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

The new TV world: can you really save money?

March 18, 2015 1:36 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Consumers want to be able to choose the channels they pay for. The industry is responding with smaller bundles and a few direct-to-consumer services, such as HBO Now. But that approach is shaping up to cost consumers more money, not less.

Imagine unveils single system for live and on-demand content delivery

March 18, 2015 12:34 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Imagine Communications' CloudXtream enables the delivery not only of VOD and cloud DVR (cDVR), but also live video. Its capabilities include dynamic ad insertion, packaging, encoding, transcoding, storage management and cloud orchestration.

Sling TV arrives on Xbox

March 17, 2015 2:38 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

At the same time the OTT service said it will expand its core package by the end of March with A&E, History, H2 and Lifetime, all A+E Networks. The core package will remain at $20.

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DirecTV offers room service with a twist

March 17, 2015 11:54 am | by Helena Fahnrich, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

DirecTV has developed a TV service for the hospitality industry that aims to induce hotel guests to use the TVs in their rooms rather than access their OTT services via wi-fi, thereby relieving hotel operators’ overburdened wi-fi systems.

FCC proposal would virtually eliminate cable rate regulation

March 16, 2015 2:45 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

The Commission today issued an NPRM that asks if the availability of DirecTV and Dish Network in a market automatically qualifies as “effective competition.” If yes (the FCC argues "yes"), rate regulation would automatically be dropped.

FCC's reviews of Comcast, AT&T megamergers back on hold

March 16, 2015 1:23 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

The two communications megamergers – Comcast with Time Warner Cable and AT&T with DirecTV are back on hold, as the FCC waits for the courts to make a decision on a procedural matter.

Four out of five households choose HD

March 16, 2015 12:47 pm | by Helena Fahnrich, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Four out of five of households (81 percent) surveyed in the U.S. now currently have at least one HDTV. This showed a steep increase since 2011 as 46 percent of households possessed at least one during that time.

Alcatel-Lucent adds switches for metro networks

March 13, 2015 2:24 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

The new photonic switches were designed specifically for service providers who need to cater to enterprise customers, supporting increasing video, cloud and data center traffic.

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MSOs making headway with search, discovery improvements

March 13, 2015 1:52 pm | by Helena Fahnrich, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Last year MSOs tested and implemented content discovery solutions with apps, smart TVs, and more, achieving incremental progress in allaying the frustration many of their subscribers have trying to find relevant content.  

OTT video providers losing money to cord cheating

March 13, 2015 1:38 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

The percentage of people sharing access to their subscriptions to OTT services ranges from 10 percent to 25 percent, The Diffusion Group has found, which means a lot of companies are forsaking a lot of potential revenue.

Charter in talks to buy Bright House

March 12, 2015 9:20 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Charter Communications is in talks to acquire Bright House Networks. If the two pull the trigger, the deal could be worth over $10 billion, and increase Charter's video subscriber base by half again.

FCC publishes Open Internet Order

March 12, 2015 1:59 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

The FCC has finally published its order reclassifying broadband as a Title II service under the Communications Act – the Open Internet Order. Commissioner Pai’s dissent from the decision charges that the action itself violates the Communications Act.

FTC sues DirecTV for deceptive advertising

March 12, 2015 12:07 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

DirecTV was offering a 12-month discount, without adequate notice that the discount comes only with a 24-month contract. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed in a conspicuous way, the FTC said, charging the company with hiding the details of the offer in fine print.

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AT&T: DirecTV will give us new leverage with content providers

March 11, 2015 2:25 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T CFO John Stephens, speaking at a Deutsche Bank conference, said one of the synergies from the DirecTV deal will be AT&T’s enhanced leverage with content providers.

MSOs making slow progress with VOD

March 11, 2015 2:03 pm | by Helena Fahnrich, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

MSOs are getting their subscribers to use their VOD services a little more often, but progress on this front remains modest, in part because operators are still failing to entice their subscribers away from Netflix.  

ACA to FCC: help us reduce rising program costs

March 10, 2015 1:17 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

The ACA has petitioned the FCC to make it easier for its members to collectively bargain with programmers, which the organization argues will help smaller operators maintain margins, in turn giving them greater latitude to extend and improve broadband services.

HBO's streaming service available only through Apple TV

March 9, 2015 4:50 pm | by Editor | Blogs | Comments

HBO Now will be $14.99 a month (as many people guessed), it will be available in time for the Game of Thrones season premiere, but if you want to see it on your big screen TV, it will be available only on Apple TV boxes -- for now.

PlayStation network debuts first scripted series

March 9, 2015 1:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Starting Tuesday, "Powers" will be free to PlayStation subscribers, with the first episode free to anyone for streaming through the PlayStation Store web site (a PlayStation console is not required). Subsequent episodes will be available for purchase by non-subscribers.

Microsoft unwraps cloud-based video workflow service

March 9, 2015 12:57 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Relying on Imagine Communications' Zenium software defined workflow management platform, media companies can use Microsoft's cloud-based services to quickly set up multi-screen delivery.

AT&T looking to DirecTV to help make TV biz profitable

March 5, 2015 2:49 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Lori Lee, EVP, AT&T Home Solutions, said “Sixty percent of every dollar that we earn in revenue in video goes straight to the content guys and when you think about DirecTV… they pay 20 percent less content cost than we do in U-verse. So that drives a lot of scale immediately."

New Nvidia game system supports 4K TV

March 4, 2015 2:24 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

The console, called Shield, is designed to deliver video – including ultra HD (UHD, aka 4K), music, apps, and games. Although it can deliver video, the company is positioning the product as primarily a game system.

TWC's app now available on the Xbox One

March 4, 2015 1:54 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Beginning today, TWC video subscribers who have either a free or paid Xbox Live account will be able to access to 7,000 free and subscription on-demand titles via their game consoles, from any room without an additional set top box.

Edgeware, CSI Digital ally on hosted IP video system

March 4, 2015 1:39 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

The two are partnering to provide a set of hosted solutions designed to put IP-based video services within the reach of Tier 2s and Tier 3s. The integrated systems will enable smaller cable and telco operators to offer multi-screen delivery of live TV and VOD services.

Synacor fills back office gap with thePlatform

March 4, 2015 1:22 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Synacor is in the process of evolving its portal service into a content distribution system. To that end, it is stitching together the elements required for such a system, now including back-office management from thePlatform.

Charter will swoop back in if Comcast-TWC falls through

March 4, 2015 11:55 am | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Comcast remains confident its takeover of Time Warner Cable will be approved, but if the deal fails to get approval, Charter is ready to step back in. Either way, Liberty Global and Liberty Media expect more consolidation deals.

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