sinclair, gets to avoid a similar situation.