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

Netflix coming to Germany, France, 4 other markets

May 21, 2014 12:16 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix will expand into Germany, France and four other European countries later this year as the Internet video service tries to build an international following that might eventually surpass its U.S. audience. The additional markets announced Wednesday will extend Netflix's reach into nearly 50 countries, including 13 in Europe.

Telefunken installing Aurora's PON in Germany

May 20, 2014 1:43 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Telefunken Communications is in the process of deployoing PON technology from Aurora Networks. The company began to launch new internet services in April, including 150 Mbps broadband for residential customers and up to 250 Mbps (symmetrical) for business customers.

RGB and Pi combine on OTT video system

May 20, 2014 1:29 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Pi Telecom and RGB have integrated the former's MediaStage family of products with the latter's software-based encoding. The solution has already been deployed with Megafon, one of Russia's largest mobile operators, to deliver more than 200 live channels and a range of services. 

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Survey: Comcast, TWC have the most unhappy video, data subs

May 20, 2014 1:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Pay-TV subscribers’ satisfaction with their video services from some of the largest providers is eroding, according to the latest annual survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI.) The survey didn’t bode particularly well for would be merger partners Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which dropped 5 percent and 7 percent, respectively, in the survey’s video customer satisfaction rankings. 

Study: Loss of video subscribers in NA partially offset by ARPU increases

May 20, 2014 1:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

With the notable exception of Comcast, most cable operators in North America continued to bleed out basic video subscribers in the most recent first quarter earnings reports, but those losses were at least partially offset by increasing average revenue per user (ARPU), according to a recent report by Infonetics Research. 

S3 takes on testing for Nagra

May 20, 2014 12:53 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

S3 Group announced it would perform automated testing on Nagra’s OpenTV 5 set-top box middleware and guide offerings. Nagra will use S3 Group’s video test automation platform, StormTest Development Center, to achieve ongoing quality assurance, improve responsiveness, and speed up turnaround times.

Envivio: Live From the Show

May 19, 2014 8:42 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Envivio vice president of strategy and corporate development at Envivio talks about ultra HD (aka 4K) TV, the benefits of hosting video services in the cloud, and how cable network operators can manage encoding and transcoding technologies to make multi-screen video delivery easier.

NCTA: Live From the Show

May 19, 2014 8:12 pm | by CED | Videos | Comments

Mark Bell, the NCTA's vice president of industry affairs, introduces the film challenge hosted by The Cable Show, along with an overview of some of the other events and demonstrations the NCTA hosted at Imagine Park, including a display of Things being hooked up to the Internet of Things, and presentations of other new technologies and services.

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If DirecTV loses NFL deal, AT&T can walk

May 19, 2014 1:46 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T has reserved the right to back out of its planned $48.5 billion deal for DirecTV if the satellite-TV provider can’t or doesn’t renew its “NFL Sunday Ticket” agreement. DirecTV is facing a steep price hike for the 2015 NFL season, which will jump 40 percent to $1.4 billion.

FCC: Cable rates are rising

May 19, 2014 1:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Competition in a video market has a minimal effect on cable prices, and cable prices keep going up. In other words, no surprises in the latest FCC report on the industry. According to this report, which includes data from 2012, basic cable rates were up 6.5 percent, expanded cable was up by 5.1 percent.

AT&T locks up DirecTV for $48.5 billion

May 19, 2014 12:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T announced on Sunday that it would by DirecTV for $48.5 billion in cash and stock, which figures out to be $95 per share. The deal would give AT&T 26 million video subscriber and make it the second-largest pay TV provider behind the combined Comcast/Time Warner Cable entity that would service 30 million subscribers under the $45 billion merger that was announced in February. 

Shipments of 4K TVs rise sharply in March

May 16, 2014 12:37 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Shipments were accelerated to China in advance of that country’s Labor Day holiday at the beginning of May, which is somewhat akin to the holiday season in the U.S. China has been the most enthusiastic market for UHD so far, IHS reports. Some shipments were in anticipation of the FIFA World Cup in June

Vudu subs can share free access to their libraries

May 15, 2014 1:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Users visit Vudu.com and enter up to five e-mails of family members or friends with whom they’d like to share their UltraViolet movies and TV shows. Each invited person will receive an email with a link to create a Vudu account that connects to the subscriber’s UltraViolet Library.

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Willner to take the wheel at SpinCo

May 15, 2014 12:26 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications and Comcast have picked former Insight Communications co-founder and CEO Michael Willner to take the helm at SpinCo once the deal between Time Warner Cable and Comcast is completed. Willner will oversee the operations of SpinCo in some of the former systems that Insight served prior to its acquisition by Time Warner Cable in 2012. 

Cisco checks slide in service provider segment

May 15, 2014 12:17 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company’s financials in the service provider market have been slipping, but it seemed to be slowing the downward slide. Its third quarter decline in orders was 5 percent year over year, an improvement compared to its Q2 decline of 12 percent.

CableLabs working on information models for industry

May 15, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | Blogs | Comments

Over the past few years, CableLabs has been cooking up information models for the cable operator industry that are designed to provide commonality across the various technologies and systems. CableLabs chief technology officer Ralph Brown said the data information architecture seeks to integrate the different networks and systems into a common platform that will improve the rate of innovation and provide a seamless experience.

Comcast Business pushes fiber into Rutland County, Vt.

May 15, 2014 12:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Thanks to a recent fiber deployment, Comcast Business’ portfolio of Ethernet services is now available in 17 communities in Rutland County, Vt. Rutland County, which boasts of several well-known ski areas, was an extension of last year’s fiber build across Chittenden County.

Telenet to migrate to Casa's CCAP platform

May 14, 2014 1:17 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Telenet signed a multi-year agreement with Casa Systems, which will supply the network operator with its ICCAP, C100G platform, packaged with professional services covering the full suite of network design, installation, configuration and management services.

TWCBC debuts benefit program for SMBs

May 14, 2014 12:48 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC) is now offering its small business customers access to a complimentary benefit program. The program, which is called “PerkZone,” is a two-part platform that offers discounts from companies, such as OfficeMax, Lenovo, and ZipCar, as well as an information forum geared towards small business owners.

Smart home survey: ‘Internet of Things’ will take flight in five years

May 14, 2014 12:41 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

According to a recent survey by home automation and security vendor iControl Networks, the “Internet of Things” will become a reality over the next five years. Among survey respondents, 56 percent said the Internet of Things, whereby home appliances such as refrigerators equipped with broadband, cameras or sensors, would reach fruition in five years.

Bright House Networks Enterprise Solutions inks deal with crisis center

May 14, 2014 12:36 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks Enterprise Solutions has signed an agreement to provide business services to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. The non-profit crisis center will use Bright House Networks Enterprise Solutions’ dedicated Internet access (DIA), enterprise trunking and metro Ethernet services to better serve its patients.

Netflix's share of peak Internet traffic rises

May 14, 2014 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix increased its share of fixed-line Internet traffic in North America in the first half of 2014, accounting for 34 percent of data flowing to consumers during peak times, up from 32 percent in the latter half of 2013. That's according to a new report from Sandvine Inc., a Canadian networking services company.

AT&T's pursuit of DirecTV thrills no one

May 13, 2014 1:39 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

AT&T is on the verge of buying DirecTV, according to reports. The deal could be worth $50 billion, but no one thinks this is about synergy, or subscribers, or scale. Most think it's about AT&T's dividend. Whoo. Hoo. AT&T can buy DirecTV, but it won’t be able to buy an exclamation point.

Comcast plays catch up with Turner VOD deal

May 13, 2014 12:31 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has inked a deal with Turner Broadcasting Systems that provides its subscribers the ability to “catch up” on complete current and past seasons from Turner’s roster of networks. The deal provides more fodder for Comcast Xfinity binge viewers by including “stacking rights” for shows on TBS, TNT, Adult Swim, CNN, Cartoon Network and truTV via Comcast’s VOD platform.

Charter gets personal with Digitalsmiths

May 13, 2014 12:26 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications is offering TiVo-owned Digitalsmiths’ personalized search and recommendation platform on its mobile app that serves iOS and Android devices. Digitalsmiths has started to deploy its Seamless Discovery service to more than 5 million Charter TV and Internet customers.

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