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

Supremes shoot down Aereo

June 25, 2014 11:54 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a startup Internet company has to pay broadcasters when it takes television programs from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch them on smartphones and other portable devices. The ruling preserves the ability of the television networks to collect huge fees from cable and satellite systems that transmit their programming.

Analysts expect Shaw's subscriber base continued to erode in latest quarter

June 25, 2014 11:49 am | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

Shaw Communications is fighting an uphill battle according to analysts, who say its heavy reliance on television puts it at a disadvantage to other telecommunications companies that also offer wireless services. The Calgary-based company is expected to report Thursday an improvement on the three previous quarters, but opinion is split on whether the third quarter will be a blip or signal a return to growth.

AT&T says DirecTV deal could slow price hikes

June 25, 2014 11:45 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

AT&T's CEO has told Congress that his company's purchase of DirecTV will help slow increases in programming prices, but won't lead to a decrease in prices. CEO Randall Stephenson spoke to two Congressional committees Tuesday to defend AT&T's $48.5 billion deal to buy the country's largest satellite TV broadcaster.

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Google to show off smart home gadgets, wearables

June 25, 2014 11:43 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

An Android update, wearable gadgets and so-called smart home devices are just some of the innovations Google is likely to show off at its two-day developer conference, which begins Wednesday in San Francisco. In recent years, the conference has focused on smartphones and tablets, but this year Google's Android operating system is expected to stretch —into cars, homes and smartwatches.

TE expands VAM optical line for FTTx applications

June 24, 2014 12:54 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

TE Connectivity has added several new products to its NG4access value-added module (VAM) line, including splitter modules with 1x32 split ratios, and DWDM modules to meet 40-channel applications. For the outside plant, TE added a CWDM module for use in fiber distribution hubs in 8-, 10- and 16-channel configurations.

Globosat using Tek monitor for 4K video

June 24, 2014 12:35 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Globosat is among the first companies to use a waveform monitor from Tektronix to ensure the quality of its 4K broadcasts in Brazil of the World Cup. Globosat is using Tek’s WVR8300 to monitor the signal from its 4K cameras shooting the World Cup games.

Swisscom to use ThinkAnalytics search, recommendation

June 24, 2014 12:18 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

ThinkAnalytics has landed a deal with Swisscom to power search and recommendation features on its new TV 2.0 Android IPTV set-top boxes and legacy set-top boxes. Swisscom is leveraging ThinkAnalytics’ platform across its live, linear, replay TV and VOD services. 

Brazilian carrier taps Entone, Minerva for new TV service

June 23, 2014 1:04 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

TIM Brasil is using Entone’s Hybrid TV system as the basis for a video service it has tested in two cities and plans to launch commercially later this year that will blend free to air and over the top (OTT) content. The carrier has also deployed Minerva Networks’ platform to define and manage content from multiple sources.

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Comcast broadens TVE reach with support for Google Chrome

June 23, 2014 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has added an official extension for Google Chrome that supports more than 50 live TV channels and on demand content from its Xfinity TV Go web portal. The Chrome feature is the latest enhancement to Comcast’s stable of TV Everywhere products and services that are available to its authenticated subscribers.

NAB CTO joins One Media

June 23, 2014 12:23 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Kevin Gage has left his chief technical officer position (CTO) at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to join One Media as its new executive vice president and CTO. Gage, who was also executive vice president at NAB, was a founder and head of NAB Labs.

Report: Client-side TV software to top $800 million by 2017

June 23, 2014 12:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Driven by growth in software for home media gateways client-side TV software is projected to top $800 million by 2017. The report by SNL Kagan said that the significant growth projected for home media gateways would be driven by increased demand in North America and Western Europe, which will account for the majority of shipments between last year and 2017.

UPC Hungary delivering YouTube app hosted in the cloud

June 19, 2014 2:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

UPC Hungary is delivering YouTube content to its subscribers entirely through the cloud, using ActiveVideo’s StreamCast platform and associated cloud service. While delivery is through UPC Hungary’s set-top boxes, there is no software resident in the box to enable the delivery, according to the companies involved.

Pico Digital offering "headend in a box"

June 19, 2014 12:49 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Pico Digital has introduced system that has all the functionality of a headend, all fitting into a 5-RU space. The company said it designed the system for multiple dwelling units (MDU), headend in the sky (HITS) operations, and the hospitality industry.

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Consumer Reports: Majority of consumers give thumbs down on TWC/Comcast deal

June 19, 2014 11:50 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

According to a new opinion poll released this morning by the Consumer Reports National Resource Center, most citizens are against the proposed coupling of Time Warner Cable and Comcast. The poll showed that 11 percent of the public supported the merger, 56 percent opposed it and 32 percent had no opinion either way.

A rational way to deliver video description audio

June 18, 2014 7:52 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

Capital Currents: I’ve written before about the problems of delivering the video description audio track to legacy cable set-top boxes. Now the cable industry seems to have figured out how to transition to a more rational approach. We’ll see if broadcasters are willing to go along.

GVTC deploys gigabit network in San Antonio suburbs

June 18, 2014 1:42 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

GVTC Communications has deployed the Calix E7-20 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP) and 700GE family of optical network terminals (ONTs) for the GVTC GigaRegion fiber network that stretches across three cities just north of San Antonio, Tex.

DOCSIS 3.1 Checklist

June 17, 2014 5:29 pm | by CED | Webinars

While full-scale DOCSIS 3.1 implementations may not occur for another two years, cable operators are currently preparing their networks. In this live Google Hangout, sponsored by VeEX and hosted by CED, attendees will learn how cable operators and vendors are gearing up for 3.1 rollouts.

RCN tunes in TiVo’s caller ID on TV feature

June 17, 2014 1:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RCN subscribers with leased TiVo boxes can now tap into the latter’s caller ID on TV service at no additional cost. The new feature, which will be available to new and existing customers this week, displays the name of the caller and the number on the TV screen during an incoming call. 

Cable STBs enjoy growth spurt in 1Q

June 17, 2014 1:02 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

While worldwide set-top box revenue declined in the first quarter of this year, the cable set-top box segment grew 5 percent in both units shipped and revenue growth. Infonetics Research’s set-top box report said that worldwide set-top box revenue totaled $4.8 billion in the first quarter, which was a decline of 3 percent from the preceding fourth quarter.

How the world watches the World Cup on TV, online

June 17, 2014 12:58 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Television and online rights for sporting events are typically sold by territory. For the World Cup, that means U.S. viewers are limited to what's available through U.S. television networks ABC, ESPN and Univision. ABC and ESPN, both owned by The Walt Disney Co., are splitting the English-language coverage on television.

TV Everywhere apps: “Market the damn things”

June 16, 2014 1:49 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

MSOs are getting crushed by their over the top rivals when it comes to TV Everywhere – an area where the only thing they have to do to become more competitive is to let their customers know that they are, in fact, competing. The Diffusion Group’s advice to MSOs: “Market the damn things.”

Columbus Communications using Triveni portable MPEG analyzer

June 16, 2014 1:01 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Columbus Communications has deployed Triveni Digital's StreamScope Portal portable MPEG analysis and troubleshooting tool across its operations in the Caribbean. Columbus is using the tool to monitor and improve video streams from its distribution plants on multiple islands.

TWC exec to join SpinCo as CFO

June 16, 2014 12:02 pm | News | Comments

The executive leadership team of SpinCo continues to coalesce with current Time Warner Cable treasurer and former Insight Communications exec Matthew Siegel slotted for the chief financial officer position. Charter Communications and Comcast announced this morning that Siegel would assume his new role once the Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal and the Charter/Comcast transactions were completed.

Report: Pay-TV operators rule STB food chain

June 16, 2014 11:56 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The largest video providers rule the roost when it comes to defining the set-top box ecosystem, according to a recent report by ABI Research. While pay-TV operators are at the top of the set-top box food chain, hardware OEMs and semiconductor vendors function in supporting roles.  

Wheeler expands network neutrality process to include peering

June 13, 2014 1:49 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Wheeler for the first time made a clear distinction between ISP networks and activity on the open Internet governed by peering agreements. Consumers expect good service, he said, and peering activity affects that. He has directed the FCC to start collecting information on peering agreements.

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