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

Birch Communications buying Cbeyond for $323M

April 21, 2014 12:31 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Birch Communications Inc. is buying technology and communications equipment provider Cbeyond for about $323 million. Cbeyond announced in November that it was considering its strategic options. Its shares surged on word of the deal.

Review: Tablo a nifty little over-the-air HDTV system

April 19, 2014 2:24 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

The Tablo is a nifty little item that lets you play over-the-air signals on your tablet. You can watch live, or record in advance and watch later. You can choose to record specific episodes, new episodes of a series, or an entire series. You can take your device anywhere, connect to the Internet, and you have access to your Tablo, including everything you’ve got stored on your disk drive. 

Arris snaps up SeaWell Networks

April 18, 2014 3:20 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In the first deal since it completed the Motorola Home acquisition a year ago, Arris announced Friday that it had bought SeaWell Networks for an undisclosed sum. Arris said it would be integrating SeaWell’s adaptive bit rate (ABR) technology and “talent” into its Network & Cloud business.

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Aereo CEO speaks on future of company, industry

April 18, 2014 1:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The future of Aereo hinges on a case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court next week. Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia discusses how the Internet and IP networking are affecting the fundamentals of the TV business, and how the Supreme Court decision is important because for Aereo there is no "Plan B." 

Viewers binge on Comcast’s latest Watchathon Week

April 18, 2014 12:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast said this year’s edition of its Xfinity Watchathon Week set records for VOD consumption with 61 million views and 50 million hours of spend binging. This year’s binge viewing fest ran from March 31 through April 6 and included a record setting day on April 5 with nearly 11 million hours of viewing for the biggest day ever for Comcast’s VOD service. 

A-L to upgrade Elisa's IP/MPLS network

April 17, 2014 1:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Finnish mobile and fixed broadband service provider Elisa has contracted with Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade its IP/MPLS network for greater broadband capacity. A-L said it will also supply a full set of services: installation and commissioning, lifecycle program management, operations support and consulting, migration of network elements and services.

Vodafone Netherlands working with Entone

April 16, 2014 1:38 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Vodafone Netherlands is partnering with Entone and its systems integration partner, Divitel, to support TV services on its fiber to the home (FTTH) network in the Netherlands. Vodafone’s Thuis service offers a number of television features including Pause Live TV (PLTV), along with a video on demand (VOD) library from public broadcasters, HBO, Videoland, and many others.

Multichoice taps Clearleap for multi-screen management

April 16, 2014 1:14 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The African pay-TV provider, which operates services in sub-Saharan Africa, will use the Clearleap products to manage its library of premium live and on-demand video content, then distribute and monetize it across VOD, web portals, apps and more.

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Nagra provides Dish, EchoStar multi-screen protection

April 16, 2014 12:49 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Dish Network and EchoStar have expanded their security partnership with Nagra to include digital rights management (DRM) for multi-screen services. Dish and EchoStar have deployed the Nagra MediaLive Player (NMP) with Nagra’s MediaAccess Persistent Rights Management (PRM) technology, which is Nagra’s studio-approved DRM solution, to enable and secure the Dish Anywhere multi-screen VOD service.

Dish to refund $2M to Washington state customers

April 16, 2014 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for a surcharge officials called deceptive, but the satellite TV provider denied wrongdoing in the agreement announced Tuesday by the state attorney general's office. The Colorado-based company also will give existing customers who were charged the fee cash credit or access to free programming and pay the state nearly $570,000.

Time Warner Cable develops first RDK-based box with Humax

April 15, 2014 12:55 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable used the Reference Design Kit (RDK) to create its first IP set-top box that features its cloud-based navigator. Time Warner Cable said the new box, which is being built by South Korean manufacturer Humax, would be deployed in select markets by the end of this year.

BHN teams up with CNSG on new channel partner program

April 15, 2014 12:49 pm | News | Comments

Bright House Networks signed a strategic channel partnership agreement with Converged Network Services group (CNSG), which is a telecommunications and data center consulting firm and master agent based in Charlotte, N.C. As a Bright House Networks Channel Partner, CNSG’s network of sub-agents and partners will now be able to offer the company’s voice, Internet, and advanced managed services.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

April 14, 2014 1:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Data released Monday by Netflix Inc. showed Comcast delivered its video at an average rate of 2.5 megabits per second during March. That was a 66 percent increase from a recent low of 1.51 megabits per second in January.

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DECE okays Nagra's DRM for UltraViolet devices

April 14, 2014 12:53 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem has approved Nagra’s digital rights management system to protect the streaming of premium SD and HD content to open devices for its UltraViolet streaming service. DECE had previously approved Nagra’s DRM, Nagra MediaAccess Persistent Rights Management, for streaming to closed devices.

CTAM jumpstarts ‘tv everywhere’ campaign

April 14, 2014 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In an effort to increase subscribers’ use and awareness of multi-screen services, CTAM announced this morning that it had kicked off its “tv everywhere” campaign. After research by a committee of 20 cable operators and marketers, CTAM’s board approved the action plan, which included a new logo and the use of the “tv everywhere” (tve) brand.

Field Museum in Chicago upgrades speed with Comcast Business

April 14, 2014 12:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Field Museum in Chicago recently upgraded its data services to a 1Gbps Ethernet connection from Comcast Business. The additional bandwidth allows museum goers to interact with collections, content and exhibits while giving the museum’s staff a faster connection for file transfers and other business uses. 

4K goes live in South Korea

April 11, 2014 1:07 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

All MSOs in South Korea are now providing a channel of Ultra High Definition (UHD) content. The service went live April 10. Ateme is providing the encoders for Homechoice, the programmer providing the channel, called UMAX. Homechoice is offering 4K content at 60p each day.

Alaska chapter hoists SCTE Chapter of the Year award

April 10, 2014 12:49 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) announced this morning that the chapter in Alaska was the winner of its Chapter of the Year award. Over the course of last year, the Anchorage-based Alaska Chapter distinguished itself by implementing a virtual training program throughout the state and by boosting its attendance by 260 percent, both of which helped it win the award.

NCAA semis on TNT draws millions of viewers

April 10, 2014 12:40 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Final Four broadcasts on TNT on Saturday drew millions of viewers, even though the main coverage was on TBS. Were the new "TeamCasts" that popular? Or did some viewers never realize — or not care — that they weren't watching the regular telecast? Turner Sports executive Christina Miller suspects it's all of the above.

Cablevision promotes Brian Sweeney to president

April 9, 2014 5:31 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Cablevision says CEO James Dolan is giving up his title as president of the company, and it promoted two long-time executives. Cablevision says Brian Sweeney will replace James Dolan as president of the company, and it named Kristin Dolan chief operating officer. 

Charter Spectrum makes North Texas debut

April 9, 2014 1:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications’ “Charter Spectrum” brand has made its debut in North Texas with increased data speeds and more than 200 HD channels. The simultaneous launches in the Forth Worth area and in Greenville, S.C. marked the first time that Charter used the new brand. 

Comcast argues benefits of Time Warner Cable deal

April 9, 2014 12:49 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Comcast Corp. on Tuesday presented its case to government regulators arguing that its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc. will benefit consumers without limiting competition.nThe company filed hundreds of pages of documents with the Federal Communications Commission after filing a notice Monday with the Justice Department.

Weather Channel cuts reality shows in DirecTV deal

April 9, 2014 12:46 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Weather Channel is returning to DirecTV with a significant compromise that affects all of its viewers: it promises to focus more on the weather. After a three-month dispute with DirecTV that saw the channel dropped to some 20 million U.S. viewers, the two sides came to a new deal that will restore service on Wednesday.

Charter TV App goes live on iOS, Android and Kindle devices

April 8, 2014 4:59 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Today Charter Communications launched its Charter TV App, which provisions 130 live TV channels inside of subscribers’ homes. The app is now available for free downloading from Apple iTunes App Store, Amazon App store and Android Apps on Google Play. 

Game on: Comcast, TWC file deal with FCC

April 8, 2014 1:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

This morning Time Warner Cable and Comcast filed their applications and public interest statement with the Federal Communications Commission. Today’s FCC filing isn’t the first salvo in Comcast’s $45 billion bid to take over Time Warner Cable—last week both companies filed a Hart-Scott-Rodino notification with the Department of Justice, but it provides a game plan for answering critics’ concerns over the deal.

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