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

Netflix mum on how many people watch their series

January 8, 2015 1:28 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Even as Netflix continues to pump out more original programming, its bosses say they will continue to keep secret details on how many people are actually watching. The ratings "arms race" on traditional television has a negative effect on creativity, said Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content executive. 

Microsoft adds Harmonic's ProMedia to Playready DRM

January 6, 2015 1:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The combination of ProMedia Origin solutions with Microsoft PlayReady, can enable video content and service providers to distribute secure content to a wide range of devices via a single DRM technology. That can significantly reduce the time to market for while minimizing workflow complexity and points of failure.

CES roundup: Dish gives cord-cutters live sports

January 6, 2015 12:59 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

One of the biggest changes in television this year will be more channels available online with no separate cable or satellite subscription. But for would-be cord-cutters, watching live sports online has been elusive — until now. Dish Network Corp. on Monday unveiled an Internet-only subscription offering that includes ESPN, the cable TV sports network. 

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CES: TV makers take aim at streaming video

January 6, 2015 12:52 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

At the International CES gadget show this week in Las Vegas, TV makers unveiled new models with 4K resolution, or four times the clarity offered by today's high definition TVs. They are pushing the features even though not a single TV channel is yet available in 4K. But Internet services such as Netflix, Amazon and M-Go are starting to offer 4K video.

RCN adds Watch Disney, ABC apps to digital roster

December 30, 2014 11:26 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RCN is now offering its digital video customers live access to Disney and ABC networks at home or on-the-go via Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD, Watch Disney Junior, Watch ABC Family and Watch ABC. The deal allows RCN’s authenticated subscribers to access the Disney Channel and ABC networks on their iOS and Android devices, as well as online by downloading the respective apps.

Telstra, Sky invest in Elemental Technologies

December 22, 2014 3:23 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Telstra has invested directly in Elemental Technologies, leading a $14.5 million Series D round of funding joined by Sky, another Elemental customer that had previously invested in the vendor. Elemental said it will use the funds to accelerate worldwide growth and expand its suite of SDV solutions to support the whole of the IP video delivery chain.

Comcast joins 4K club

December 18, 2014 1:05 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has officially dipped its large toe into the 4K waters with today’s announcement that it’s offering a limited slate of programming in Ultra 4K via an on demand app. Authenticated Comcast subscribers can watch 4K programming from NBC and USA Network for free with today’s launch of the Xfinity in UHD app, which currently works on just 2014 Samsung UHD TVs.

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 Roku that allows its subscribers to access HBO Go and Showtime Anytime streams on their Roku devices. The new deal was announced on Tuesday in a blog posting by Comcast’s Matt Strauss, senior vice president and general manager, video services, and came the day after HBO announced its streaming service was live on the Amazon Fire TV. 

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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. 

Deluxe expands 4K capabilities of on demand platform

December 15, 2014 1:28 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Ahead of a launch with a large North American cable operator, Deluxe announced today that it has added key 4K features and capabilities to its cloud-based content supply and video-on-demand (VOD) management platform. New 4K features for Deluxe OnDemand include digital re-mastering using High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC) or H.265, and Higher Dynamic Range (HDR) displays, such as Dolby Vision.

Hearst forks out $81.3M for stake in AwesomenessTV

December 12, 2014 12:39 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Hearst Corp. is betting $81.3 million that Internet video network AwesomenessTV will live up to its name. The investment announced Thursday gives Hearst a 25 percent stake in AwesomenessTV, which DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. acquired in May 2013.

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.

Imagine upgrades Egypt’s Rotana TV

December 11, 2014 1:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Imagine Communications recently completed a major upgrade of the playout and asset management facilities for Rotana TV in Cairo, Egypt. The project allowed Rotana TV, which broadcasts 14 discrete channels as well as time shifts and rebrands, to migrate all of its channels to HD, which allowed the playout center to operate in the file domain.

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Maximizing the benefits of cloud-based pay TV strategies

December 10, 2014 11:17 pm | by Andy Salo, vice president, product line management, RGB Networks | Articles | Comments

With an abundance of cloud-labeled technology solutions vying for pay TV distributors’ attention, it’s more important than ever that operators be able to filter the hype by setting performance benchmarks reflecting the true requirements of a TV-caliber cloud platform.

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.

Turtle Power: Comcast adds Paramount to digital store

December 9, 2014 12:52 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast will add Paramount Pictures’ library of films into its online digital store this month. The Paramount library is the latest addition to Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand electronic video store, which made its debut in November of last year. 

CTAM launches consumer-facing TVE program

December 8, 2014 12:55 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CTAM is out of the starting blocks with a new consumer-facing TV Everywhere initiative that was designed to show consumers how easy it is to access and view multi-screen video content. The campaign, which is called “You could be watching TV,” was designed to expound on the benefits of TV Everywhere services, including live and on demand, and in or out of a home.

CBS, Dish Network end brief blackout

December 8, 2014 12:51 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

CBS Corp. and TV provider Dish Network Corp. have reached an agreement that ends a contract dispute that led to a short programming blackout in local markets around the country, the companies announced Saturday.CBS had blocked Dish from carrying the local channels of CBS-owned TV stations for about 12 hours starting around 7 p.m. Eastern time Friday. 

DirecTV 4K service will rely on Elemental transcoding

December 5, 2014 12:58 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

DirecTV became the first MVPD to announce plans to offer 4K content on demand, sometime in 2015. The satellite broadcaster will be using Elemental Server, a file-based transcoding solution, to prepare Ultra HD content for delivery. Elemental tweaked its HEVC algorithms so DirecTV didn't have to take a hit on bandwidth usage.  

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.

SeaChange's new Rave system brings OTT to the masses

December 4, 2014 1:27 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Rave supports the delivery of on-demand, time-shifted, live and downloaded content, delivered to any device. The system also includes the company’s analytics, promotions and advertising features. Customers can use Rave to build a straight OTT service, or to deliver a service that blends linear and OTT content.

Layer3 to use SeaChange gateway management system

December 3, 2014 12:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Layer3 TV aims to be a “next generation cable provider,” but has yet to define what that means beyond saying it intends to blend TV, social and digital life (whatever that means) working within “the existing distribution paradigm.” That it is using products from SeaChange provides only a few other hints at the general direction the company is moving in.

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.

Report: Roku still rules the roost for streaming media devices

December 2, 2014 1:09 pm | by Mike Robuck | Blogs | Comments

When it comes to streaming media players, Roku still reigns supreme followed by Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. According to a report by Parks Associates, Roku was the leading brand with 29 percent of sales in the United States while Chromecast took over second place from Apple TV with a market share of 20 percent compared to Apple’s 17 percent.

Envivio's loss widens in Q3

December 2, 2014 1:02 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Envivio had a drop in third quarter revenue and reported a larger net loss, compared to its Q3 results a year ago. The company said markets in Europe and Asia are lagging, and that in North America, customers are consolidating and have slowed their spending because of it.

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