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

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

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Bright House Networks rebrands commercial services division

March 24, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks has re-branded its business services division as Bright House Networks Enterprise Solutions. The former name was Bright House Networks Business Solutions, but Bright House said in a press release that the premise for the new name was “we’re wired differently.”

Aurora Networks bows new transmitter system

March 24, 2014 12:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Aurora Networks took the wraps off of a new transmitter system that was designed to reduce power consumption for DOCSIS 3.1 services. Aurora Networks said the HT3300H Series Double-Density 1310 nm Transmitter System also included 1.2 GHZ transmitters and featured high rack density. 

Cisco to Invest $1 billion in new global cloud platform

March 24, 2014 12:04 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Cisco Monday announced plans to invest over $1 billion over the next two years in a global cloud for delivering applications and services. The "Intercloud," as Cisco is calling it, will be hosted across a global network of Cisco and partner data centers.

Virgin Media sticking with TiVo

March 21, 2014 12:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company said it will be sticking with its TiVo-based service, rather than adopt the Horizon platform developed by new owner Liberty Global. Virgin Media elected to use the TiVo box in part because it enables the company to offer Netflix. The company has also talked to Amazon about adding Amazon Prime.

Midcontinent gets green light in Fargo

March 21, 2014 12:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Midcontinent Communications is now able to move forward with its plan of offering services in Fargo, N.D. now that a franchise agreement with the city commission has been reached. Earlier this week, the city commission voted in favor of the 15-year franchise agreement, which allowed Midcontinent to start on its $55 million expansion into Fargo

Column: Plenty to worry about in Comcast/TWC deal

March 21, 2014 12:03 pm | by Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer | News | Comments

The herky-jerkiness of my Netflix video stream is nothing compared with my jittery nerves. I've been fretting since news broke last month that Comcast, the nation's reigning cable colossus, plans to swallow titanic runner-up Time Warner Cable. 

Sony demos virtual reality headset for PS4

March 20, 2014 1:28 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The prototype headset is capable of surrounding a wearer's vision with interactive virtual worlds. Codenamed Project Morpheus, it utilizes a 1080p head-mounted display with head-tracking capabilities and works in concert with the PlayStation 4 console to display imagery on the headset's screen, providing a 90-degree field of view.

White-label portal combos OTT and linear

March 20, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Unified Video Technologies said it will introduce a new front-end interface for its video-on-demand portal service. While there are multiple white-label portal services, United Video claims its uVOD is differentiated in that it now also enables consumers to search and stream linear TV programming, in addition to over-the-top content.

Atlantic Broadband accelerates business broadband packages

March 20, 2014 12:52 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Atlantic Broadband is quietly increasing Internet transmission rates and expanding the number of service tiers for business customers. ABB has more than doubled its fastest tier, from 50 Mbps to 110 Mbps. The new set of tiers also includes options for service at 15-, 30-, and 75 Mbps.

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