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

IBC 2014 Preview

September 3, 2014 2:42 pm | by CED | News | Comments

This year's show will focus on all the technological innovations and trends of interest to video broadcasters and distributors of all kinds: the migration to IP, multi-screen delivery, 4K/Ultra-HD, HEVC, wireless technologies, user interfaces, and more.  Here are previews of what some of the key innovators in the industry will be talking about and demonstrating at the conference.

Calix debuts pair of gateways with gigabit Wi-Fi

September 3, 2014 1:06 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Available to be private-labeled by Calix customers, the 844G and 854G GigaCenters are the first in a family of customer premises service delivery platforms, the company said. The company claims they are the first gateways to support carrier class Wi-Fi in the home.

RCN Business launches in Empire State Building

September 3, 2014 12:23 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Offices in the building will have access to the entire RCN Business suite of services, including high-speed Internet, dedicated internet access (DIA), hosted voice, PRI/SIP trunks, video (HDTV) and Ethernet E-Line and E-LAN. RCN has MEF 2.0 certification for its Ethernet services.

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Charter inks data warehouse deal with Sense Corp

September 3, 2014 11:52 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications announced it has signed a deal with management and technology consulting firm Sense Corp to create its next-generation enterprise data warehouse. Under the terms of the deal, St. Louis-based Sense Corp will serve as Charter’s exclusive vendor for its business intelligence initiative, which Charter said would include integrating new subscribers by early next year. 

Metrological joins RDK club

September 3, 2014 11:48 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Netherlands-based Metrological has officially joined the cable industry’s Reference Design Kit (RDK) initiative. While Metrological is a new member of RDK Management, which is the joint venture between Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Liberty Global, its app store technology is already in front of roughly 20 million Liberty Global households.

ThinkAnalytics a reseller for Thuuz, develops concept UI

September 3, 2014 11:42 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

ThinkAnalytics announced it had signed a global reseller agreement with Thuuz Sports to help sports fans find and view the programming they want across multiple viewing experiences. The joint platform, which was first announced a year ago, allows service providers and content owners to offer a customized sports service that helps viewers become more engaged with their sports packages.

Netflix snags deal for 'Gotham' television series

September 3, 2014 11:33 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix Inc. has struck a deal with Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution to run the television series "Gotham" worldwide following its first season. The highly anticipated show, which will start its initial season on Fox on Sept. 22, occurs in Batman's Gotham City and depicts an orphaned Bruce Wayne and future Commissioner James Gordon. Stars include Ben McKenzie and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Don’t wait for 4K: The case for deploying HEVC today

September 2, 2014 3:07 pm | by Erica Robinson, managing consultant, IBB Consulting | Articles | Comments

With Ultra HD/4K poised for eventual broad deployment, higher-quality video will soon become widely available. HEVC will play a key role in efficient delivery of 4K content, but the standard also brings broader capabilities that MSOs should start taking advantage of today. 

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Ericsson trials LTE broadcast in Poland

September 2, 2014 1:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Ericsson and Polkomtel said they were successful with a test of LTE broadcast technology. The trial was conducted on August 30, when the operator streamed the opening game of the 2014 World Volleyball Championship between Poland and Serbia to 300 selected guests and journalists at Warsaw's National Stadium.

Envivio takes multi-screen to the cloud

September 2, 2014 1:21 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Envivio is calling its virtualized cloud-based SaaS video solution Nuage, French for cloud. It operates as a service on private, operator-owned networks, on the public cloud, or in hybrid environments. The system will handle video from content acquisition to delivery to the consumer, on any screen.

AT&T files suit against Cox for patent infringement

September 2, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

On Friday AT&T filed a patent lawsuit against Cox Communications alleging that the cable operator and over 30 of its regional systems had infringed on eight of its patents. The patents were related to DVRs and set-top boxes as well as managing VoIP and data services.

Report: 84% of households subscribe to pay-TV service

September 2, 2014 12:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

A recent report by Leichtman Research Group (LRG) found that about 84 percent of U.S. households nationwide subscribed to some form of pay-TV service. The report said that with an increase in occupied housing, penetration of pay-TV among residential households had waned from its peak in 2010 following the digital transition.

Netflix unveils new way to share recommendations

September 2, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix is giving its Internet video subscribers a more discreet way to recommend movies and TV shows to their Facebook friends after realizing most people don't want to share their viewing habits with large audiences. Until now, Netflix subscribers linking the service to their Facebook accounts automatically disclosed everything they were watching with a potentially wide-reaching range of people. 

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Envivio sets up cloud multi-screen service for Chinese company

August 28, 2014 4:15 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Beijing Gehua CATV Network is preparing a cloud-based multi-screen delivery service that will rely on transcoding technology from Envivio. BGCTV will use Envivio Muse encoders to help transmit 150 SD channels and 50 HD video channels to connected TVs, PCs, smartphones, iPads, and other devices.

GCI locks up 7-year agreement with Disney

August 28, 2014 2:00 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

GCI, Alaska’s largest cable operator, has inked a seven-year agreement with Disney networks, a lineup that includes ESPN and ABC Family channels. The deal, which was negotiated by the National Cable Television Cooperative, allows GCI to continue broadcasting 16 sports, news and entertainment channels into 2021 without interruption and adds products like the SEC Network and on-demand programming.

Suddenlink launches WatchESPN

August 28, 2014 1:58 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Suddenlink Communications is now offering its subscribers the WatchESPN app and access to ESPN’s web portal to view live sports coverage anytime. Earlier this month, Suddenlink and ESPN parent The Walt Disney Company announced a multi-year distribution agreement, which included access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN News, ESPN Deportes, the Longhorn Network and the SEC Network.

Energy-efficient set-tops have saved $168M in electric bills

August 28, 2014 1:31 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The movement to make cable CPE more energy-efficient has paid off, saving U.S. cable customers as much as $168 million in total on their energy bills. New set-top boxes use approximately 14 percent less energy than those previously used by service providers.

Comcast subscribers gain more TVE access to Pac-12 Networks

August 28, 2014 11:31 am | News | Comments

Thanks to an expanded agreement, Comcast’s subscribers now have more TV Everywhere access to the Pac-12 Networks’ programming. With the college season about to kick off, Comcast customers now have access to all seven Pac-12 Networks on their computers and mobile devices through the Pac-12 Now app and web portal.

Telefonica ups bid to create Brazil's top operator

August 28, 2014 10:31 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Spain's telecommunications company Telefonica has raised its offer to buy Brazilian operator Global Village Telecom, or GVT, from French media conglomerate Vivendi to 7.45 billion euros ($9.82 billion) from 6.7 billion euros previously. Telefonica S.A. said in a statement Thursday the offer includes 4.66 billion in cash and 12 percent of the share capital in the new company.  

Former CEO Frankel resigns from Synacor’s board

August 27, 2014 5:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Former CEO Ron Frankel resigned from Synacor’s board of directors effective Aug. 25. Frankel had served on the board since 2001, which was also the same year he was named CEO. Frankel said in March that would be leaving his position as CEO, but would remain on the board and as an advisor. 

Chunghwa plans trial of 4K VOD

August 27, 2014 1:30 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Taiwanese operator will be using Broadpeak's server and CDN manager solutions, and HwaCom set-top boxes. Chunghwa Telecom is looking to deliver 4K VOD and NVOD content, to a range of devices. VOD content will be unicast, while NVOD will be multicast.

WOW! Business doubles up service delivery team to serve commercial customers

August 27, 2014 12:31 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

WOW! Business announced this morning that it had streamlined and expanded its business service delivery team to better serve small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), enterprise and wholesale communications customers across its 19 markets. WOW Business’ 60-member service delivery team has doubled since the same time frame a year ago, and recently moved into a national service delivery center in Huntsville, Ala. 

Rogers, Shaw debut Netflix competitor

August 26, 2014 1:53 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Rogers and Shaw have allied to launch a video streaming service in Canada that will compete directly against Netflix. The joint venture and the service will be called Showmi The companies said the content available will include 11,000 hours of television and 1,200 movies, with 30 per cent Canadian content.

FCC names network neutrality expert as CTO

August 26, 2014 1:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

UC Irvine professor Scott Jordan was named the new CTO of the FCC. For those who try to read tea leaves, Jordan’s appointment might be a signal that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is serious about exploring the possibility of reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service.

S3 Group takes testing out of lab, into live networks

August 26, 2014 12:36 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Video test and validation platform vendor S3 Group has expanded its StormTest portfolio beyond labs and into live networks with its new StormTest Warning Center element. The new cloud-based platform enables remote service monitoring, validation and real-time analytics of video services across connected devices on live networks.

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