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

Roku TV will stream video without set-top box

January 6, 2014 12:27 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Roku Inc. is launching a line of TVs that play video from services like Netflix without requiring a set-top box. While similar to smart TVs on the market, Roku's Internet streaming platform has some 1,200 apps and offers a more comprehensive selection of niche content. 

Netflix tests new price tiers for video service

January 2, 2014 12:24 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix is testing new price plans for streaming video as it tries to lure more viewers. Among the plans being tested are a $6.99-a-month plan that allows only one video stream to be watched at once, and a $9.99-a-month plan that allows three streams at one time, whether on a TV, tablet or computer.

Review: Roku vs. AppleTV vs. Chromecast

December 20, 2013 12:56 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Streaming video devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Google's Chromecast project video from Netflix, YouTube and other services onto the big-screen TV. Suddenly, the computer seems inadequate. Internet television will never be the same. Internet-connected TVs, TiVo digital video recorders and various game consoles also come with apps for video services.

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Arris ties in to leading recommendation engines

December 19, 2013 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company said it has integrated its Merchandiser content marketing solution with content recommendation platforms from ThinkAnalytics, Digitalsmiths, and other vendors. Service providers can enhance their On-Demand storefronts to offer personalized recommendations alongside targeted pricing, ads, upgrades and discounts.

Programmer Up picks Comcast Wholesale for content delivery

December 19, 2013 12:58 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Up, which specialize in family programming, has picked Comcast Wholesale business unit’s Comcast Media Center to provide multi-content delivery services. The Comcast Media Center (CMC) is handling channel origination and transmission services for UP from its playback platform. 

TWC updates app, adds Kindle devices

December 18, 2013 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Just in time for the holidays, Time Warner Cable has added support for Kindle tablets on its TWC TV app, and updated some features across Roku, Xbox and Samsung devices. The TWC TV app now works with Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets for Time Warner Cable customers that subscribe to its “standard” or “preferred” video tiers.

BeIN Sports kicks off with Cox

December 18, 2013 12:57 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cox Communications is the latest cable operator to sign up to carry international sports programming from beIN Sports. Starting today, Cox subscribers in Northern Virginia can tune in to beIN Sport and beIN Sport en Espanol. Later this month, the TV Everywhere live event broadband service, beIN Sport Play, will be available to Cox’s authenticated subscribers.

Japan MSO improves OTT delivery with Qwilt

December 17, 2013 1:17 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Cable Television Toyama, a cable network operator in Japan, is claiming it has improved caching efficiency for over the top (OTT) video by nearly 50 percent, with a 2x improvement in quality of experience (QoE) for its subscribers, using technology from Qwilt.

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ThinkAnalytics casts a wider net for cloud-based recommendations

December 17, 2013 12:43 pm | News | Comments

Search and recommendation vendor ThinkAnaytics announced this morning that it had expanded the capabilities of its hosted ThinkCloud platform for programmers and service providers. ThinkCloud is a turnkey, software-as-a-service (SaaS) component that allows service providers to offload IT resources and use a “pay as you grow” business model

TWC adds live local TV to 'TV Everywhere' in SoCal

December 16, 2013 12:26 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable Inc. said Friday that it has made live local TV station signals available on its TWC TV app in Los Angeles and San Diego, taking one further step toward fulfilling the industry's promise of making TV programming available on multiple devices. The signals only work for TV subscribers who are also Time Warner Cable Internet customers and are on their home Wi-Fi network.

Bright House Networks lights up TV Explorer portal, app

December 13, 2013 12:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks is helping its customers cut through the clutter of finding video content with the launch of its TV Explorer website. In addition to the website, TV Explorer is also available for free as an app on iPads and Android tablets with operating systems of 4.0 or higher.

Two more studios using Dolby for UltraViolet encoding

December 12, 2013 1:14 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Dolby Laboratories announced that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment now encode movies and TV programs in the UltraVioletCommon File Format (CFF) using Dolby Digital Plus. With UltraViolet, consumers can download and stream their favorite movies and television programs anytime and anywhere to their TV screens, personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones.

Comcast adds more partners to SEEiT platform

December 12, 2013 12:33 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Starting in the first quarter of next year, Comcast announced that more distribution and network partners would take part in its SEEiT platform that uses Twitter to click through tweets to programs. Comcast said the new partners would extend the SEEiT experience to millions more viewers by adding additional video distributors, television networks and an expanded roster of popular shows.

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NimbleTV tunes up TVE service in NYC area

December 10, 2013 12:30 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After more than a year of beta testing, NimbleTV’s cloud-based TV Everywhere service is live in the New York City metropolitan area. NimbleTV provisions video, including video content from users that have pay-TV subscriptions with RCN, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Cablevision, over the Internet to devices such as Apple iOS phones and tablets, Roku boxes and Web-enabled TVs and browsers.

Comcast taps This Tech to provide DAI on IP video platforms

December 9, 2013 2:08 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

This Technology today announced that its advertising solution has been deployed by Comcast Cable. The multi-year agreement covers a range of Comcast IP video platforms, enabling delivery of advertising for live and on-demand video viewing on a number of devices, including IP-enabled set top boxes, gaming consoles, connected TVs, smartphones and tablets.

Verizon beefs up FiOS app with 16 more out-of-home channels

December 6, 2013 12:31 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In order to woo and maintain subscribers, Verizon has added 16 new streaming channels to its out-of-home roster, which now gives it a total of 25. Verizon FiOS subscribers that have the free FiOS Mobile App are now be able to live stream the new channels from eligible devices, including the iPad, iPhone, select Android tablets and phones, and Kindle Fire tablets, both in and outside the home.

Jinni uses TMS metadata for recommendations

December 5, 2013 1:09 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Jinni attempts to go beyond the most basic categories (genre, actors, directors) to include what it calls “taste and mood” attributes such as mood, style, plot and setting. The company said it evaluates literally thousands of factors, which means Jinni’s recommendation engine has to rely on metadata that can very finely slice-and-dice the attributes of any video. 

Cable-Tec Expo 2013 Round-Up: What’s Up, DOCSIS?

December 4, 2013 8:20 pm | by Brian Santo, Editor in Chief, and Mike Robuck, Senior Editor | Articles | Comments

Members of the gang that helped create CCAP and DOCSIS 3.1 have already moved on to the next thing. Ready for digital forward links, remote PHY, and the next next-generation architecture network (N2GAN)? Also, updates on the Reference Developer Kit and the Converged Cable Access Platform, and more.

Harris snaps up Imagine; aims for MSO market

December 4, 2013 12:59 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Imagine Communications acquisition strengthens Harris Broadcast’s end-to-end solutions portfolio, particularly enhancing its OTT, mobile video and multi-screen TV Everywhere capabilities, while furthering interoperability of technology and systems from both the linear and non-linear TV viewing worlds, Harris said.

CSG picks up some Volubill assets

December 4, 2013 12:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Billing vendor CSG International announced this morning that it had purchased some of the assets of Volubill. According to media reports, Volubill was put into compulsory liquidation and receivership on Oct. 29 in France. Financial terms weren’t available.

NetCracker scores deal with Israeli satellite provider

December 4, 2013 12:32 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

NetCracker Technology said that an Israeli direct broadcast satellite provider, called “yes,” has implemented its billing, rating, and CRM products. Yes teamed up with NetCracker to enhance its content delivery offerings and customer experience through a large-scale, multi-year project.

Open Mic: Combining QoE and QoS for TVE services

December 3, 2013 7:19 pm | by Steve Liu, Vice President of Video Network Monitoring, Tektronix | Articles | Comments

TV Everywhere is an imperative for MSOs, but like all new services, it poses several challenges as operators strive to ensure quality while simultaneously expanding their multi-screen deployments. Unlike traditional linear MPEG-2 services, TV Everywhere relies on the H.264 codec coupled with adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming. Unsurprisingly, these new technologies pose quality concerns.

Concurrent announces "intelligent request router" for multi-screen

December 3, 2013 1:59 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Concurrent’s software-based request router uses network information, including the request location, the requested content, the current status of the content delivery network, and service provider defined settings to direct stream requests to the optimal edge serving node, the company said.

Increasing the competitive edge for cable MSOs through investments in transformation

December 2, 2013 1:51 pm | by Bob Titus, vice president, global converged solutions, NetCracker Technology | Articles | Comments

Cable MSOs are ready for fierce competition. They are making significant investments in their network infrastructure to be positioned for a high-bandwidth, mobile-integrated, multi-screen world. In this world, digital distribution is as important a line of business as traditional linear broadcast, so. MSOs are increasing investment in on-demand, next-generation broadband services as well as improved customer experience.

Videotron boots up Wi-Fi optimization service

December 2, 2013 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Just in time for all those BYOD showing up under the Christmas tree, Videotron has launched a new Wi-Fi optimization service. The service features an in-home visit from a specially trained technician that comes to the customer’s home to optimize the Wi-Fi setup and reception.

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