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

GCI adds TiVo service in another Alaskan city

October 14, 2014 1:10 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Alaska’s GCI is now serving up its TiVo-based service to its subscribers in Kotzebue. GCI currently has its GCI TV powered by TiVo service available across 95 percent of its footprint with plans to have it fully rolled out in all of its markets by the end of the year.

Ratings whoopsie

October 13, 2014 1:46 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Nielsen took another hit in credibility when it announced an unspecified technical error led to incorrect ratings for broadcast networks. Cable companies have been dissatisfied with Nielsen’s technical capabilities for reporting, specifically its delay in figuring out a way to measure multi-screen viewing.

Shaw opens up hotspots in areas of Calgary where power is down

October 13, 2014 12:48 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Shaw Communications is providing free access to non-subscribers on thousands of its Wi-Fi hotspots in downtown Calgary where a power outage occurred over the weekend. According to published reports, a Saturday night fire in an underground electrical vault in the core downtown area of Calgary caused the power outage, which could take four to seven days to fix.

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MobiTV behind Deutsche Telekom's nDVR

October 13, 2014 12:41 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

MobiTV announced it is behind the cloud recording capabilities offered by Deutsche Telekom with its multi-screen / TV Everywhere service. MobiTV's network DVR  allows recorded programs to be stored in the cloud and played on any mobile device, anytime, anywhere.

Suddenlink adds UP, Aspire to channel lineup

October 10, 2014 5:36 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In the wake of Viacom yanking its 24 networks away from Suddenlink Communications’ subscribers on Oct. 1 after a new carriage agreement wasn’t reached, the nation’s seventh-largest cable operator has added new channels to its lineup. The latest additions to Suddenlink’s channel roster are UP and Aspire.

TWC updates app to include VOD guide on Roku

October 10, 2014 12:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable has blended in a VOD guide on its TWC TV app that runs on Roku’s platform. The Roku platform launched early last with an initial focus on live TV, but the latest update allows those users to see some of Time Warner Cable’s VOD library right from the live TV guide.

Clarity Telecom wraps up deal with WOW!

October 10, 2014 11:53 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Clarity Telecom and corporate parent Pamilico Capital announced this week that they had completed their $262 million cash deal to buy broadband systems and assets, which are located in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa from WOW! Clarity said it would transition the platform over from WOW! in the coming months and recast the operation as Vast Broadband.

EU antitrust body OKs Liberty Global's Dutch deal

October 10, 2014 11:43 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union's antitrust authority has granted conditional approval to Liberty Global PLC's proposed 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) deal to fully take over Dutch cable operator Ziggo NV. The EU Commission said Friday the acquisition may go ahead provided Liberty sells one pay TV channel and changes its broadcaster contracts to ensure it won't abuse its market position to undermine competition.

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AT&T’s SEC football fans can ‘Talk Back’ with sports celebs

October 9, 2014 1:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T has found a way to get SEC football fans into the game by enabling a new “Talk Back” feature that allows them to interact with sports celebrities during live games. Talk Back is a second-screen feature that works via the U-verse App for Tablet or via a web portal. Viewers are able to submit their questions and watch live as sports celebrities answer them. 

Comcast shareholders approve TWC acquisition

October 8, 2014 1:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

More than 99 percent of Comcast shareholders voting supported Comcast’s proposal to issue 2.875 shares of Comcast Class A common stock for every share of TWC common stock. Meanwhile, Comcast and TWC are fighting the FCC's request to see the contracts they've signed with various programmers.

Cisco reorganizing switcher/router operations

October 8, 2014 1:15 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Pursuant to a round of layoffs announced in August, Cisco is reorganizing, reportedly removing a layer of executives, mostly product managers who were each responsible for specific product families within the company’s switching and routing business.

ESPN’s Berman, Comcast's Werner among Cable Center’s 2015 Hall of Fame class

October 8, 2014 12:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman, along with five other inductees, is rumbling, bumbling, stumbling into the Cable Center’s Hall of Fame next year. The six newly elected industry leaders will be inducted during the 18th annual Cable Hall of Fame Celebration, held in conjunction with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s newly minted Internet and Television Expo (INTX) next year in Chicago.

New chipsets pave the way for gigabit DSL

October 7, 2014 1:36 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Sckipio Technologies introduced a set of G.fast chip sets. The introduction was accompanied by announcements of G.fast network equipment and reference designs for network equipment and for customer premise equipment from Suttle, XAVi, Zinwell, VTech and Lantiq.

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Cox Business connects Navy sites in San Diego

October 7, 2014 12:59 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

On the heels of a new five-year contract, Cox Business recently completed the build-out of 40 miles of its broadband network to 165 Navy sites in San Diego County. Cox’s network now reaches into barracks, hotels, fire stations, residential housing, recreation centers, and ships in the harbor in order to offer its triple play services to approximately 50,000 sailors stationed in San Diego.

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.

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.

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.

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