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

DirecTV 4K service will rely on Elemental transcoding

December 5, 2014 12:58 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

DirecTV became the first MVPD to announce plans to offer 4K content on demand, sometime in 2015. The satellite broadcaster will be using Elemental Server, a file-based transcoding solution, to prepare Ultra HD content for delivery. Elemental tweaked its HEVC algorithms so DirecTV didn't have to take a hit on bandwidth usage.  

ACA Summit: Washington DC

December 5, 2014 11:54 am | by CED | Events

The ACA Summit underscores the unique role that more than 800 independent cable operators play in providing best-in-class communications services to millions of consumers living and working in some of the most remote areas of the country. When it comes to responding to the critical broadband infrastructure needs of rural America, ACA Members are the ones who are putting their own capital at risk and supplying the solutions.

SeaChange's new Rave system brings OTT to the masses

December 4, 2014 1:27 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Rave supports the delivery of on-demand, time-shifted, live and downloaded content, delivered to any device. The system also includes the company’s analytics, promotions and advertising features. Customers can use Rave to build a straight OTT service, or to deliver a service that blends linear and OTT content.

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Comcast and AT&T megamergers are back on the clock

December 4, 2014 12:56 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC restarted the clocks on both of the megamergers it is evaluating. Assuming no more stoppages, the Commission would have a decision in early March on whether or not to allow Comcast and Charter Communications to divvy up Time Warner Cable, and in late March on AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV.

WOW! trims 9% of workforce

December 4, 2014 12:54 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cable over builder WOW! is cutting 9 percent of its more than 3,000 employees. According to a story by DSLreports.com, the layoffs started Wednesday. A company spokeswoman said the elimination of the 270 jobs would continue through early next year.

Alpha bags Cheetah Technologies

December 3, 2014 1:12 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Power solutions vendor Alpha Technologies announced this morning that it had acquired Cheetah Technologies for an undisclosed sum. Alpha said it would keep the doors open on Cheetah’s Pittsburg facility. In addition to serving similar market sectors and mutual customers, the two companies have collaborated on outside plant power supply monitoring for “several decades.”

Layer3 to use SeaChange gateway management system

December 3, 2014 12:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Layer3 TV aims to be a “next generation cable provider,” but has yet to define what that means beyond saying it intends to blend TV, social and digital life (whatever that means) working within “the existing distribution paradigm.” That it is using products from SeaChange provides only a few other hints at the general direction the company is moving in.

End game re-think: In Perspective

December 2, 2014 9:25 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

For all the buzz Google is inspiring with Google Fiber, its 1 Gbps customers still have no idea how to get even close to exhausting that bounty. So do Google’s competitors need install fiber? With little real demand for 1 Gbps and with D3.1 and G.fast able to support 1 Gbps if and when it’s needed, the answer appears to be no, with some exceptions.

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November / December 2014

December 2, 2014 8:26 pm | by CED | Digital Editions | Comments

In this issue, we profile Sherita Ceaser, the recipient of the 2014 Women In Technology Award. CED editors attended the 2014 Cable-Tec Expo, caught up on keynotes, sampled the seminars, and sat through the sessions to bring you a comprehensive overview of the technologies that are driving progress in the cable industry. Contributed articles address managing networks – one looks at smart home networks, the other at the cloud.

AT&T walks back Title II threats... a little

December 2, 2014 1:47 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

“Uncertainty” doesn’t really mean anything, and uncertainty doesn’t derive from reclassification, it derives from the industry’s reaction to it: lawsuits. Show us exactly how reclassification would cost more – not including the litigation costs – or admit it’s all just whining. Put up or shut up.

Envivio's loss widens in Q3

December 2, 2014 1:02 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Envivio had a drop in third quarter revenue and reported a larger net loss, compared to its Q3 results a year ago. The company said markets in Europe and Asia are lagging, and that in North America, customers are consolidating and have slowed their spending because of it.

Nebraska's goal: 25Mbps to 90 percent of homes

December 1, 2014 1:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A report by the Nebraska Information Technology Commission calls for on the state to use the state's universal service fund to create new infrastructure, and to partner with libraries and colleges to help teach Internet skills to those who aren't frequent users. Money from the fund comes from a state fee tacked onto consumers' telephone bills.

Rumor of hookup moving Vodafone, Liberty Global stock values

December 1, 2014 12:49 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Vodafone is evaluating the possibility of a merger with or acquisition of Liberty Global, according to reports quoting unnamed Vodafone insiders. True or not, the rumor is having an effect: the value of Vodafone stock was driven down as much as 4 percent in London, while the value of Liberty Global was lifted by over 7 percent in New York.

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UTStarcom brings Wi-Fi offload system to North American market

November 26, 2014 11:15 am | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

UTStarcom is targeting the North American cable operator market with its system for offloading wireless traffic onto a Wi-Fi network. The solution, in use for over a year in other markets, includes a carrier class Wi-Fi AC which supports more than 120,000 access points and over 1.3 million subscribers within a single chassis.

FCC, T-Mobile come to terms on speed tests

November 26, 2014 10:41 am | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC announced it has worked out an agreement with T-Mobile to ensure the carrier’s customers get accurate mobile broadband speed test readings even after they’ve been throttled. T-Mobile last summer began exempting data speed tests from impacting customers’ data caps, but speed tests under that program displayed full network speeds even if the customer is being throttled back to 128 Kbps or 64 Kbps.

Betting on Internet of Things, Tyco invests in Qolsys

November 25, 2014 1:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Tyco International introduced a new software platform it intends to be the centerpiece of an Internet of Things (IoT) product strategy, and invested in home automation specialist Qolsys. The company also hired a new CTO, Daryll T. Fogal, to preside over it all.

Pew study: Americans clueless about the Internet

November 25, 2014 1:00 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Only about 6 in 10 Internet users understand the basic concepts of "net neutrality." The results underscore what many say is a growing problem for the U.S.: a generation reliant on the convenience that technology brings, but with little understanding of the risks of conducting nearly every transaction digitally.

Google Fiber takes wraps off of Austin pricing plans

November 25, 2014 12:57 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Ahead of signing up customers next month for its 1-Gig service in some areas of Austin, Google Fiber has posted pricing details on its Website. Google Fiber’s standalone, symmetrical gigabit offering costs $70 a month while a bundle of 150 TV channels and the 1-Gig service checks in at $130 a month. 

Report: DOCSIS channel shipments up 85 percent YoY in 3Q

November 25, 2014 12:49 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Pushed along by investments in high-bandwidth services, DOCSIS channels shipments were up 95 percent year-over-year in the third quarter. The move from CMTS platforms to the cable industry’s Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) is also well underway with CCAP revenue increasing 7 percent in the third quarter to $360 million, according to a report by Infonetics Research.

By the numbers: Wi-Fi dominating cellphone data usage

November 24, 2014 1:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Infographic: On  average,  U.S.  subscribers consumed 1.8 GB of data per month in Q3, and that was roughly the same for iOS and Android phone users. The majority of that data was consumed on Wi-Fi networks, though iOS users relied on Wi-Fi a little more heavily than Android users.

Edgeware, Mirada ally on multi-screen delivery system

November 21, 2014 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The two have integrated Edgeware’s VCP, a content delivery system, with Mirada's Iris, which provides the user experience. Service providers can use the combined solution to deliver a unified user experience across multiple devices, including STBs, computers, smartphones and tablets.

STELA bill passes House; ends CableCard mandate

November 21, 2014 12:17 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

This version of the bill eliminates the integration ban, and also includes provisions that ban broadcasters from banding together to negotiate retransmission consent deals with MVPDs. The bill heads to the Senate, where passage is expected to be automatic. The President is expected to sign the bill.

Harnessing Big Data Analytics

November 20, 2014 4:01 pm | by Chris Menier, vice president client services – IP media and cable, Guavus | Articles | Comments

Using Big Data analytics, service providers can gain invaluable insights that can help them to stay ahead of the competition, improve customer services and drive new revenues. So how can service providers best harness Big Data analytics, and what do they stand to gain from doing so?

Comcast trials tech tracker

November 20, 2014 1:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

There are probably few things more annoying than being held hostage over a four-hour window for a cable installer to arrive at a customer’s home. Comcast has winnowed down that window to around two hours, but now its trialing a new real-time solution that it hopes will alleviate subscribers’ frustrations.

Grande expands gigabit offering in Austin

November 20, 2014 1:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

For the third time, Grande Communications is expanding its gigabit service in Austin, Texas. Grande’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) gigabit service, which is called “Power 1000,” is now available to new and existing customers in the West Campus area.

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