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

Rovi buys startup Fanhattan for undisclosed sum

November 3, 2014 1:49 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Rovi will be jumping into the CPE business, acquiring startup Fanhattan, which used its expertise in guide and recommendation technology as a launchpad for a set-top that combines linear, on demand, and OTT content. The companies did not disclose the purchase price.

Atlantic Broadband offers Netflix as Xmas stocking stuffer

November 3, 2014 12:48 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Starting today and running through Dec. 31, Atlantic Broadband is offering new customers three free months of Netflix’s streaming service when they sign up for  bundles over the holiday season. Customers that sign up for Atlantic’s double play (which includes TV and data) and triple play (TV, data and phone) qualify for the Netflix service, which is integrated with Atlantic’s TiVo offering. 

Imagine picks up OpenTV's ad platform

October 31, 2014 1:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Imagine said the acquired products will be supported alongside Imagine Communications’ existing advertising business systems offerings while providing a foundation for future developments that include linear, online, OTT and programmatic business models for TV and radio.

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TiVo hooks up with Vudu for retail OTT

October 30, 2014 12:47 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

TiVo has forged an agreement with Walmart’s Vudu service to provision the latter’s streaming content to TiVo devices. The deal allows TiVo’s Roamio and Mini users to rent or buy movies and TVs shows from Vudu’s content partners, as well as access a customized Ultraviolet cloud library.  

MSG prepares on-demand streaming of Knicks games

October 30, 2014 12:43 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Madison Square Garden Co. said Wednesday it is launching an on-demand service called MSG Go that will allow cable subscribers to watch Knicks games and MSG Network shows. MSG Go will be available to subscribers of pay-TV networks that carry MSG Networks.

Review: CBS streaming not worth cutting cord, yet

October 30, 2014 12:33 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

With CBS' new All Access streaming service, I can watch shows right when they air. But is it worth $6 a month? The service is a good start. But the network needs to do more to make it worth the money — especially as HBO and other channels start to compete for online dollars.

Amazon Fire TV Stick takes on Chromecast, Roku

October 27, 2014 12:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Amazon has jumped into the TV stick arena to compete against similar devices from the likes of Google’s Chromecast and Roku. This morning Amazon announced its Fire TV Stick, which is available to existing and new Amazon Prime customers for $19 over the next two days, or $39 as a standalone. Amazon is currently taking preorders for the Fire Stick with shipping slated for Nov. 19.

Suddenlink first cable operator to sign up for Sony Movie Channel

October 21, 2014 12:24 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Suddenlink Communications is the first cable operator to sign a carriage agreement with Sony Movie Channel. Sony Movie Channel, which is broadcast in HD, has deals in place with Dish Network, DirecTV, Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink.

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SeaChange names Samit as new CEO

October 21, 2014 12:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Multi-screen software vendor SeaChange International has hired Jay Samit as its new CEO. Samit replaced former CEO Raghu Rau, who led the company for the past three years. Samit has also joined SeaChange’s board of directors, which voted unanimously in favor of hiring him as CEO. 

CBS debuts stand-alone streaming service

October 16, 2014 1:17 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

CBS is jumping on the cord-cutting bandwagon, launching a stand-alone digital streaming service for $5.99 a month that will offer subscribers access to its current and older shows. The news comes a day after HBO said it plans to offer a streaming-only service next year.

Comcast has bold plans in NASCAR coverage

October 16, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Comcast has innovative plans to beef up how NASCAR fans follow the sport, from routine news stories flowing on a ticker during the week to expanded coverage from inside the pits on the weekends. Comcast recently signed a 10-year agreement to replace Nationwide Insurance as the title sponsor of NASCAR's second-tier racing series beginning next season.

Netflix's stock plunges as subscriber growth slips

October 16, 2014 11:52 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

This is a sequel that Netflix shareholders never wanted to see: The world's largest Internet video service has once again turned off potential viewers with a price increase that is punishing the company's stock price. The backlash surfaced in a third-quarter earnings report that Netflix Inc. released Wednesday.

Sony introduces TV version of PlayStation line

October 15, 2014 1:27 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The device seems to be a placeholder for something that might come later. Apps for OTT services can be downloaded, but they’re disabled. What you can do with it is play a select list of PlayStation Vita games on it (not all of them), and you can use it to stream games from your PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 to a TV.

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HBO will offer HBO Go stand-alone in 2015

October 15, 2014 12:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The announcement would have been a surprise if HBO’s “Game of Thrones” hadn’t become known as the most frequently pirated show in television history, and if HBO executives hadn’t been asked about the possibility of offering HBO Go at every public appearance all along.

Nagra powers Vodafone Spain's OTT-DTT hybrid service

October 14, 2014 1:33 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Nagra announced that Vodafone España is its first customer for its QuickStart Hybrid system in Europe. Vodafone Spain is using Nagra’s technology to create a service that will combine over-the-top (OTT) content and digital terrestrial television (DTT) channels.

GCI adds TiVo service in another Alaskan city

October 14, 2014 1:10 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Alaska’s GCI is now serving up its TiVo-based service to its subscribers in Kotzebue. GCI currently has its GCI TV powered by TiVo service available across 95 percent of its footprint with plans to have it fully rolled out in all of its markets by the end of the year.

Ratings whoopsie

October 13, 2014 1:46 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Nielsen took another hit in credibility when it announced an unspecified technical error led to incorrect ratings for broadcast networks. Cable companies have been dissatisfied with Nielsen’s technical capabilities for reporting, specifically its delay in figuring out a way to measure multi-screen viewing.

MobiTV behind Deutsche Telekom's nDVR

October 13, 2014 12:41 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

MobiTV announced it is behind the cloud recording capabilities offered by Deutsche Telekom with its multi-screen / TV Everywhere service. MobiTV's network DVR  allows recorded programs to be stored in the cloud and played on any mobile device, anytime, anywhere.

Suddenlink adds UP, Aspire to channel lineup

October 10, 2014 5:36 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In the wake of Viacom yanking its 24 networks away from Suddenlink Communications’ subscribers on Oct. 1 after a new carriage agreement wasn’t reached, the nation’s seventh-largest cable operator has added new channels to its lineup. The latest additions to Suddenlink’s channel roster are UP and Aspire.

TWC updates app to include VOD guide on Roku

October 10, 2014 12:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable has blended in a VOD guide on its TWC TV app that runs on Roku’s platform. The Roku platform launched early last with an initial focus on live TV, but the latest update allows those users to see some of Time Warner Cable’s VOD library right from the live TV guide.

AT&T’s SEC football fans can ‘Talk Back’ with sports celebs

October 9, 2014 1:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T has found a way to get SEC football fans into the game by enabling a new “Talk Back” feature that allows them to interact with sports celebrities during live games. Talk Back is a second-screen feature that works via the U-verse App for Tablet or via a web portal. Viewers are able to submit their questions and watch live as sports celebrities answer them. 

Rogers’ GamePlus app puts NHL fans up close and personal

October 7, 2014 12:55 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Reaping the fruits of its $5.2 billion deal with the NHL that was signed in November of last year, Rogers Communications is about to drop the puck on its new GamePlus app when the season starts on Wednesday. GamePlus, which is part of Rogers NHL GameCentre Live service, lets mobile and tablet users watch games from several unique point-of-view camera angles as well as the ability to replay key plays. 

Suddenlink, Discovery reach long-term carriage deal

October 7, 2014 12:50 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

While Suddenlink Communications’ standoff with Viacom festers into its second week, the nation’s seventh-largest cable operator announced it has reached a long-term distribution agreement with Discovery Communications. Suddenlink viewers are currently blacked out from Viacom’s 24 networks, both online and on their TVS, but Suddenlink will continue to carry Discovery’s 13 nets.

Comcast drops Common Sense Media parental controls into X1

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

Comcast has integrated Common Sense Media ratings and reviews into its next gen X1 platform. Comcast had previously blended Common Sense Media’s parental control features into its Xfinity TV Go website. The ratings were based on developmental guidelines from some of the nation’s leading authorities,

Turner Broadcasting cutting 1,475 jobs

October 7, 2014 12:37 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Turner Broadcasting, the parent of the CNN, TBS and TNT networks, is eliminating about 1,475 jobs, or about 10 percent of its total employees. Monday's announcement follows an offer of voluntary buyouts to 600 veteran employees in August, part of an overall cost-cutting effort at the Atlanta-based broadcasting company founded by Ted Turner.

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