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

Charter Spectrum makes North Texas debut

April 9, 2014 1:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications’ “Charter Spectrum” brand has made its debut in North Texas with increased data speeds and more than 200 HD channels. The simultaneous launches in the Forth Worth area and in Greenville, S.C. marked the first time that Charter used the new brand. 

Comcast tops 1 million Wi-Fi mark; increases data speeds in NE

April 9, 2014 1:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast announced this morning that it had topped the 1 million threshold for hot spots deployed across the nation and that it was increasing some data speeds in its Northeast footprint. The two announcements were choreographed to coincide with Comcast and Time Warner Cable executives appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee today in regards to the deal between the two companies. 

RCN Business scores MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certification

April 9, 2014 12:58 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) recently granted its Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certification to RCN Business. RCN Business achieved Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certification (CE 2.0) for its E-Line, E-LAN and E-Access services. Carriers that have achieved CE 2.0 certification are recognized for their ability to deliver Ethernet services at a higher quality and reliability than non-certified services.

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Comcast argues benefits of Time Warner Cable deal

April 9, 2014 12:49 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Comcast Corp. on Tuesday presented its case to government regulators arguing that its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc. will benefit consumers without limiting competition.nThe company filed hundreds of pages of documents with the Federal Communications Commission after filing a notice Monday with the Justice Department.

Passwords, other data exposed to potential theft by security flaw

April 9, 2014 12:41 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

An alarming lapse in Internet security has exposed millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive bits of information to potential theft by computer hackers who may have been secretly exploiting the problem before its discovery. The breakdown revealed this week affects the encryption technology that is supposed to protect online accounts for emails, instant messaging and a wide range of electronic commerce.

Game on: Comcast, TWC file deal with FCC

April 8, 2014 1:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

This morning Time Warner Cable and Comcast filed their applications and public interest statement with the Federal Communications Commission. Today’s FCC filing isn’t the first salvo in Comcast’s $45 billion bid to take over Time Warner Cable—last week both companies filed a Hart-Scott-Rodino notification with the Department of Justice, but it provides a game plan for answering critics’ concerns over the deal.

Nest disables feature on smoke alarms

April 4, 2014 1:35 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Google subsidiary Nest Labs is disabling a feature on its smoke alarms due to the risk that owners could unintentionally turn off the device with the wave of a hand. Founder and CEO Tony Fadell said on the company's website, however, that a "unique combination of circumstances" could delay an alarm going off in the event of a real fire.

CED Demystifying Technology: Netflix and Network Neutrality

April 4, 2014 11:45 am | by Brian Santo | Videos | Comments

CED Editor-in-Chief Brian Santo looks at the Netflix and Comcast relationship, and examines why network neutrality rules apply, but not the way some people might think they do.  Along the way, Vint and Tim help invent the Internet, the big kids on the block form a gang, and nobody's drawing skills improve. 

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Samsung launches smart home services

April 2, 2014 1:09 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Users can register for the Samsung Smart Home app with their Samsung Account. For smartphones, the app can be downloaded from the Samsung Apps store and Google Play.  The company promises a separate app for Samsung Gear 2 powered by Tizen and the app for Samsung’s 2014 Smart TV models will be available in April.

Envivio streaming HD sports to AppleTVs

April 2, 2014 1:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Envivio announced that it is powering premium live HD sports channels on Apple TV for a European Tier 1 service provider. The content is being compressed using Envivio’s Muse Live encoders, protected using a new encryption mode by Envivio Halo network media processors, and delivered to Apple TVs.

FCC bans broadcaster collusion in retrans negotiations

March 31, 2014 1:31 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC issued two key decisions today, one that prohibits broadcast stations from joining together in retransmission consent negotiations, the other opening another 100 MHz of spectrum for Wi-Fi applications. Under the new regulations, two or more separately owned Top-4 broadcasters in the same market would be prohibited from banding to negotiate retrans deals.

Cable industry works toward energy efficiency

March 28, 2014 6:53 pm | by Mike Robuck | Digital Editions | Comments

MSOs are faced with an ever-increasing amount of equipment, consuming more power, which is running faster and hotter. The SCTE has responded with a range of recommended practices and new standards designed to run video facilities efficiently and safely.

Microsoft brings Office to the iPad

March 28, 2014 1:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The app will allow reading and presenting of documents for free, but will require a subscription to Office365 to enable writing and editing. A subscription for up to five computers and five smartphones costs $100 a year, but a personal version for one computer and one tablet costs $70 a year. The subscription includes 20 gigabytes of storage space on OneDrive.

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Casa Systems adds upstream module for CMTS

March 27, 2014 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The new DOCSIS 3.1 upstream module supports the full spectrum in the upstream direction from 5 Mhz up to 100 Mhz, and has four times the processing power of its predecessor. It delivers 8 channels per port for a total of 128 channels per module. 

AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM, Intel ally to create "Industrial Internet"

March 27, 2014 1:21 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The five are founding members of the Industrial Internet Consortium, whose ultimate goal is to create products to create fully networked industrial installations, such as factories, power plants, and hospitals. The idea is to bring intelligence to machines used across every industry, including agriculture, mining, power, health care, and more. 

Comcast Business connects Atlanta auto dealerships

March 27, 2014 12:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast Business has hooked up Atlanta-based Jim Ellis Automotive Group, which is the third largest online dealer in the nation based on sales volume, with its Ethernet services. With 14 dealerships spread across metro Atlanta, the dealership’s previous T1 lines from various providers were costly, slow and hard to manage.

A revolution in plant maintenance

March 26, 2014 5:55 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

DOCSIS 3.1 turns every single cable modem into a network probe that can be used to identify network impairments. The approach makes use of DOCSIS pre-equalization on the upstream. Different network impairments will have specific signatures that can be sifted out of the pre-equalization data. The technique not only identifies upstream problems, but it also locates them with gratifying precision.

Mobile backhaul a pillar in TWCBC’s commercial services

March 26, 2014 5:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

One of the pistons driving the business services growth at Time Warner Cable Business Class is mobile backhaul. In this Q&A with CED, TWCBC's Thane Storck, group vice president, carrier services, spoke about the history of cellular backhaul, the state of the current market and more opportunities down the road.

HEVC: Coming Soon to a Device Near You

March 26, 2014 3:19 pm | by Kanaan Jemili, SVP, Product Management, Rovi | Articles | Comments

Content producers don’t want to invest in the technology needed to create HEVC programming without a significant installed base of HEVC-capable playback devices. And hardware manufacturers don’t want to invest in HEVC players until there’s more HEVC content. One way to break the stalemate and drive adoption of HEVC is to go direct to consumers – to make available software that includes HEVC creation and playback support.

Astro taps S3 for test automation

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

S3 has been selected by Astro, a pay-TV operator in Malaysia, to help it scale and accelerate the development of its digital TV platform using S3 Group’s test automation platform, StormTest Development Center.                                       

Facebook buying virtual-reality company for $2B

March 26, 2014 12:39 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Facebook is buying virtual reality company Oculus, betting $2 billion that its technology will become a new way for people to communicate, learn or be entertained. Irvine, California-based Oculus VR Inc. makes the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that's received a lot of attention from video game developers. 

Engineering-wise: NextGen Digital Video over NextGen DOCSIS

March 25, 2014 7:54 pm | by Daniel Howard, CTO, SCTE | Articles | Comments

Modern cable networks provide dynamic digital video transport that is a mix of linear, switched, and on-demand MPEG2 transport streams, as well as multicast, narrowcast and unicast IP video streams carried over DOCSIS, Wi-Fi, or carrier Ethernet.

Liberty Global’s Warga to join SCTE’s board

March 25, 2014 11:31 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Liberty Global’s Bill Warga will add an international flavor to the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ board of directors when he joins in September. Warga, vice president, technology and a member of the chief architecture group for Liberty Global, will replace Time Warner Cable’s Mike LaJoie.

Disney to buy YouTube video producer Maker Studios

March 25, 2014 11:19 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Disney said Monday that it is buying YouTube channel operator Maker Studios for $500 million as the family entertainment giant seeks to stay in front of younger viewers who are increasingly watching short videos online. It's the latest and largest acquisition of a YouTube channel network by a major Hollywood studio and represents another vote of confidence in the video service as an incubator of talent.

Capital Currents: Did the FCC Lose the Battle But Win the War?

March 24, 2014 7:30 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

You can tell that the Court of Appeals decision that struck down the FCC net neutrality rules is important because there have been so many opinions flying around about what it means. Some commentators claim the decision goes far beyond the issue of net neutrality to give the FCC authority to regulate virtually any aspect of the Internet.

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