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

US cable merger foreshadows Internet TV's rise

February 4, 2014 12:54 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Charter Communications Inc.'s $38 billion bid to take over the much-larger Time Warner Cable Inc. is an attempt to future-proof its business by getting its foot in the door of millions more homes wired for Internet service. As people use more mobile devices, watch more online video and connect everything from thermostats to refrigerators to the Internet, delivering those Internet services will become increasingly valuable.

Concurrent enables start-over on live content

February 3, 2014 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The approach relies on caching live video content in the network as it is being streamed. Content is stored for a set duration to provide a rolling time-shifted playback window. During this window, consumers can watch and interactively control content playback on any of their connected devices.

Penthera elects Griffith to board

January 31, 2014 12:27 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Penthera’s board of directors recently elected Melani Griffith to its board of directors. Penthera hired Griffith, who formerly worked with Penthera president and CEO Michel Willner at Insight Communications, last year as its executive vice president of business development.

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Shaw deploying Arris' universal edge QAM

January 30, 2014 1:08 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Shaw Communications has deployed Arris’ universal edge QAM to support its TV everywhere operations, specifically for support delivering content from its VOD libraries. The deployment clears a path for the MSO to implement a modular CCAP architecture.

TWC outlines operating game plan, reports Q4 and year-end results

January 30, 2014 12:59 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In his first earnings call as CEO of Time Warner Cable, Rob Marcus outlined the company’s operating plan going forward and further rebutted Charter Communications’ attempt to takeover the nation’s second-largest cable operator. Time Warner Cable executives went to great lengths to refute Charter Communications’ position that the company was poorly managed and likely to see a further erosion of its subscriber base. 

TiVo forks out $135 million in cash to buy Digitalsmiths

January 29, 2014 12:44 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In an effort to speed up its evolution to cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings, TiVo announced this morning that was buying search and recommendation vendor Digitalsmiths for $135 million in cash. Once it passes the customary closing conditions, the deal is slated to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

Envivio bows new rev of network management system

January 28, 2014 12:56 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Once known as 4Manager, it will now be referred to as Guru, though it gets to keep its revision number. Guru 4.0 includes a new and improved user interface, as well as tools such as enhanced monitoring, connectivity enhancements, device auto-discovery and scheduled service control.

Comcast to bring online Olympics coverage to TV

January 27, 2014 12:07 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Over the past few Olympics, NBC has shown more live coverage over the Internet than it has on TV. For the upcoming Winter Games, Comcast's Xfinity TV subscribers will be able to tap the breadth of that online coverage on their big screens. 

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Carl Icahn snaps up another $500M of Apple stock

January 24, 2014 1:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Icahn made it clear he wants to see an Apple television set, a device that has been a subject of company speculation for the past three years. Steve Jobs, Apple's late CEO and co-founder, suggested Apple was working on a TV set in interviews with his biographer before he died in October 2011.

Time Warner, Bright House expand TV-E rosters

January 24, 2014 12:24 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

MSOs continue to gradually accrete more networks for their TV Everywhere line-ups. Time Warner Cable and ally Bright House Networks said they have just signed A&E, History and Lifetime.  TWC is already hosting the apps for those networks as part of its TV Everywhere offerings. Bright House Networks will follow next week.

NBCU/Comcast tee up deal with 49ers, Levi’s Stadium

January 23, 2014 12:20 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast and NBCUniversal have struck a wide-ranging, 10-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers to provide a range of services at the new Levi’s Stadium. Hooking up professional sports stadiums with its Ethernet and Wi-Fi services is nothing for new Comcast, but the deal with the 49ers also included programming elements as well. 

ThinkAnalytics, IVA combo search with trailers

January 22, 2014 1:10 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

IVA’s entertainment metadata will be matched to the ThinkAnalytics Search and Recommendations Engine. The combination will enable video service providers to present trailers and other promotional content with the results of a search or a recommendation process.

Verizon picks up Intel's cloud video operation

January 21, 2014 12:30 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Verizon Communications confirmed that it will buy Intel Media, Intel’s IP video operation. The company expects to use the technology to improve multi-screen delivery on both its wireline FiOS network and on its wireless LTE network.  Intel Media was driving to become a competitive commercial video company, similar to Netflix, Amazon Instant, or the forthcoming service from Sony.

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Media: Netflix app launches on Com Hem STBs

January 20, 2014 12:58 pm | News | Comments

Starting today, subscribers of Sweden’s Com Hem can access Netflix content via an app on their set-top boxes. According to Broadband TV, Netflix is available to Com Hem users that have TiVo boxes in their homes. The deal is similar to the one Virgin Media, TiVo and Netflix cooked up late last year. 

NFL Network to stream live on Xbox One

January 17, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Microsoft is working with NeuLion to enable the delivery of the channel at 60 fps. Doubling the typical frame rate of live video is especially pertinent with sports broadcasts. Sports networks, including ESPN, consistently say that if forced to choose between one or the other, a faster frame rate is preferable to higher resolution.

ThinkAnalytics, SeaChange forge global reseller agreement

January 15, 2014 12:46 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Search and recommendation vendor ThinkAnalytics and SeaChange International announced this morning that they had signed a global reseller agreement. With the deal in place, ThinkAnalytics has integrated its search and recommendation engine into SeaChange’s Adrenalin backoffice platform.

Harris Broadcast wraps up deal to buy Imagine Communications

January 15, 2014 12:43 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Harris Broadcast announced this morning that it had completed its purchase of Imagine Communications. The deal brought Imagine’s adaptive bit rate (ABR) technology into Harris’ product portfolio. Financial terms of the deal weren’t released.

AT&T, Beats Music team up for family offering

January 13, 2014 12:18 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After rumors of a subscription streaming music service for some time, AT&T announced it has hooked up with Beats Music for a new family-orientated offering that will launch Jan. 21. The deal with Jimmy Iovine’s Beats Electronics will allow AT&T wireless customers to stream or download the service to five family members on up to 10 devices for $15 a month.

New Dish Hopper set-up can record 8 shows at once

January 10, 2014 12:45 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The eight-show system involves Dish's Hopper DVR and a new Super Joey add-on box for separate rooms. The catch is that four of those shows have to be from the broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. Dish also unveiled partnerships with LG Corp. and Sony Corp. so that Hopper users can watch recorded shows in a second room without needing a Joey.

Shaw brings A&E app into TVE fold

January 10, 2014 12:21 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Shaw Communications has launched A&E’s app to give its Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct authenticated subscribers TV Everywhere access to shows such as “Duck Dynasty,” “Storage Wars,” and “Rodeo Girls.” The A&E app, which launched Thursday, works on iOS, Android and Kindle devices, and is available online.

Report: Subscribers want remote access to DVR content

January 9, 2014 12:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

A study by Parks Associates projected that there will be more than 103 million pay-TV households in the United States by the end of this year. The report, which was announced at CES this morning, said that two-thirds of the pay-TV households expressed interest in features that they currently don’t have, namely remote access to DVR content.

Amazon, CBS agree on exclusivity for 'Extant'

January 9, 2014 12:05 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Amazon will have exclusive ad-free streaming rights in the U.S. to a CBS thriller this summer starring Halle Berry. Episodes will be available for free on CBS.com and CBS' app with ads the day after they air on CBS. Members of Amazon's $79-a-year Prime service will be able to watch "Extant" ad-free four days after broadcast. 

Sony announces streaming TV and game services

January 8, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Among the many things Sony announced at CES, two could be momentous for established MVPDs: the company plans to introduce a competitive web-based video service, and it plans to switch delivery of Playstation games from selling physical disks to a streaming model.

The horror: Fearnet signs on with Buckeye CableSystem

January 7, 2014 12:47 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Thriller and horror network Fearnet has inked a multi-year distribution agreement with Buckeye CableSystem. Starting yesterday, Fearnet became available to Buckeye’s subscribers on its digital basic package in both SD and HD. Buckeye also locked up TV Everywhere rights from Fearnet.

Samsung teams up with Comcast for ultra-HD movies

January 7, 2014 12:43 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that it is tackling the problem of getting ultra-high-definition content to its new TV sets by teaming up with the Internet streaming services of Comcast, Netflix and Amazon. Under its partnership with Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, Samsung TVs would get UHD content through an app running on the Internet-connected TV, bypassing Comcast's set-top boxes.

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