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

Report: OTT, multi-screen push surge in ABR, transcoders

July 26, 2013 12:10 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Faced with increased competition, pay-TV operators are investing in more adaptive bit rate gear and transcoders, according to a recent report. More transcoders are needed to prepare linear broadcast and file-based content for multi-screen distribution to subscribers, according to the report by Infonetics Research. 

It takes a 'war room' to launch Netflix's series

July 25, 2013 9:11 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix's Internet video subscription service works around the clock, but it's unusual for more than two dozen of the company's engineers and top managers to be huddled in a conference room at 10:30 on a midsummer Wednesday evening. Netflix Inc. invited The Associated Press to its Los Gatos, Calif., headquarters for an unprecedented glimpse at the technical preparations that go into the release of its original programming. 

Google unveils new Internet TV device

July 25, 2013 9:07 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Google is betting consumers will pay slightly more for a sleeker, more powerful version of its Nexus 7 tablet as the Internet company escalates its rivalry with Apple and Amazon.com in technology's key battleground — the mobile computing market. The fancier devices unveiled Wednesday in San Francisco will go on sale in the U.S next Tuesday in Google's online store and numerous retailers with brick-and-mortar stores. 

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TWC updates app with troubleshooting, other new features

July 22, 2013 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable has added some new bells and whistlers to its MY TWC app, which included a new feature that lets residential users troubleshoot their triple play services. With the fourth update to the app, Time Warner Cable subscribers can also get up to the minute service alerts in their area and view real-time account information directly from their phone or tablet.

Apple buys startups to improve mobile maps

July 22, 2013 12:19 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple has bought online mapping services HopStop and Locationary as part of its ongoing effort to create a more formidable alternative to Google's navigation system. The acquisitions confirmed Friday give Apple Inc. more tools to round out the maps that it embeds in the mobile operating system running its iPhones and iPads

Verizon stirs in Watch Disney, Watch ABC to TVE mix

July 18, 2013 3:59 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Verizon’s FiOS subscribers can now tap into the “Watch” authenticated services from Disney and ABC thanks to a new TV Everywhere agreement. The expanded agreement between Verizon and the Disney and ESPN Media Networks Group covers Watch ABC, Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD and Watch Disney Junior, as well as the soon to be launched Watch ABC Family service. 

Comcast’s X1 suits up in parts of Delaware, Maryland

July 18, 2013 12:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Ahead of being fully deployed by the end of the year, Comcast has dropped its next generation X1 platform into the Salisbury, Md. market, including Maryland's Eastern Shore, as well as Kent and Sussex Counties in Delaware. Today’s rollouts followed on the heels of launches in parts of Florida and Georgia earlier this week.

Arris ramps production on new flagship CMTS

July 17, 2013 2:01 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company said its E6000 is now generally available. The E6000 Converged Edge Router (CER) was announced last Fall, and was deployed by Comcast and several other as yet unidentified customers in a trial program. The new CMTS will be the vehicle that Arris rides toward the CCAP architecture.

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RCN debuts mobile app for iOS, Android devices

July 17, 2013 12:17 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RCN has launched a mobile app that allows its subscribers to check their home voicemails remotely. The app, which is called MyRCN, also lets users update contact information, manage passwords and security questions, pay bills, set up auto payment, view current and past statements and view RCN phone call history.

NY judge blasts refusal to review online TV ruling

July 17, 2013 12:15 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal appeals judge warned Tuesday that the revenue streams that finance free television were being undermined by court rulings permitting Barry Diller-backed Aereo to offer live television broadcasts over the Internet without paying fees to broadcasters. 

Buckeye set to upgrade provisioning for IPv6

July 16, 2013 1:52 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Buckeye CableSystem is preparing to upgrade its installed provisioning system, in advance of initiating a migration to support for IPv6. The company uses Incognito Software’s Broadband Command Center to activate and provision voice and data services for its approximately 130,000 subscribers.

Ukrainian operator to use Envivio's encoders for OTT service

July 16, 2013 1:41 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Volia, Ukraine's top pay TV operator, has selected Envivio Muse transcoders for its new over-the-top (OTT) Internet TV services. Volia expects to use the capability to compete not only within its footprint, but to provide competitive OTT services outside its operating area.

Dish opens API spigot on Hopper platform

July 16, 2013 12:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In an effort to spur development on smartphones and tablets, Dish Network announced this morning that it has opened up its third-party application programming interface (API) to developers. Starting today, developers that gain Dish’s approval can access many of the same multi-screen APIS that Dish uses on its Dish Explorer mobile app for the satellite company’s whole-home Hopper DVR platform.

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Report: HTTP live streaming, HTML5 top list for OTT service providers

July 16, 2013 12:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

According to a recent report by Infonetics Research, Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming and HTML5 topped the list of important streaming services for operators that are delivering over-the-top (OTT) video. Study participants also rated video on demand (VOD), OTT/broadband video, remote programming via tablet/mobile device, and whole-home DVR as the top IP set-top box (STB) apps.

In the media: TWC not done pursuing Hulu

July 15, 2013 12:32 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Despite the cancellation of an auction by Hulu’s owners to sell of the business on Friday, Time Warner Cable is reportedly still in pursuit of the over-the-top video company. Bloomberg, citing three unnamed sources, reported that Time Warner Cable and Hulu’s owners (Walt Disney, Comcast and 21st Century Fox) could reach a deal over the next two weeks to buy a stake in the streaming service company. 

Eastlink signs up to use Rovi’s iPad app

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

Striking its second major deal north of the border this year, Rovi announced that Canadian cable operator Eastlink has signed up to use its iPad app. Rovi also announced that Freescale Semiconductor was releasing an Android chipset certified for it DivX Plus Streaming, which Rovi uses to deliver video to multi-screen devices.  

College multi-screen startup Tivli raises $6.3M

July 11, 2013 1:02 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Tivli, a startup TV service founded specifically to provide multi-screen delivery of video on college campuses, just picked up $6.3 million in investments from a coalition of investors that include HBO and Mark Cuban. Tivli takes a live feed from an MVPD and encodes it to provide unicast streams to student devices on high-speed university data networks.

Cablevision adds Starz, Encore, to GO lineup

July 10, 2013 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Cablevision Systems has added Starz Play and Encore Play to its Optimum TV to GO line-up, upping the total number of channels available through Cablevision’s mobile access service to 55. Optimum TV customers whose service includes Starz and Encore now get unlimited online access to the networks’ more than 1,000 monthly titles at no additional cost.

NCTC tops 100 members using its TVE platform

July 10, 2013 1:05 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The National Cable Television Cooperative announced that more than 100 of its members were using its TV Everywhere platform, which is known as WatchTVEverywhere (WTVE). Since most smaller cable operators lack the resources to build and deploy their own multi-screen service, the NCTC came up with its own authenticated platform to offer to its affiliates.

Amino adds features to IPTV boxes

July 9, 2013 1:06 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Amino’s A140 and A540 HD devices are now fully certified with Minerva’s 5.4 client. The platform enables operators to deliver linear and on-demand video services to iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. Pay TV subscribers can also use these devices to search for content via a unified user interface.

Verizon Digital Media adds live event distribution

July 8, 2013 1:23 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Live Events can acquire event feeds from any source – including satellite, terrestrial fiber and Internet – then transcode and deliver the content to broadcasters and other commercial customers. The service also provides proactive monitoring and redundancy over Verizon's global network.

Report: Apple, TWC cozying up on TV deal

July 3, 2013 11:44 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable and Apple are rumored to be closing in on a deal that would give Time Warner Cable’s subscribers access to their programming via Apple TV. Citing unidentified sources, Bloomberg reported that an agreement would be announced over the next few months.

Dish, Southwest team up to offer in-flight TV

July 3, 2013 11:34 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Southwest Airlines Co. is offering live TV that passengers can watch on their own Internet devices for free. Satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp. will pay for the service through the end of the year on more than 400 Wi-Fi equipped planes.

Comcast adds auto-authentication to Xfinity TV

July 2, 2013 1:22 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Subscribers will now be able to automatically log in to Comcast's TV Everywhere service from any device within their homes. The operator is calling the feature Home Pass. Xfinity TV and Internet customers will no longer need to sign in with a user name and password to access on demand and live streaming content.

UPC offering separate neighborhood SSID Wi-Fi access

July 2, 2013 11:53 am | by Mike Robuck | Blogs | Comments

While Comcast announced last month that it would open up a separate, public Wi-Fi network on customers’ home gateways, Liberty Global’s UPC Netherlands also has second SSIDs enabled. Since most of UPC’s  cable plant is underground, it needed to find another way to turn on more Wi-Fi hotspots. 

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