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The Lead

Review: Connecting the Home for the Holidays

December 18, 2014 1:53 pm | by The Associated Press | Articles | Comments

To give you a feel for what that connectivity brings, here's a closer look at a few "smart" products for the home. There are plenty more if you look around. As I tried these out, I kept thinking to myself whether these products really needed that connectivity. You'll need to decide whether the benefits are worth the higher prices.

No more hanging on the line for Comcast customer service

December 18, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Comcast is attempting a few new twists on customer service, including giving customers several...

Vudu releases Jinni for search and discovery

December 16, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Vudu is adding features that other services introduced some time ago, but is going further than...

Roku, Comcast do deal on HBO Go, Showtime streaming

December 16, 2014 12:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After an impasse that stretched back several years, Comcast finally has brokered a deal with...

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CES: Alticast gears up with IoT, CableCard-less demos

December 16, 2014 12:28 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Multi-screen vendor Alticast will bring its cloud-based and Internet of Things (IoT) demos and products to next month’s Consumer Electronics Show as well as its CableCard-less security technology offering. With the recent passage of the STELA bill that dropped the mandate for CableCards, Alitcast’s AltiProtect demo at CES is noteworthy as the U.S. cable industry considers other security options that have been deployed abroad for years. 

Arris stocks OTT Market with Portico TV

December 11, 2014 1:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Starting early next year, Arris will add N2TV’s streaming TV service, which is called Portico TV, to its over-the-top streaming platform for cable operators. Arris introduced “Arris Market,” which blends over-the-top (OTT) content with traditional programming services on its set-top boxes, earlier this year as part of its Whole Home Solution.

FCC open for comments on 13K hotspots from Comcast, TWC

December 11, 2014 1:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable and Comcast are preparing to possibly deploy another 13,500 public Wi-Fi hotspots between them. The two require permission from the Federal Communications Commission to do so, and the FCC today began seeking public comments as part of its approval process.

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Taking care of business: a Cable-Tec Expo recap

December 10, 2014 11:03 pm | by CED | Articles | Comments

Today it remains somewhat murky where the whole pay TV business is going, or precisely what it will look like when it gets there, but MSOs know for certain they need to prepare their networks to deliver whatever has to be delivered, and Cable-Tec Expo made it crystal clear that those networks will still depend heavily on DOCSIS 3.1.

Research: Residential gateways drive CPE market

December 8, 2014 1:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Spurred on by the deployment of residential gateways, worldwide customer premise equipment (CPE) shipments were projected to reach 152 million by the end of this year. In the cable CPE sector, ABI Research expects DOCSIS 3.0 device shipments will grow 11 percent this year, accounting for nearly 85 percent of the total cable CPE shipments.

ACA Summit: Washington DC

December 5, 2014 11:54 am | by CED | Events

The ACA Summit underscores the unique role that more than 800 independent cable operators play in providing best-in-class communications services to millions of consumers living and working in some of the most remote areas of the country. When it comes to responding to the critical broadband infrastructure needs of rural America, ACA Members are the ones who are putting their own capital at risk and supplying the solutions.

ViXS Systems intros Ethernet-over-coax chips

December 3, 2014 1:13 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The ViXS XConnex EoC solutions can be deployed with 4 RF channels delivering 700 Mbps of payload traffic, with an option for field software upgrades to increase bandwidth up to 1.6 Gbps without any changes to existing hardware, the company said.

November / December 2014

December 2, 2014 8:26 pm | by CED | Digital Editions | Comments

In this issue, we profile Sherita Ceaser, the recipient of the 2014 Women In Technology Award. CED editors attended the 2014 Cable-Tec Expo, caught up on keynotes, sampled the seminars, and sat through the sessions to bring you a comprehensive overview of the technologies that are driving progress in the cable industry. Contributed articles address managing networks – one looks at smart home networks, the other at the cloud.

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STELA bill passes House; ends CableCard mandate

November 21, 2014 12:17 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

This version of the bill eliminates the integration ban, and also includes provisions that ban broadcasters from banding together to negotiate retransmission consent deals with MVPDs. The bill heads to the Senate, where passage is expected to be automatic. The President is expected to sign the bill.

Comcast trials tech tracker

November 20, 2014 1:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

There are probably few things more annoying than being held hostage over a four-hour window for a cable installer to arrive at a customer’s home. Comcast has winnowed down that window to around two hours, but now its trialing a new real-time solution that it hopes will alleviate subscribers’ frustrations.

ZigBee 3.0 aims to standardize ZigBee standards

November 19, 2014 12:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Internet of Things promises universal interconnectivity. There are multiple ZigBee profiles optimized for different applications, however. So that different groups of products no longer operate in silos, the ZigBee Alliance plans to unify most ZigBee profiles under a common standard: ZigBee 3.0.

Rovi buys startup Fanhattan for undisclosed sum

November 3, 2014 1:49 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Rovi will be jumping into the CPE business, acquiring startup Fanhattan, which used its expertise in guide and recommendation technology as a launchpad for a set-top that combines linear, on demand, and OTT content. The companies did not disclose the purchase price.

Xfinity customers can make the drop at UPS stores

October 31, 2014 12:51 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast continues to polish its customer service apple by allowing subscribers to drop off their equipment directly at UPS stores where the gear will be processed, packed and shipped back to Comcast free of charge. In addition to the more than 500 Xfinity stores, the equipment can now be dropped off at 4,400 UPS stores across the nation. The equipment can be handed into the UPS stores as is, without wrapping or packaging.

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Arris steady in Q3, expects a boost in 2015... eventually

October 30, 2014 2:04 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Arris reported Q3 revenue of $1.4 billion, up 32 percent from the third quarter a year ago. Arris expects its largest customers might get distracted by the megamergers they're involved in, but they all need to respond to demand for gigabit services and Wi-Fi. CCAP trials might commence in the summer.

Broadcom unveils silicon for G.fast DSLAMs, gateways

October 23, 2014 1:53 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Vendors are rapidly filling the market with enabling technology for G.fast. Broadcom announced variants of several DSL chips that will now support G.fast and G.vector standards, and Adtran said its G.fast technology, introduced last month, is in trials with several customers around the world. 

Peregrine debuts RF chip for D3.1 cable modems

October 22, 2014 1:41 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Set-tops, cable modems and gateways have previously supported only one upstream and downstream band at a time. Peregrines new chip has a dual-band architecture, enabling it to operate in DOCSIS 3.0 networks, and then be reset to operate in a D3.1 environments, with no exchange of hardware necessary.

Time Warner Cable drops new Arris gateway into LA, New York City markets

October 21, 2014 12:52 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable has upped its DVR capability in its Los Angeles and New York City markets with a new six-tuner gateway from Arris. Arris’ DCX3600 gateway features a 1-terabyte hard drive, which features up to six times more storage capacity than current Time Warner Cable DVRs.

Sony introduces TV version of PlayStation line

October 15, 2014 1:27 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The device seems to be a placeholder for something that might come later. Apps for OTT services can be downloaded, but they’re disabled. What you can do with it is play a select list of PlayStation Vita games on it (not all of them), and you can use it to stream games from your PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 to a TV.

Demanding video consumers pushing for modern user interfaces

September 25, 2014 12:29 pm | by Craig Kuhl, contributing editor | News | Comments

The increasing demands for modernizing user interfaces, and soaring consumer expectations are putting pressure on service providers to improve their user interfaces, and that means blending consumer behavior data with advancing technologies.

Bright House Networks’ Babinski Cable-Tec champ

September 25, 2014 9:18 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Propelled by victories in two events, Bright House Networks’ Greg Babinski took home the top honors at the SCTE International Cable-Tec Games in Denver earlier this week. Babinski, representing SCTE Region 9 and the SCTE Central Florida Chapter, beat out 29 other competitors in the 24th annual Cable-Tec Games.

FourthWall preparing set-top monitoring system

September 22, 2014 11:25 am | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Precision Diagnostics will collect a range of set-top box data, including Model Info, current status of STB, signal frequencies and signal levels, and much more, and constantly monitors equipment to make sure it's functioning correctly.

ZigBee controls set-tops and smart home devices with same remote

September 11, 2014 1:48 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

ZigBee Remote Control 2.0 includes a “Find My Remote” feature, the ability to connect to other devices in the smart home, as well as complete control of the set-top box or TV set.  All parts of a ZigBee smart home network can be operated with the same remote control.

UXP updates user experience software

September 11, 2014 1:07 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

UXP Systems said it will have a new revision of its Mint Software Suite later this month that enables individual user and household profiles across devices and services, and decouples user profiles from billing accounts, allowing for trial users, moving of user profiles between accounts and multiple accounts-per user.

Broadcom debuts family of satellite STB chips with 4K support

September 9, 2014 1:33 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Broadcom announced a family of eight hybrid satellite and terrestrial SoC devices for STBs, all with HEVC encoding. The chips are fully capable of supporting ultra HD content, but are more likely to be used by direct broadcasters to double the number of HD channels they are able to offer.

Apple's larger iPhone poised to drive phablet market

September 5, 2014 2:01 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Carriers may be giving more shelf space to devices with larger screens, but many consumers could be waiting for a larger iPhone before they snatch up a phablet. "If Apple releases a bigger iPhone it will be the final catalyst for explosive growth in the 4.7”+ market.”

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