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

Comcast bows new disability support offerings

October 28, 2013 12:26 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has thrown its support behind viewers with disabilities by creating a dedicated accessibility customer team support as well as opening an accessibility product and development lab. As part of October’s National Disability Awareness Month, Comcast is also offering a special collection of disability-themed programming on its VOD platform.

Synacor debuts white-label auto authentication for TVE

October 28, 2013 12:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

This morning Synacor laid claim to being the first vendor in the industry to launch an in-home white label auto authentication platform for TV Everywhere services. Auto authentication would reduce one of the chokepoints of deploying multi-screen services, and Synacor’s offering recognizes a user’s broadband network-based pay-TV account for at-home mobile access or connects via a user’s social media login.

Arista, Fox demo transfer of uncompressed HD

October 25, 2013 1:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Arista Networks has demonstrated the ability to deliver uncompressed HD-SDI video over an IP network at wire rate. Fox and Arista said they expect all video production and distribution companies will eventually choose to not compress video during file transfers. The capability could be useful for sharing HD files with cable networks and other MVPDs.

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CommScope bags half a $billion in IPO

October 25, 2013 1:07 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company and key investor Carlyle Group together sold approximately 38.5 million shares priced at $15 each, netting $576.9 million. CommScope had expected its IPO to price at $18 to $21 a share. The company said it will use its share of the proceeds to redeem $399 million in senior notes due in 2019.

SCTE says Expo attendance up 6 percent

October 25, 2013 11:50 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Attendance at this week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta was somewhere in the neighborhood of 9,8000, which was a 6 percent increase over last year’s event that was held in Orlando. Attendance at the flagship event by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers was boosted by the “DOCSIS 3.1 engineering” and “Creating the cable generalist” pre-conference symposiums.

Twitter sets $17 to $20 per share range for IPO

October 25, 2013 11:45 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Twitter has set a price range of $17 to $20 per share for its initial public offering and says it could raise as much as $1.6 billion in the process. The pricing is relatively conservative considering that Twitter is poised to pull off the year's hottest IPO.

AT&T posts higher 3Q profit as revenue grows

October 24, 2013 10:39 am | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

AT&T reported its U-verse TV and Internet service reached 10 million subscribers during the third quarter, with one of the biggest gains in TV viewers in the history of the service. AT&T's third-quarter profit and revenue increased as the nation's largest telecommunications company added more smartphone and broadband subscribers.

Building a better customer experience

October 24, 2013 10:08 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

TV apps and recommendation engines are two ways that cable operators can keep subscribers from wandering away into the arms of another service provider. Wednesday’s Cable-Tec Expo session “The evolving customer experience” provided an overview of TV apps, personalized recommendation engines, and cloud-based services.

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Shaw Business checks in with Canad Inns

October 24, 2013 8:27 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Shaw Business signed a multi-year agreement with Canad Inns to deliver its video, voice and data services. Shaw will serve 16 Canad Inns locations across Manitoba and in Grand Forks, North Dakota, including hotels, restaurants and various other attractions.

Sony offering sharable clips on Vudu

October 23, 2013 11:42 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sony is hoping that providing sharable movie clips and extras like deleted scenes will prompt more people to buy digital movies. The initiative gives people who buy movies on Vudu the ability to share dozens of clips or pieces of behind-the-scenes footage on Facebook and Twitter. In each case, a link takes users to a website with the clip embedded.

Werner to chair 2014 Cable-Tec Expo program

October 22, 2013 7:34 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Tony Werner, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Comcast Cable, will serve as the program committee chairman for SCTE Cable-Tec Expo next year. Cable-Tec 2014 will be September 23-26, in Denver. Werner will drive the development of educational content that will accelerate the deployment of next-generation products and services for Cable-Tec Expo 2014.

Expo: A cable state of mind

October 22, 2013 7:24 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The final panel of the opening general session at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo wasn’t so much about getting down to the brass tacks of cable technology, but more about giving attendees tips that they could take back to their respective jobs. Part and parcel of creating a more nimble cable dynamic is providing employees, including field technicians, the proper tools to succeed, which in turn made them happier workers.

Apple unveils new Macs, iPad ahead of holidays

October 22, 2013 6:30 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple is refreshing its iPad lineup and slashing the price of its Mac computers ahead of the holiday shopping season, as it faces an eroding tablet market share and growing competition from rival gadget makers. Apple unveiled a new, thinner, lighter tablet called the "iPad Air" along with a slew of new Macs.

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From Cable-Tec Expo: RDK gains momentum

October 22, 2013 9:55 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Reference Design Kit (RDK) is living up to its goal of service velocity by cutting down the development cycles for set-top boxes and gateways from years to months. The RDK allows all of the interested parties to develop once and then scale across multiple environments – in the CableCard/QAM/MEPG-2 world of today, as well as in the IP environment of tomorrow.

Live From The Show: DOCSIS 3.1 Symposium highlights

October 22, 2013 9:32 am | by CED | Videos | Comments

On Monday, CableLabs, the SCTE, and several of the MSOs helping to lead the development of DOCSIS 3.1 conducted a symposium on the nearly-finished specification. These are some of the key moments from the day-long event, with Jeff Finkelstein of Cox, Howard Pfeffer of Time Warner Cable, and Daniel Howard of the SCTE.

Live From the Show: CableLabs' Schmitt on DOCSIS 3.1

October 22, 2013 9:04 am | by CED | Videos | Comments

CableLabs' Matthew Schmitt provides a status update on the DOCSIS 3.1 specification, what's in the spec, and the benefits that will accrue to cable operators as they phase in the next generation of IP-based broadband technology. Live from Cable-Tec Expo.

CableLabs: DOCSIS 3.1 specs good to go

October 21, 2013 1:56 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Last year when CableLabs announced DOCSIS 3.1 it vowed to have the specifications published by the end of this year. Through a Herculean effort by vendors, cable operators and other interested partners, the 3.1 specifications will be published at the end of this month.

U-Verse expands TV Everywhere to Android

October 21, 2013 1:48 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

AT&T U-verse has extended the availability of live TV channels to Android devices. Twenty of those 100 channels are available for viewing outside the home. Those same 100 channels are also available for home viewing through AT&T’s Uverse.com web portal.

Time Warner Cable gets its CCAP on

October 21, 2013 9:34 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable has started to deploy the cable industry’s converged cable access platform (CCAP) with Casa Systems and Arris. Time Warner Cable has CCAP up and running in several markets to provide more bandwidth for the delivery of its data services.

SCTE, CableLabs cozy up on technology initiatives

October 21, 2013 8:28 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CableLabs and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) announced this morning that they would work in tandem to accelerate the worldwide development and deployment of new cable network technologies. The cable industry’s support organizations, which also include the NCTA, have become more aligned over the past few years at the behest of the cable operators that they serve.

Review: Finding football online can be tough

October 18, 2013 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

One fan's fixation on finding football online shows the lengths people will go to figure out a way around the byzantine network of content rights that programmers and distributors have adopted. One solution juggles a bunch of apps, plus both Apple and Roku boxes.

CommScope intros dense QAMs on road to CCAP

October 18, 2013 1:52 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

CommScope Converged Services Platform (CSP) will be available in two versions. The CSP 640 is a nine-rack-unit model with support for a maximum of 9,600 downstream QAMs. Aggregate throughput of 640 Gbps. The CSP 1280 is 14-rack unit model with up to 19,200 downstream QAMs. Maximum aggregate throughput is 1.28 Tbps.

Huawei: No government has asked for customer data

October 18, 2013 1:38 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

While American technology companies are trying to minimize the damage from revelations that the U.S. government spies on everyone including its own citizens, Chinese tech giant Huawei said it never has been asked to provide information about a citizen to any government.

RFMD's new GaN amplifier suitable for DOCSIS 3.1

October 18, 2013 1:33 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

RFMD announced its first power doubler amplifier in a multi-chip module, designed specifically to support DOCSIS 3.1 specifications. The new module, the RFCM3316, is a drop-in replacement to its predecessor, the RFCM2680. The device is built using a gallium nitride (GaN) substrate.

Comcast’s turns on 900 Wi-Fi hotspots in Utah

October 18, 2013 1:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has launched its Xfinity WiFi service in Utah by lighting up 900 access points in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo and other cities along the Wasatch Front. Comcast also recently announced it had turned on 300 hotspots in the Kansas City area, which is also served in some areas by Time Warner Cable’s Wi-Fi service. 

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