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

OTT apps lined up for Xbox One, PS4

November 8, 2013 1:36 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Over the top video companies and game console makers are rushing to make sure that video streaming apps that were available on the last generation of game consoles will also be available on the new. Verizon’s Redbox Instant announced it will be on Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony's Playstation4, while Sony released a list of video providers that will be resident on the new PS4.

Xbox, can you hear me now? One requires repetition

November 8, 2013 1:11 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The previous Kinect sensor was equally billed as a game changer when it debuted in 2010 but was considered by many gamers to ultimately be a gimmick. The updated version of the camera has a field of vision that's 60 percent wider than Kinect for Xbox 360. It can also detect more bodies, as well as heart rates and facial expressions.

Despite loss of subs, Cablevision posts Q3 profit

November 8, 2013 12:55 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cablevision bled subscribers across its video, data, and voices services, but still posted a profit in the third quarter. On the video side, Cablevision lost 37,000 customers, which exceeded Street Account’s estimate of 17,200.

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NetCracker signs up to support Cable Center committee

November 8, 2013 12:50 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Cable Center announced this morning that NetCracker Technology was named as a co-presenting sponsor of its Customer Experience Committee (C5.) As a part of The Cable Center’s Customer Experience Central initiatives, the C5 is comprised of 25 invited members who represent leading cable operators in North America and Europe.

Comcast tees up "Sportstacular" promotion

November 7, 2013 1:27 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Xfinity TV customers will have the chance to watch content from networks such as NFL Network, Big Ten Network (BTN), Pac-12 Networks, ESPN Goal Line, FOX Sports 1, NBA TV, NHL Network and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN). This programming is typically available only to subscribers of Comcast’s various sports packages.

Dish to close rest of its Blockbuster stores in U.S.

November 6, 2013 3:05 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The  satellite-TV provider also is shutting down Blockbuster's DVD-by-mail service next month. Dish Network's retreat will render Blockbuster's once-ubiquitous brand nearly extinct. About 50 U.S. stores operating under franchise agreements will remain open.

Desparately Seeking FTTP; LA to issue an RFI

November 6, 2013 2:41 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

LA’s desire is to have fiber extended to both residential and business customers. Initial estimates peg the costs anywhere from $3 billion to $5 billion, and the city expects the bidder to assume it all. The city also wants the winning bidder to provide free connectivity to all at something between 2 Mbps and 5 Mbps.

Miranda expands loudness monitoring product line

November 6, 2013 1:17 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Axino-400 retains the performance of the original Axino-410, but with a reduced channel count. Where the original Axino 410 was built to handle up to 200 channels simultaneously, the Axino-400 enables broadcasters to monitor up to 40 channels from one device.

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Jinni launches new iPad app, website

November 6, 2013 12:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Jinni, whose search and recommendation engine helps users find video content intuitively, has launched a new, free iPad app and website. The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company said the new platforms delivered intuitive, personalized recommendations for movies, television and streaming content that match a user’s tastes and moods.

Vonage 3Q net income falls 68%

November 6, 2013 12:04 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Vonage Holdings Corp. said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income tumbled 68 pct, as the company didn't attract as many customers to its higher-priced calling plans and lost some existing customers. Vonage, which provides phone services through cloud-connected devices, added 175,000 new subscribers during the quarter, up from 172,000 a year ago.

Charter narrows losses; announces cloud UI test

November 5, 2013 2:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Charter will begin to field test the ActiveVideo / Zodiac UI in Fort Worth in the next few days. It will roll out with employees and then the general public.If that cloud-based UI works as expected, Charter will do a commercial rollout later in the second quarter of next year.

Blackberry plans end to new hardware

November 5, 2013 1:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The "CrackBerry" might not have much of a future: Its new chairman and interim chief executive says he wants to emphasize software and services — not devices. That could mean the company might ultimately get out of the business of selling smartphones.

Pandora listening up in face of iTunes Radio

November 5, 2013 1:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

People listened to Pandora's Internet radio service for a collective 1.47 billion hours in October, up 18 percent from a year ago, in the face of the launch iTunes Radio.  About a month after its mid-September launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that 20 million people had used iTunes Radio to listen to more than a billion songs.

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AT&T reveals Austin areas to get gigabit broadband

November 5, 2013 12:54 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

 The company has not yet announced pricing for the service. AT&T did say that the initial maximum speed for the network would be 300 Mbps, and that subscribers to the 300 Mbps tier would automatically get a free boost to 1 Gbps when AT&T accelerates the network to those speeds, sometime in 2014.

Comcast spends to defeat Seattle mayor

November 4, 2013 1:22 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Hoping to help defeat the mayor of Seattle who is running for reelection, Comcast is making donations to political action committees supporting his rival. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is pursuing a public-private partnership to bring fiber-based broadband to one of his city’s neighborhoods.

Microsoft in 20-year wind power deal for data center

November 4, 2013 12:38 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Construction on RES Americas' $200 million, 55-turbine wind power project, called Keechi, will begin in December and is expected to be operational by June 2015. Microsoft is buying all 430,000 megawatt hours of energy it produces — or enough to power up to 45,000 homes. That is about 5 percent to 10 percent of the company's total electricity consumption.

AT&T’s Digital Life service drops into six more markets

November 4, 2013 12:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T’s home automation and security service, which is called “Digital Life,” will soon be available in six new markets. Starting Friday, Digital Life, which made its debut earlier this year, will launch in Bridgeport, Conn., Colorado Springs, Colo., Memphis, Mobile, Ala., New Haven, Conn., and Pensacola, Fla.

BlackBerry abandons sale process, CEO out

November 4, 2013 11:54 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry abandoned its sale process on Monday, and announced it will replace its chief executive. Fairfax, BlackBerry's largest shareholder with a 10 percent stake, said it won't buy the struggling smartphone company and take it private but said it and other investors will inject $1 billion as part of a revised investment proposal.

Former Moto execs to exit Arris’ executive team

November 1, 2013 3:33 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Arris announced Friday afternoon that former Motorola Home executives Rob McLaughlin and John Burke were leaving the company at the end of the month to “pursue other opportunities.” McLaughlin is the leader of Arris’ North America sales and global marketing and communications team while  Burke is in charge of the company’s cloud solutions team and its corporate strategy and development team.

FAA eases electronics restrictions as on-board broadband expands

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

Passengers traveling on U.S.-based airline carriers will be able to use most electronic devices throughout their flights. The new rules do not apply to cell phones, whose use will continue to be prohibited on takeoff and landing, though airlines are gradually adding cellular service as a broadband connectivity option.

Cable One begins whole-home service

November 1, 2013 12:57 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

With this new Whole Home DVR service, Cable One customers can start watching a recorded show in one room, hit pause, and finish in another; record four HD shows at once with up to 650 hours of recording time; and search for content by title, actor, category or keyword using the Advanced TiVo Guide.

RCN launches online backup service

November 1, 2013 12:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RCN is now offering a new online backup and file sharing service for $4.99 a month. In order to access the service, which is called RCNBackup, users need to subscribe to at least one of RCN’s video, data or voice offerings. 

Sprint debuts 50 Mbps wireless network

October 31, 2013 1:34 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Sprint Spark currently hits peak speeds of 50-60 megabits per second but the carrier promises those transfer rates will go up and that it’s “technically feasible” to hit 2 Gbps over-the-air in the future. Spark uses a combination of carrier aggregation, 8T8R, MIMO antenna technology and TDD to crank up speed, capacity and coverage.

CableLabs publishes DOCSIS spec

October 31, 2013 1:28 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The organization just posted its DOCSIS 3.1 PHY (physical layer) and MULPI (MAC and upper layer protocol) specifications. DOCSIS 3.1 is the technological underpinning of the cable industry’s roadmap for providing competitive IP-based services for the next 10 to 20 years. It provides for an expansion of capabilities and features in the IP portion of cable operators’ networks.

CBS dustup puts black eye on TWC’s Q3

October 31, 2013 1:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The month-long blackout of CBS programming put a damper on Time Warner Cable’s third quarter results, which included the loss of 306,000 residential TV subscribers in the quarter. While the amount of video subscribers lost in the third quarter exceeded analysts’ expectations of 183,000, Time Warner Cable also bled 24,000 data subscribers and 128,000 voice customers on the residential side.

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