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

Roku gets into streaming-stick fight with Google

March 5, 2014 1:14 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Roku is getting into an Internet video-streaming stick fight with Google's Chromecast. Like the similarly shaped Chromecast, Roku's thumb-sized device plugs into a TV's HDMI port and feeds Internet video through a Wi-Fi connection. The Roku device, announced Tuesday, sells for $50 compared with $35 for the Chromecast. 

Demystifying Technology: Stream Management and Policy Enforcement in Multiscreen Delivery

March 4, 2014 7:04 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

CED editor-in-chief Brian Santo discusses the lack of control features for congestion management, quality of service, rate-shaping and other considerations in multi-screen delivery. In this episode, we discuss how session delivery management systems enable service providers to collect metrics on the session, and then control the delivery process -- including rights policies, quality, and the delivery of ads.

Verizon CEO: ObamaCare might be a boon for broadband providers

March 4, 2014 1:53 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Lowell McAdam thinks the Affordable Care Act could be a big growth opportunity for broadband service providers, given the “disruptive” potential Obamacare could have for the M2M market. Specifically, he saw health care providers needing to reduce costs and how that could drive growth in M2M connections.

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Skitter TV in with North Dakota co-op

March 4, 2014 1:46 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Skitter TV's platform allows for the integration of local broadcast channels with a growing number of cable programming channels and various web-based sources of video. Skitter TV can deliver services to a variety of consumer premise equipment, including Roku boxes and similar retail devices.

American Airlines Center upgrades Wi-Fi network

March 4, 2014 1:16 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The American Airlines Center in Dallas is the latest arena to get wired for the vast amounts of gameday traffic generated by people in the stands using social media and watching replays on their smartphones. The arena contracted with AT&T for the network.

Dish Network sweeps H Block spectrum auction

March 3, 2014 1:24 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Dish, as many expected, bought all the licenses available. It has not stated its intentions for the spectrum, but using it for broadband connectivity is a possibility. The company is currently working with Sprint to deploy fixed mobile broadband on a trial basis in Corpus Christi. The trial is scheduled for later this year.

In the media: Comcast to buy FreeWheel

March 3, 2014 1:18 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The reported price is $320 million. Where many ad insertion systems tend to focus on the delivery of ads that are appropriate for subscribers, Freewheel gives MVPDs like Comcast the ability to control who can sell ads into their content. Freewheel has associated tools for managing the financial aspects of the ad streaming business. 

Push for Web addresses in era of search, apps

March 3, 2014 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The organization in charge of Internet addresses is pushing a major expansion in domain name suffixes. At least 160 suffixes have been added since October to join the ranks of ".com," ''.org" and scores of country-specific ones such as ".uk" for the United Kingdom. Hundreds of other proposals are being reviewed.

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FCC blesses AT&T plan to test TDM-to-IP transition

February 28, 2014 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The two locations are Carbon Hill, Ala., and West Delray Beach, Fla. The trials are expected to extend for years. AT&T wants to investigate a number of potential issues, including what might be the proper mix of wireline and wireless services to offer.

Four SMC products earn DOCSIS 3.0 certification

February 28, 2014 1:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

SMC Networks said that it has achieved DOCSIS 3.0 certification for four products – a cable modem, an eMTA, and two gateways. SMC previously had three products certified by CableLabs as DOCSIS 3.0 compliant: an 8x4 Data Gateway, 8x4 MoCA capable Voice Gateway and 16x4 Data Gateway.

Report: CCAP surges in Q4

February 28, 2014 12:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

It was a bountiful fourth quarter for the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) market in general and vendor Casa Systems in particular. In the fourth quarter of last year, CCAP channel shipments spiked up 192 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to a recent report by Infonetics Research.

Bright House Networks promotes Wade to VP/GM in Bakersfield

February 28, 2014 12:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks recently announced that it has promoted Danielle Wade to vice president and general manager of its Bakersfield service area. In her new job, Wade is responsible for managing all aspects of Bakersfield’s cable operations, as well as ongoing local execution of new products and services. 

Academy Awards ceremony to stream live online for first time in select cities

February 28, 2014 11:58 am | News | Comments

The Academy Awards ceremony will stream live online for the first time to select cable providers in eight U.S. cities. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and ABC announced Thursday that Sunday's telecast will be available online and on mobile devices. A cable or satellite subscription login is required for the live stream at Oscar.com and ABC.com, or via the mobile app WatchABC.com. 

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Cox culls some call centers

February 27, 2014 12:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cox Communications will close the doors on some of the smaller call centers across its footprint in order to centralize operations into seven large call centers. Streamlining its call center operations could lead to a 3 percent cut, or roughly 436 employees, in Cox’s overall work force, but some of those laid off employees could migrate to the larger call centers.

Twitch is coming to the Xbox One

February 25, 2014 1:34 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The video game broadcasting service Twitch is bringing a slew of fresh features to Microsoft's newest console, including an update next month will lead to more broadband traffic: the ability to live stream video games, join in on games with broadcasters, initiate game broadcasts with voice commands, archive game clips and watch Twitch streams broadcast from any device, including the PS4.

TiVo founders try to reprogram Internet video with Qplay

February 25, 2014 12:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Qplay is controlled through an application that can be installed on an iPad or iPhone to select video separated into categories, or "Qs." All the video is stored in remote data centers so the line-up remains in sync even when a user switches from watching on a TV screen to viewing on an iPad or another device.

SCTE sends shout out for Cable-Tec Expo abstracts

February 25, 2014 12:48 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is seeking papers and presentations for technical sessions at this fall’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo Sept. 22-25 in Denver. SCTE said that its SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2014 Program Committee was targeting papers that addressed technologies, best practices, solutions, workforce training, and case studies.

Report: Ethernet switch market posts record revenues in 2013

February 25, 2014 12:41 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

According to a recent report, 2013 was a banner year for the Ethernet switch market. The Layer 2-3 Ethernet Switch market exceeded $22 billion last year, with most segments achieving record revenues during the year, according to the report by Dell’Oro Group.

What Netflix-Comcast deal means

February 25, 2014 12:37 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

After years of bickering, online video purveyor Netflix and media giant Comcast, the largest U.S. broadband service, are working together to provide their subscribers with a more enjoyable experience when they're watching movies and old television shows over high-speed Internet connections. The new partnership is part of a breakthrough deal that was announced Sunday.

Firefox, Spreadtrum chipset partnership promises $25 smartphones

February 24, 2014 1:25 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The chipset (SC6821) combines a “low memory configuration and high level of integration” to drive down costs. More specifically, Spreadtrum says the chipset could support smartphones with 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreens, integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and camera functions.

Comcast, Netflix ink interconnection agreement

February 24, 2014 12:38 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After rumors started boiling to the surface on Friday, yesterday Comcast and Netflix announced that they had signed an interconnection agreement that will give Netflix subscribers on Comcast’s network improved streaming video experiences. While the agreement does put Netflix closer to Comcast subscribers via regional interconnection points, it doesn’t allow Netflix to have its own servers on site.

Dish 2013: flat, as far as the eye can see

February 21, 2014 12:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company ended 2013 with approximately 14.057 million TV subscribers, compared with approximately 14.056 million at the end of 2012. Dish also added approximately 253,000 net broadband subscribers, bringing its total broadband subscriber base to approximately 436,000.

Time Warner Cable to boost speeds in Austin

February 21, 2014 12:27 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Despite its possible acquisition by Comcast, Time Warner Cable isn’t waving the white flag in Austin. Time Warner Cable announced it would boost its “Ultimate” 50 Mbps tier to 300 Mbps on the downstream by the this fall, as well bowing faster speeds across additional data tiers.

Aereo suffers first major legal setback

February 20, 2014 1:32 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A District Judge  argued that Aereo's retransmission of video signals is "indistinguishable from a cable company," and said that if Aereo continued to do business, it would damage broadcasters' ability to negotiate with legitimate licensees, siphon viewers away from their websites and subject them to potential piracy.

Google begins process to expand Fiber in 2015

February 20, 2014 1:03 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

As with the previous three Google Fiber cities, Google is playing for the most favorable possible build conditions, including guarantees the company will be able to string fiber with a minimum of fuss, plus any regulatory grease that might be forthcoming. Cox, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T are at risk for a little more competition. Verizon? Not so much. Not at all, in fact.

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