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

ThePlatform promotes Drake, hires Frankovich

October 16, 2013 12:51 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast-owned thePlatform announced today that it had hired John Frankovich as vice president of consulting services, where he will be responsible for leading the company’s international consulting team. The white label video publishing company also announced that Chris Drake was promoted to vice president of business development.

Person of theYear: Glenn Britt

October 16, 2013 11:49 am | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

In his 41-year career, Britt has worked in finance, programming, venture investments, and programming positions. He has spearheaded services such as data and voice, which are now cornerstones of not only Time Warner Cable but of the cable industry as whole, as well as driven the development of multi-screen apps and services, Start Over, Look Back, and cloud-based user interfaces, to name a few.

Migrating to IP in the cable TV Environment: benefits, challenges, and resolutions

October 16, 2013 1:53 am | by Yaron Raz, director, Digital Video Solutions, Harmonic | Articles | Comments

The main challenge of switching to an IP-based infrastructure is that it doesn’t happen overnight. To make the transition, an operator needs to support two infrastructures for some period of time: a QAM infrastructure that uses MPEG-2 for video compression and a second silo for IP that relies on a mix of MPEG-4 and adaptive bit rate technology.

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Open Mic: Customer experience drives future innovation

October 16, 2013 12:42 am | by Kevin Hart Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Cox Communications | Articles | Comments

In the last two years, we’ve spent a significant amount of time to break down traditional organization silos and to create an environment where a steady cadence of infrastructure and product enhancements and innovative, collaborate thinking are prevalent. 

Capital Currents: DASH—The Next Big Thing?

October 15, 2013 11:32 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

With video, you want a continuous stream of video, you don’t want stuttering. So the DASH solution is to break up the program into short segments, and send each segment at a data rate adequate to deliver a continuous, non-stuttering stream. If that means delivering some segments at less than high definition quality, so be it.

On edge: Harmonic forms new support team

October 15, 2013 12:52 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Harmonic has formed a new “cable edge” services group to support deployments of its dense edge QAM and converged cable access platform (CCAP) product lines. The company’s new Cable Edge Services group includes a team of technical support and field engineers dedicated to providing design, strategy, deployment, migration, and ongoing operations support for cable operators.

CommScope helps power CableLabs’ headend, CMTS

October 15, 2013 12:47 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CableLabs is using hydrogen fuel cells from CommScope to provide backup power for its headend and cable modem termination system (CMTS) in its Louisville, Colo. headquarters. CommScope said its fuel cell could provide up to 16 hours of reliable, environmentally friendly backup power. 

Imagine upgrades video processor, transcoder

October 15, 2013 12:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The ICE Broadcast Systemwas formerly capable of HD 3:1; it is now capable of HD 4:1. The Next transcoder upgrade enhances the transcoding, packaging and streaming capability with an integrated origin server and storage interoperability for Catch-Up TV and network PVR.

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Netflix's shares soar on report of cable talks

October 15, 2013 12:34 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Netflix Inc. rose Monday in the wake of a newspaper report that the online TV and movie streaming company is in talks with several cable companies to make its service available to cable customers. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Netflix is in discussions with Comcast Corp., Suddenlink Communications and other cable providers to offer its streaming service on cable set-top boxes.

Troubled telecoms: Alcatel-Lucent job cut protest

October 15, 2013 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Wearing black trash bags marked with crosses, more than a thousand Alcatel-Lucent workers marched to the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday, staging a mock funeral that the chief executive warned could easily become a reality for a company with its roots in the earliest days of the telephone.

Canada may impose a la carte on pay TV providers

October 14, 2013 3:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Canadian government plans to introduce legislation that will force the country’s multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs) to offer television channels on an a la carte basis. The country's Industry Minister promises to introduce a plan next week.

Broadcasters petition Supreme Court to kill Aereo

October 14, 2013 1:51 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

In a maneuver that has important ramifications for retransmission consent arguments, ABC, CBS, Fox and Comcast-owned NBC, along with Univision, Telemundo, PBS and several individual TV stations have signed the petition asking the Court to decide that Aereo's methods violate copyright law.

Vodafone completes buyout of German cable operator

October 14, 2013 1:09 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

British telecoms firm Vodafone says it has completed its 7.7 billion-euro ($10 billion) takeover of Germany's biggest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland. Vodafone, one of the world's largest cellphone companies, said in a statement Monday that it now holds just over 76 percent of Kabel Deutschland Holding AG.

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Media: Netflix talking to Suddenlink, Comcast

October 14, 2013 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Netflix is engaging in preliminary talks with Comcast and Suddenlink to make its streaming service available as an app on the cable operators’ set-top boxes. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the discussions were in the early stages and that a deal with either cable operator wasn’t imminent. 

Aereo on its way to Android

October 11, 2013 1:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Aereo, a service that delivers broadcast television stations over the Internet, will come to Android devices on Oct. 22. Earlier this week, a court in Boston denied a request by an ABC station owned by Hearst, WCVB, for a preliminary injunction to stop Aereo's service.

In the media: Charter mulls $25.5 million R&D lab near Denver

October 11, 2013 1:18 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications is considering plans to build a $25.5 million research and development lab in south Denver. If the proposed 80,000-square-foot center goes through, Charter would add around 55 more employees in the Denver area. The Denver Business Journal reported yesterday that the Colorado Economic Development Commission voted in favor of offering Charter as much as $893,796 in job-growth incentive tax credits.

Concurrent serves up cloud-hosted video software

October 11, 2013 1:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Concurrent has taken the wraps off of a new software platform that helps service providers stream content from cloud-hosted video libraries. The company said its unified origin server simplifies content distribution and reduces content preparation costs.

SCTE announces new board appointments

October 11, 2013 1:10 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) recently announced the selection of members for its SCTE Board of Directors for the upcoming 2013-2014 term. For the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 terms, Tony Werner, executive vice president and CTO of Comcast, was newly appointed as a director while Terry Cordova, senior vice president and CTO of Suddenlink, was reappointed. 

New gadget frees mobile TV from blocky attachment

October 11, 2013 1:06 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A new gadget lets you watch TV on your phone or tablet without a blocky attachment. Audiovox's "mobiletv" gizmo allows you to pick up free TV signals and watch them on Apple and Android mobile devices without eating into your cellular data plan. The accessory doesn't have to be attached to the mobile device physically

Unotel contracts with Nagra for broadband TV service

October 10, 2013 1:27 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The service is scheduled to go live in Brazil during the first quarter of 2014. The new service will use a hybrid digital set-top box enabling the delivery of IP, satellite and digital terrestrial services with content secured by Nagra’s content protection technology.

Survey: OTT home automation services emerge

October 10, 2013 12:23 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Providing home automation services over someone else’s broadband pipe is a growing trend according to a recent survey by Infonetics Research. Infonetics also found that more than 70 percent of the operators in the survey planned on offering home automation services by the end of this year.

Twitter, Comcast sign TV partnership

October 10, 2013 12:06 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Twitter and Comcast have signed a partnership that will let viewers access TV shows and buy movie tickets directly from a tweet, deepening the short messaging service's ties to television programming. Twitter Inc. and Comcast Corp. said Wednesday that a new feature that's part of the deal will let customers of Comcast's Xfinify TV service tune in to programs by clicking a "see it" button in a tweet.

Mediacom goes all-digital in southwest Georgia

October 9, 2013 12:54 pm | News | Comments

Mediacom Communications has put nearly 30,000 digital terminal adapters (DTAs) into the hands of subscribers in a seven-county area of southwest Georgia ahead of an all-digital project that will kick off Tuesday. Mediacom started converting its analog channels to digital several years ago, but the Georgia project will mark the first time that all of the channels have been converted to digital in a large system.

CVAA and CALM mandatory requirements -- why and how

October 8, 2013 7:14 pm | by Jim Welch, senior consulting engineer, IneoQuest Technologies | Articles | Comments

As of this month, all pre-recorded programming edited for internet distribution must now be close captioned. That's on top of video description content and the requirements of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act designed to eliminate huge volume spikes in video ads.

Tek offers dual MPEG input version of Sentry

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

The option enables service providers to use a single Sentry to monitor both their primary and redundant video feeds for video and audio errors that can impact viewers’ quality of experience (QoE), without having to combine into a single GigE input for monitoring.

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