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

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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ESPN steps toward a la carte NBA games

October 6, 2014 12:59 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The NBA has extended its television deals with ESPN and TNT for nine years. The contract with ESPN may have a provision that will allow the channel to distribute out-of-market games on the web, outside its typical cable-channel basketball package, and in competition with the NBA’s own League Pass.

Verizon to shutter Redbox Instant streaming service

October 6, 2014 12:43 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Verizon and Outerwall’s Redbox announced over the weekend that they would be pulling the plug on the Redbox Instant streaming video service on Tuesday, Oct. 7. The two companies said the service, which tied the Redbox DVD rental kiosk business with streaming video capabilities from Verizon, wasn’t as profitable as they had hoped it would be.

thePlatform hires SaaS specialist as sales VP

October 6, 2014 12:28 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

thePlatform has appointed Michael Kurtzman as vice president of sales for the Americas, where he will be responsible for leading the company’s sales in North, South and Central America. Jouari Santiago, formerly with Shaw Communications, has joined the company as director of sales for Latin America.

BabyFirst crawls into Suddenlink’s lineup

October 3, 2014 2:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

BabyFirst, which is a TV channel targeted at toddlers and their parents, announced today that it had launched on Suddenlink, the nation’s seventh-largest cable operator. BabyFirst’s programming is now available to nearly all of Suddenlink’s 1.4 million video subscribers. 

Windstream to take on Time Warner Cable in Lincoln

October 3, 2014 1:21 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Windstream plans to begin providing residential TV service in Lincoln starting next year. It will be delivered using Ericsson’s Mediaroom platform, and it will be available bundled with Internet and phone service. The company said the service will be available to about 50,000 homes.

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Talking the talk for better search and recommendation

October 2, 2014 4:12 pm | by Daren Gill, vice president, product, Rovi Corporation | Articles | Comments

For many years, effective voice-based search technologies have eluded businesses that have tried to introduce next-generation input methods to customers. Confined to basic navigation and so-called “magic words,” speech-based commands have been ineffective and often hard for consumers to use. The widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets, as will as Apple's Siri, has led to a renewed interest in this genre of technology.

Verizon, Viacom ink new retransmission deal

October 2, 2014 12:49 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

While Suddenlink Communications’ subscribers remain in the dark, both on their TVs and online, Verizon Communications and Viacom reached a new agreement yesterday that allows Verizon to continue to carry 25 Viacom networks. The deal was also notable because it granted Verizon the national rights to deliver Viacom programming to Verizon Wireless customers when a new service goes live early next year.

Concurrent adds flexible caching at the edge

October 2, 2014 12:44 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In order to more easily scale video services across various devices, Concurrent has added software to its UpShift to enable flexible cache capacity at the edge of networks. Concurrent said UpShift supports video content delivery to any device, which allows commercial video services to be streamed to viewers inside and outside of their homes, and over fixed line or mobile broadband networks.

Netflix signs Adam Sandler to four-film deal

October 2, 2014 12:36 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Adam Sandler has signed a deal with Netflix to star in and produce four films for the streaming service. Netflix announced early Thursday that it has landed one of Hollywood's biggest comedic stars in its growing push into original movies. The films will premiere exclusively on Netflix.

VeEX, Product Showcase at Cable-Tec Expo 2014

October 1, 2014 8:06 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Product Showcase: VeEX CEO Cyrille Morelle discusses the company's latest products, including the new RXT-1200 CWDM OTDR, the new 24x8 Cable Modem option for the CX380S-D3, testers designed for core networks up to 100 Gbps, as well as the new VeSion cloud-based, one system platform.   

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NFL extends 'Sunday Ticket' deal with DirecTV

October 1, 2014 8:06 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The NFL has extended its contract with satellite provider DirecTV to carry the "Sunday Ticket" package, which allows viewers to watch out-of-market games. The deal expands DirecTV's rights to stream the package live on mobile devices and online. The agreement is worth $12 billion over eight years — $1.5 billion annually, according to a person familiar with the contract.

Amazon adds channels to Fire TV, thanks to Opera

October 1, 2014 1:41 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The channels are being packaged as apps by Opera. The addition of little-known and little-watched channels will have little immediate consequence for either Amazon or Opera, but the maneuver is something both Amazon and Opera no doubt hope to build on. 

Comcast enables out-of-home streaming on cloud DVR platform

October 1, 2014 12:20 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has turned on out-of-home streaming for its cloud DVR service that is now live in eight markets across the cable operator’s footprint. The news about the out-of-home streaming element was announced in conjunction with rollouts of the cloud DVR service in San Francisco and Houston.

Viacom channels go dark for Suddenlink subs

October 1, 2014 12:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The plug has been pulled on the 24 Viacom channels that Suddenlink Communications was carrying after the two sides failed to reach a new retransmission agreement. As to who is to blame for a new carriage agreement not being reached yesterday, both sides pointed fingers at each other. 

Envivio at Cable-Tec Expo 2014

September 30, 2014 6:30 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Live From The Show: Envivio vice president of strategy and corporate development Arnaud Perrier on how multi-screen delivery is moving to the cloud, driven by consumer behavior. Envivio has moved the entire process to the cloud, making multi-screen delivery an opex-only proposition, accessible to cable operators of every size.

Verimatrix at Cable-Tec Expo 2014

September 30, 2014 6:21 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Live From The Show: Verimatrix CTO Petr Peterka on providing security for Ultra HD content, while also supporting the transition toward cloud delivery of content. Included is an in-depth discussion of how digital watermarking can be used to protect content in all formats, including Ultra HD.

RGB at Cable-Tec Expo 2014

September 30, 2014 5:31 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Live From The Show: RGB Networks VP of Product Management Andy Salo is building on its background in open source cloud computing with what he says will be the industry's first commercial-grade, open-source transcoder. The company considers the combination of its RipCode transcoder and open APIs a pathway to software defined networking. 

All Systems Broadband at Cable-Tec Expo 2014

September 30, 2014 5:14 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Live From The Show: All Systems Broadband CEO Jason Skeoch on drivers for his company's product development, including the increasing use of fiber connectivity among business customers. One issue, Skeoch explains, is helping businesses build on the assets they already have in place. 

FCC signals review if OTT companies qualify as MVPDs

September 30, 2014 1:32 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC has revived an obscure complaint by Sky Angel against Discovery. If the FCC changes policy in favor of Sky Angel, online providers would have the same ability to negotiate for carriage of local broadcast TV stations that cable and satellite TV providers have.

FCC scraps sports blackout rule

September 30, 2014 12:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The blackout rule was put in place at a time when attendance was still the major source of revenue for most professional teams. In the decades since, ticket sales have been reduced to a minority percentage of proceeds. In the NFL especially, teams’ revenue from the sale of TV rights has far exceeded income at the gate.

TiVo app gets its Android game on; Atlantic Broadband a player

September 30, 2014 12:34 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Android users rejoice: TiVo has updated its app to include support for Android devices and Atlantic Broadband is offering the newest version of the app to its TiVo users. Starting today, TiVo users can download the TiVo Android App from the Google Play Store with availability to soon follow on the Amazon App Store.

Belgacom to integrate Netflix

September 29, 2014 1:54 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Belgian operator, which renamed its service Proximus, said it would make Netflix available to its customers before the end of the year. There will be two tiers of service, one for 7.99 Euros for access on a single device and one for 8.99 Euros allowing access to HD content on two different devices.

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