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

In the Media: Verizon hiking DSL fees

March 6, 2013 3:01 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Verizon will be upping the price of its basic tier of DSL service by $5 a month. The price hikes are not universal. The price has not changed in some cities where they company has franchise obligations to not increase its rates. The company says the new rate will remain in effect for one year.

Harmonic sets up cloud transcoding service

March 5, 2013 2:02 pm | by Brian Santo | Product Releases | Comments

Harmonic has launched a cloud-based transcoding service for professional applications. The service is available through the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. Content creators, service providers, and media professionals can access the technology to convert broadcast-quality video content to virtually any standard media format.

The Weather Channel picks Elemental Technologies for TVE

March 5, 2013 12:10 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Weather Channel is powering its cross-platform video services with Elemental Technologies’ multi-screen platform. The Weather Channel is using Elemental video processing systems to support live programming and simulcasts to  more than 100 million U.S. households and to stream live content to the company’s YouTube channel.

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In the media: Comcast plans free VOD promo

March 4, 2013 1:55 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Comcast is looking to promote increased use of its VOD service later this month with a week’s worth of free VOD access. The MSO hopes to draw consumer attention to its broad VOD catalog late this month by offering shows from its broadcast, cable, and premium cable networks for free for a week. 

Imagine doubles the density of ICE

March 4, 2013 1:48 pm | by Brian Santo | CED | Product Releases | Comments

Chief among the capabilities of the new version of the system – v4.3 – is a doubling of system density, which the company said leads to power savings per stream of up to 50 percent and significantly reduced total hardware costs. Other features include MPEG DASH streaming, enhanced usability, and remote diagnostic tools.

Videotron's streaming service challenged

March 1, 2013 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Canadian Broadcaster Astral Media is attempting to force Videotron to drop or severely modify a streaming video service the latter recently announced. Astral filed a complaint with Canadian regulatory agencies claiming Videotron’s new illico Club Unlimited service violates a number of statutes. Videotron considers the complaint to be without legal merit.

Smart watches gain interest and popularity

February 28, 2013 12:40 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Miniaturized computers, worn on the wrist, link to the wearer’s iPhone or Android handset, and can display not only the time, but also e-mail messages. The Pebble smart watch is $150, and can also display texts, provide caller ID, and scan Twitter or Facebook feeds.

Verizon to test Ericsson’s TV over LTE

February 26, 2013 3:40 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

What Ericsson is calling an end-to-end LTE broadcast solution is based on the eMBMS standard covering broadcast video over LTE. It represents one of the first proposed uses of both HEVC and MPEG DASH. Telstra in Australia and Verizon Wireless will be among the first to trial the system.

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Nielsen preparing to tally broadband TV viewing

February 25, 2013 3:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Starting in September, Nielsen will begin measuring viewership through broadband devices like game consoles for the first time. With DVRs, video on demand, game consoles and streaming services, tablets and smartphones, the way people watch TV is changing and the industry is struggling to keep on top of it all. Even the idea of "watching television" is in flux.

Motorola extends reach of DreamGallery cloud

February 25, 2013 2:43 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Motorola has tweaked its DreamGallery to render a more Internet-like user experience across a range of companion devices and legacy set-top boxes. The user navigation component of Motorola’s end-to-end Medios+ multi-screen platform is now hooked up with ActiveVideo Networks’ virtualized cloud-rendering technology. 

Concurrent notches customer win for CDN platform

February 25, 2013 2:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Concurrent announced this morning that its unified content delivery network (CDN) platform was field deployed by a top-five North American multiple service operator.Concurrent didn’t identify the service provider that was using its MediaHawk CDN.

Charter narrows Q4 loss; heading for all-digital

February 22, 2013 2:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Charter Communications said its residential customer relationships increased by 20,000 during the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to the year-ago period, which CEO Tom Rutledge said was the best Q4 performance at the company in 10 years.

Videotron adds French on-demand service

February 21, 2013 1:40 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The latest version of the MSO’s illico on demand services is aimed at French language speakers in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Illico Club Unlimited will be offered at $9.99/month. For that, subscribers will get unlimited access to movies, television series, children’s programs, documentaries, comedy shows and concerts.

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Suddenlink pushes TiVo Mini into 100+ communities

February 20, 2013 3:09 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Suddenlink Communications is the first cable operator in the nation to offer its subscribers access to TiVo’s Mini, which is a small device that lets users view live and recorded video content in secondary rooms of a home. Suddenlink also got its hands on the Mini devices before they hit retail outlets.

Former Insight exec Griffith joins Willner at Penthera

February 19, 2013 1:06 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

It was an offer that Melani Griffith couldn’t refuse. Griffith started her new job at Penthera Partners, which reunited her with former Insight Communications head honcho Michael Willner. Griffith was hired as Penthera’s executive vice president of business development.

Comcast using upgraded Elemental tech for VOD

February 14, 2013 3:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Comcast will be using an upgraded version of Elemental Technologies’ video processing system to begin optimizing the delivery of linear video on demand. Comcast had previously used Elemental Technologies’ products to help deliver video on Xfinity.

CBS, Amazon ink deeper TV Everywhere accord

February 14, 2013 2:40 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CBS and Amazon have announced an expanded content licensing agreement that serves up classic series and hit television shows from CBS Television Distribution and Showtime Networks to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service. The additional content is available for streaming at no additional cost to Amazon Prime subscribers.

Intel working on TV set-top box to replace cable

February 13, 2013 3:18 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Intel said it will sell a set-top box that brings Internet-delivered movies and shows to a TV set this year. Erik Huggers, general manager of Intel Media, said the company plans to sell a box that will offer "a vastly superior experience" to today's cable boxes.

Comcast unlocks vault of Fox TV Everywhere content

February 12, 2013 3:02 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast and Fox Networks announced a multi-platform distribution deal that gives nearly 22 million Xfinity TV customers access to a wide range of video content from Fox across linear TV, online, tablets, mobile devices and gaming consoles.

TWC adds VOD content for PCs, Macs on Web browser

February 11, 2013 2:55 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After offering VOD content on its TWC TV app for iPads, Time Warner Cable has upgraded its TWCTV.com Web portal to do the same on Macs and PCs. With the upgrade to TWCTV.com, Time Warner Cable is now serving up 4,000 VOD titles to subscribers.

Milius and milestones

February 8, 2013 5:02 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Ray Milius and his team are responsible for engineering matters at Starz. Starz is not among the largest programmers, but it frequently is among the first programmers to adopt new technologies. Recently, Ray and his team got Starz into TV Everywhere with its Encore and MoviePlex On Demand And Play services.

Making the second screen work

February 7, 2013 12:52 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

Years after Netflix, smartphones and tablets all hit the scene, even those service providers capable of multi-screen delivery continue to struggle with the multi-screen phenomenon. That’s because even as service providers respond to viewers’ increasing appetite for video on screens other than the TV, consumers’ multi-screen behavior continues to evolve.

A kaleidoscope of moving parts

February 7, 2013 11:34 am | by Craig Kuhl, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

The once heavily tech-driven business model of small Tier 2 and Tier 3 cable and broadband service providers is morphing into a kaleidoscope of moving, interchangeable parts. Smaller operators whose subscriber counts number in the four- and five-figure range are fiddling with and tweaking their business models like never before.

Managing the multi-screen video transformation

February 7, 2013 10:56 am | by Paul Casinelli, product manager at IneoQuest Technologies | Articles | Comments

The multi-screen transformation has taken the video world by storm. Customers now expect the same video services they receive on their set-top box on their video-capable devices. Adoption of multi-screen services is occurring across the spectrum, running the gamut of service providers, content providers and enterprises.

Malone’s Liberty Global eyes Virgin Media

February 5, 2013 3:02 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

John Malone’s Liberty Global is in the process of cooking up a deal to buy Virgin Media. Virgin Media’s price tag could be in the range of $24 billion, while its market capitalization stands at $10.4 billion. Including debt, its enterprise value is around $19.4 billion.

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