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

Peak 10 serves up Comcast Business’ Ethernet services

October 18, 2013 1:02 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Peak 10, a national IT infrastrcutre and cloud-services provider, announced that it’s now offering Comcast Business’ Ethernet services in its Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. data center. With Comcast Busienss, Peak 10 can provide its customers in South Florida and throughout the southeast access to high-bandwidth Ethernet connectivity, and  off-site data center back-up and cloud services for disaster recovery preparedness.

Google stock crosses $1,000 mark after earnings

October 18, 2013 12:51 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Strong third-quarter results have sent Google shares past the $1,000 mark for the first time. Shortly after the markets opened Friday, Google Inc. shares jumped more than 12 percent to $1,002. The stock had never before surpassed $928 in regular market trading since Google went public at $85 per share nine years ago.

Intel signs up for SCTE Standards Program

October 17, 2013 1:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) announced this morning that Intel had joined the SCTE Standards Program. Intel, which has delayed the launch of its own video service, will work with the Standards Program on the development of new energy and operations standards and recommended best practices for the cable operator industry.

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Verizon 3Q profit soars as number of devices grows

October 17, 2013 1:15 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Verizon's third-quarter net income jumped 40 percent as the largest U.S. mobile phone carrier continued to add more wireless devices to its network. Verizon earned $2.23 billion, or 78 cents per share, up from $1.59 billion, or 56 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012.

Comcast spreads Wi-Fi across KC

October 17, 2013 1:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Comcast turned on Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot service in the Kansas City metro area, including in public venues like the Independence Events Center, as well as dozens of local businesses and gathering spots, with plans to add more locations. The service is offered for no additional charge to Xfinity Internet customers.

Arris nails down rights to sell Sling technology

October 16, 2013 3:27 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Integrating Sling technology into one of its boxes apparently wasn’t enough. Arris has arranged with Sling Media to become the exclusive worldwide distributor of gateways and standalone devices that integrate Sling technology.  Arris will also eventually take control of worldwide licensing of the technology.

Ziggo rejects Liberty Global takeover bid

October 16, 2013 1:17 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Dutch cable company Ziggo has rejected a takeover bid from Liberty Global as inadequate. Liberty Global began investing in Ziggo earlier this year, buying 28.5 percent of the Dutch company’s stock. Liberty Global and Liberty Media, both chaired by John Malone, have been aggressively investing in cable companies around the world. 

Espial lands RDK-related deal with large cable operator

October 16, 2013 12:56 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Espial said this morning that it had landed a multi-year, multi-million dollar RDK-based contract with a unnamed tier 1 cable operator in North America. Espial’s RDK-client solution for set-top boxes and HTML5-based  G4 User Experience will be used by the cable operator to provision its services across TVs, tablets and smartphones.

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Migrating to IP in the cable TV Environment: benefits, challenges, and resolutions

October 16, 2013 1:53 am | by Yaron Raz, director, Digital Video Solutions, Harmonic | Articles | Comments

The main challenge of switching to an IP-based infrastructure is that it doesn’t happen overnight. To make the transition, an operator needs to support two infrastructures for some period of time: a QAM infrastructure that uses MPEG-2 for video compression and a second silo for IP that relies on a mix of MPEG-4 and adaptive bit rate technology.

What’s next for DOCSIS

October 16, 2013 1:43 am | by Brady Volpe and Conrad L. Young | Articles | Comments

The latest iteration of DOCSIS, DOCSIS 3.1, will come with significant changes in modulation options that will have important effects on installed and future hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) networks. Here we’ll be focusing on modulation basics and a discussion of how spectral efficiency (SE) relates to DOCSIS 3.1 performance goals.

Using DOCSIS tools to locate HFC plant impairments

October 16, 2013 1:32 am | by Nick Segura, Director, Technical Operations, Charter Communications | Articles | Comments

There is an ongoing effort amongst cable operators to prevent new, and reduce existing, out-of-spec (OOS) modems. It’s a big deal! Technical performance goals are tied to these numbers and tech ops managers and supervisors require their technicians to not leave the customer premises until the modem meets minimum specifications.

In Perspective: Tea Network

October 16, 2013 1:04 am | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

The beginning of the commercial Internet was notable for an awful lot of stupid stuff, starting with young entrepreneurs who insisted that “Information wants to be free,” and who even more fatuously dismissed people who insisted that a business ought to turn a profit by accusing them of “just not getting it.”

Memory Lane: Homage to protocol past

October 16, 2013 12:58 am | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Articles | Comments

Time division multiplexing is a core enabling technology that has long powered the modern telephone network. TDM techniques, tracing back to Baudot’s telegraph multiplex system of 1874, have powered modern telecommunications for a long, long time. But there are signs now that time may be running short for TDM.

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Engineering-wise: Unknown unknowns

October 15, 2013 11:37 pm | by Mark Dzuban, President and CEO, SCTE | Articles | Comments

As an industry that delivers important telecommunications services to our customers, we need to anticipate and be prepared to respond to the natural and manmade events that can jeopardize our ability to meet our customers’ needs. Even when we expect the unexpected, the effects on our networks can be extreme.

Capital Currents: DASH—The Next Big Thing?

October 15, 2013 11:32 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

With video, you want a continuous stream of video, you don’t want stuttering. So the DASH solution is to break up the program into short segments, and send each segment at a data rate adequate to deliver a continuous, non-stuttering stream. If that means delivering some segments at less than high definition quality, so be it.

Sony's $200 smartwatch works with Android phones

October 15, 2013 1:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sony's SmartWatch 2 hasn't gotten as much attention as Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy Gear, but it's cheaper and compatible with a broader range of phones. The Gear costs $300 and currently works only with the company's Galaxy Note 3 phone.

On edge: Harmonic forms new support team

October 15, 2013 12:52 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Harmonic has formed a new “cable edge” services group to support deployments of its dense edge QAM and converged cable access platform (CCAP) product lines. The company’s new Cable Edge Services group includes a team of technical support and field engineers dedicated to providing design, strategy, deployment, migration, and ongoing operations support for cable operators.

AT&T, T-Mobile simplify mobile broadband plans

October 15, 2013 12:50 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T confirmed that it will only offer new customers its bucket-style Mobile Share plans, essentially doing away with its family plans. Meanwhile, T-Mobile is apparently also moving to streamline its offerings in the direction of its Simple Choice plans.

CommScope helps power CableLabs’ headend, CMTS

October 15, 2013 12:47 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CableLabs is using hydrogen fuel cells from CommScope to provide backup power for its headend and cable modem termination system (CMTS) in its Louisville, Colo. headquarters. CommScope said its fuel cell could provide up to 16 hours of reliable, environmentally friendly backup power. 

Imagine upgrades video processor, transcoder

October 15, 2013 12:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The ICE Broadcast Systemwas formerly capable of HD 3:1; it is now capable of HD 4:1. The Next transcoder upgrade enhances the transcoding, packaging and streaming capability with an integrated origin server and storage interoperability for Catch-Up TV and network PVR.

Comcast Ventures leads $20m investment in SundaySky

October 15, 2013 12:38 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

SundaySky, an Israel-based provider of personalized ads for online brands, announced this morning that it had raised $20 million in Series C funding. Comcast Ventures led the funding round for SundaySky while Liberty Global Ventures, Vintage Investment Partners and existing investors Carmel Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners and Norwest Venture Partners also took part.

Troubled telecoms: Alcatel-Lucent job cut protest

October 15, 2013 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Wearing black trash bags marked with crosses, more than a thousand Alcatel-Lucent workers marched to the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday, staging a mock funeral that the chief executive warned could easily become a reality for a company with its roots in the earliest days of the telephone.

Broadcasters petition Supreme Court to kill Aereo

October 14, 2013 1:51 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

In a maneuver that has important ramifications for retransmission consent arguments, ABC, CBS, Fox and Comcast-owned NBC, along with Univision, Telemundo, PBS and several individual TV stations have signed the petition asking the Court to decide that Aereo's methods violate copyright law.

Vodafone completes buyout of German cable operator

October 14, 2013 1:09 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

British telecoms firm Vodafone says it has completed its 7.7 billion-euro ($10 billion) takeover of Germany's biggest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland. Vodafone, one of the world's largest cellphone companies, said in a statement Monday that it now holds just over 76 percent of Kabel Deutschland Holding AG.

Aurora node expands upstream bandwidth with button push

October 14, 2013 12:58 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company claims its Universal Digital Return Technology coupled coupled with its 102-1002 MHz downstream-capable nodes is the only solution on the market that can be purchased and seamlessly upgraded from 5-42 MHz to 5-85 MHz in the return path.

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