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

In Perspective: Flexinets

June 5, 2013 11:39 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

When people watch video on cellular networks, the meter is running, and that’s a severe inhibitor to increased consumption. Wireless carriers are understandably reluctant to stop running the meter.  So what to do? Subsidize the minutes, somehow - an idea ESPN has been floating. 

New Products: Sonus, Digital Rapids, Averna/Pace

June 5, 2013 9:11 pm | by CED | Articles | Comments

Sonus Networks has upgraded its session border control (SBC) portfolio with software and hardware enhancements; Digital Rapids recently started shipping version 3.8 of its the Digital Rapids Stream software; Averna has forged a design-validation partnership with Pace that it said would accelerate customer premise equipment certification (CPE) for cable operators. 

Conax offering SDK for PlayReady DRM client

June 5, 2013 2:25 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Developers can use the SDK to create a client capable of secure delivery of video content from the streaming server to the native player of the client device. The Conax security-hardened implementation for MS PlayReady fully conforms to Microsoft’s rules for Compliance and Robustness and is developed according to Conax’ security requirements including security requirements from  major Hollywood studios and content providers.

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Comcast combines CMC, IP Services, into Wholesale unit

June 5, 2013 2:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Comcast announced the reorganization of several operations dedicated to managing services on behalf of customers, essentially by folding the previously separate IP services operation with the Comcast Media Center under an umbrella unit called Comcast Wholesale. Comcast Wholesale now incorporates CMC units including Content Solutions, HITS and AdDelivery, with the IP Services unit, which provides data and voice services.

Rovi releases SDK for adding HEVC codecs

June 4, 2013 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | CED | Product Releases | Comments

The SDK includes the company’s patent-pending Smart Adaptive Bitrate Encoding Technology (SABET), which enables the generation of as many as ten simultaneous output streams from a single source, reducing CPU cycles by utilizing common encoding processes across all levels, Rovi explained. This facility should help lower the costs and reduce the time required for the mass transcoding of large video content libraries to HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding).

BHN updates app to include free text messaging

June 4, 2013 1:12 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks has updated its “easy gadget” utilities app to include unlimited two-way SMS text messaging for free. With the update, Bright House Networks subscribers can send text messages to and receive text messages from any mobile phone in the United States and other easy gadget users using their Bright House Networks home or business phone numbers.

T-Broad tunes in Alticast’s Windmill

June 4, 2013 1:00 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

T-Broad, which is Korea’s largest cable operator, has selected Alticast’s Windmill Ecosystem to provision its new user interface and next generation services. Alticast’s HTML5-based Windmill platform features a modular approach that allow cable operators to cost effectively build and deploy services.

Virgin Media testing MPEG-DASH

June 3, 2013 1:30 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Virgin Media is trying out Harmonic's ProMedia Suite as a delivery mechanism for MPEG-DASH. Harmonic's ProMedia Live transcodes MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC H.264 content to multiple adaptive bit-rate streams optimized for the Virgin Media MPEG-DASH service. Virgin Media and Harmonic are demonstrating the MPEG-DASH workflow at the ANGA show this week in Germany.

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Mobile video consumption growing at 60 percent / year

June 3, 2013 1:23 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Video consumption on mobile devices continues to increase at an extraordinary rate – 60 percent annually, and it is expected to continue to grow at that clip for at least another 5 years, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. Video consumption is on average 2.6GB per subscription per month in some networks.

Concurrent software manages VOD / CDN storage

June 3, 2013 1:17 pm | by Brian Santo | Product Releases | Comments

Concurrent has developed a video archiving system that matches the popularity of any given video asset to the most cost-efficient storage option available as that asset waxes and wanes in popularity. The company said an unidentified major customer is testing the product, a software element of Concurrent’s MediaHawk video processing platform.

AT&T goes country with new interactive app

June 3, 2013 12:49 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T, accompanied by support from the Country Music Association (CMA), has released a new interactive TV app for fans of county music. The app, which is called “Country Deep,” is currently available only on U-verse customers’ TVs, but content will soon be available on AT&T’s web portal and on the U-verse app for smartphones and tablets.

AMC has second screen app for "The Killing"

May 31, 2013 12:37 pm | News | Comments

Encouraged by the response to its first two second screen apps associated with specific shows, AMC is releasing a third, this one launching in conjunction with the premiere of the third season of “The Killing.” “The Killing: Story Sync” will be available on computers, tablets and mobile devices.  AMC previously offered Story Sync apps with “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad.”

Time Warner Cable, Starz extend TV Everywhere pact

May 31, 2013 12:30 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable and Starz have reached a new agreement that allows the cable operator’s customers access to 12 multiplex networks plus MoviePlex, Retroplex and Indieplex as well as more TV Everywhere access and VOD titles. Time Warner Cable’s subscribers can expect to have access to the new video content within the next month.

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Comcast gives a voice to X1 Remote app

May 30, 2013 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast subscribers that live in the areas where the cable operator’s next generation X1 platform has been deployed can now bark orders at their TVs by using Comcast’s X1 Remote app. The update to the X1 Remote app lets Comcast X1 customers change channels by saying the network name, or search for program titles, sports teams and actors by speaking into their iPhone microphones.

BlackArrow targets ads to IP devices, forges new partnerships

May 30, 2013 12:21 pm | by Mike Robuck | Product Releases | Comments

BlackArrow announced the availability of a new product, BlackArrow Linear, that will help cable operators extend live and linear TV programming into IP devices. In tandem with the new product release, BlackArrow also announced partnerships with encoding, transcoding and packaging vendors to create an ecosystem for splicing ads into the live streams.

Roku raises $60M from Hearst, News Corp, others

May 29, 2013 4:09 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Roku Inc., the streaming video device maker, said Wednesday that it has raised $60 million in its sixth round of funding. Media giant Hearst Corp. and an unnamed institutional investor joined existing backers such as News Corp. and its subsidiary British Sky Broadcasting in the round.

Edmonton expands Wi-Fi service agreement with Shaw

May 24, 2013 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Edmonton’s city council gave Shaw Communications its stamp of approval by voting in favor of letting the cable operator expand its Wi-Fi service to public areas across the city. The Shaw Go WiFi network will be available not only Shaw’s customers once its completed, but also to city residents and visitors.

Verizon kick starts Memorial Day weekend with VOD marathon

May 24, 2013 12:23 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Verizon has booted up its “On Demand Marathon,” which is offering its 4.9 million FiOS subscribers free access to 1,700 movies and more than 50 full seasons of TV series. The VOD marathon, which started today and runs through Tuesday, is the single largest free on demand event that Verizon has hosted.

Canoe licenses BlackArrow ad management tool

May 23, 2013 1:44 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Canoe has licensed BlackArrow Affiliate, the toolset from BlackArrow that enables programmers to manage ad avails in video on demand (VOD) services. MSOs can use BlackArrow Affiliate to schedule ad campaigns by criteria including day of week, time of day, and by program or series.

Cox steps up to aid Oklahoma tornado victims

May 23, 2013 12:56 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cox Communications and parent company Cox Enterprises have stepped up to the plate to help customers that were impacted by the tornado that hit the Oklahoma City area on Monday. Cox is offering its TV Everywhere app outside of customers' homes in the affected area.

Report: Wi-Fi scores well in hometowns, but work a challenge

May 22, 2013 12:24 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

According to a recent study by Wi-Fi vendor Ubiquiti Networks, Wi-Fi users are generally pleased with how their networks perform in their hometowns, but not so much in their work environments. The study found that 48 percent of the users surveyed gave their Wi-Fi a “B” grade for its general availably and performance in their hometowns. 

Cablevision cooks up TVE deal with Scripps

May 21, 2013 12:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Authenticated Cablevision subscribers can now view Scripps Networks channels, including Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel, anywhere in the United States on their computers. Cablevision plans on offering the Scripps channels on additional devices at a later date.

FourthWall beefs up data/analytics platform

May 21, 2013 12:27 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

FourthWall Media has added some heft to its MassiveData television viewership platform that delivers data and analytics from pay-TV viewers. MassiveData, which FourthWall launched last year, will bring the total number of viewers who provide set top box data to 4.7 million

Netflix's Hastings: People don't love linear TV

May 20, 2013 2:06 pm | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

Speaking in Canada, the Netflix CEO says his biggest challenge there is competition from the likes of Videotron, Rogers and perhaps the combination of Bell and Astral should that merger happen. Netflix recently published an 11-page letter to shareholders entitled "Netflix Long Term View," outlining how the company believes it will thrive in the years ahead at the expense of conventional broadcast TV.

Dish pushes TVE app into Android devices, social media

May 20, 2013 12:52 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Dish Network has updated its TV Everywhere app to include Android devices and more Apple iOS devices and integrated it with Facebook and Twitter. After previously working with just iPads, the satellite video company’s Dish Anywhere app is now live on Android devices (version 4.0 or higher) and all Apple iOS devices that use operating systems that are versions 5.0 or higher.

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