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

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.

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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. 

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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.

GVTC begins marketing gigabit connectivity

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

The company has strung 2,200 miles of fiber across a 2,000 square mile area that includes parts of Far North San Antonio, the Texas Hill Country and the Gonzales, area. More than 40,000 rooftops are connected to GVTC's network, with another 2,600 to be connected soon.

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Comcast ups Herrin to focus on customer experience

September 29, 2014 1:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The cable industry’s dismal customer satisfaction ratings have become a stereotype for the industry, but Comcast is vowing, again, to improve customer service with the promotion of Charlie Herrin to senior vice president, customer experience. On Friday Comcast Cable CEO and president Neil Smit took to company’s blog page to tout Herrin’s new role. 

Suddenlink, Viacom reach impasse on retransmission agreement

September 29, 2014 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The clock is ticking on a new retransmission agreement between Suddenlink Communications and Viacom, with the nation’s seventh-largest cable operator saying it will no longer carry Viacom networks starting Wednesday if a new deal isn’t reached. Suddenlink said that Viacom was demanding a 50 percent increase in payments despite viewership declining by almost 30 percent on some of Viacom’s networks over the past few years.

Huawei vows $4B in fixed broadband R&D

September 26, 2014 1:40 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Huawei Technologies plans to invest more than $4 billion in fixed broadband technology R&D in the next three years, citing the areas of photonics and software-defined networking (SDN). Separately, the company earlier this week demonstrated a virtual CCAP at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo.

Midcontinent, aioTV partner on blended video service

September 26, 2014 12:33 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

On the heels of receiving a patent for its technology, aioTV announced Thursday it was engaged in a “strategic partnership” with Midcontinent Communications that will blend QAM-based video services with over-the-top IP content and services. The service will use aioTV’s PassBox user interface, which will connect to Midco’s set-top boxes with an HDMI cable. 

TDS satiates subscribers’ appetite for devices with personal cloud service

September 26, 2014 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In order to better serve the increasing number of personal digital devices used by customers, including PCs, Macs, tablets and iPhones, TDS Telecom is now offering a new personal cloud service. The new service, which is called “younited,” uses F-Secure’s technology to allow TDS customers to back up info, and store photos and videos in the cloud.

DirecTV shareholders approve $48.5B sale to AT&T

September 26, 2014 12:18 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

AT&T's proposed $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV is moving forward as shareholders of the country's largest satellite TV broadcaster approved the deal. But it still needs regulatory approval. Public-interest groups say the deal would lead to less competition, since AT&T and DirecTV provide pay-TV services to about 25 percent of the country.

Demanding video consumers pushing for modern user interfaces

September 25, 2014 12:29 pm | by Craig Kuhl, contributing editor | News | Comments

The increasing demands for modernizing user interfaces, and soaring consumer expectations are putting pressure on service providers to improve their user interfaces, and that means blending consumer behavior data with advancing technologies.

SCTE’s Energy 2020 program unveiled at Expo

September 25, 2014 9:31 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The SCTE got down to the brass tacks of its ambitious, all encompassing Energy 2020 program Wednesday afternoon at Cable-Tec Expo. The new Energy 2020 program was first announced in June, but Wednesday’s workshop provided new details on its goals and key areas of focus.

Bright House Networks’ Babinski Cable-Tec champ

September 25, 2014 9:18 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Propelled by victories in two events, Bright House Networks’ Greg Babinski took home the top honors at the SCTE International Cable-Tec Games in Denver earlier this week. Babinski, representing SCTE Region 9 and the SCTE Central Florida Chapter, beat out 29 other competitors in the 24th annual Cable-Tec Games.

Liberty Global’s Fries: ‘Thanks Netflix’

September 24, 2014 2:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

When Netflix dropped into Liberty Global’s European footprint, Liberty CEO and president Mike Fries said it prodded his company to innovate and grow. Fries, who spoke with Comcast executive vice president and CTO during a keynote Expo session Wednesday morning, said the cable industry across the globe needed to collaborate and continue to scale in order to compete with hyper-giants such as Google and Netflix.

TWC’s LaJoie offers up cable career advice

September 24, 2014 2:32 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After 21 years in the cable industry, Time Warner Cable’s Mike LaJoie has plenty of career advice for anyone in the cable industry. LaJoie, who is retiring at the end of the year, shared his thoughts during the opening general session “Tips from the top—from to cube to corner office” at Expo with long-time friend Yvette Kanouff.

Acheson wins SCTE Member of the Year

September 23, 2014 6:04 pm | by Craig Kuhl | News | Comments

A stunned Bob Acheson of San Bruno Cable TV in Sunnyvale, Calif. humbly accepted SCTE’s prestigious Member of the Year Award during the organization’s annual awards luncheon Tuesday. The sales and marketing exec, who began his cable career more than 20 years ago, has volunteered his time to advance many causes, both in and out of the cable industry during his work with SCTE and San Bruno Cable.

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