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

Standards catching up with 4K market

July 7, 2014 1:03 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Several sets of DVB-related standards have been approved that will help accelerate the adoption of Ultra HD, and promote multi-screen video usage: 1) the DVB-UHDTV Phase 1 specification, which includes an HEVC Profile for DVB broadcasting, 2) a spec for delivery to second screens, and 3) a profile supporting the use of MPEG-DASH.

The Continuing Evolution of Video Codecs

July 1, 2014 6:39 pm | by Stephen Wright, Software Architect, Openwave Mobility | Articles | Comments

The current dominant codec for Internet video is H.264, but there are influential companies dedicated to alternatives. With the advent of 4K (aka Ultra HD), new codecs will be useful. H.265 (aka HEVC) and VP9 could split the market, and another approach from Mozilla, called Daala, may prove to be a wild card.

Aereo CEO ask customers to appeal to lawmakers

July 1, 2014 12:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After the Supreme Court ruled against its over-the-air video service last week, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia is trying to kicks start a grass roots effort by asking the company’s subscribers to contact their lawmakers. Broadcasters had sued Aereo over its service that relied on cloud DVR and antennas to capture over-the-air video signals and deliver them to its customers. 

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Lightpath adds managed videoconferencing service

June 30, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The cloud-based service provides virtual meeting rooms and managed video services that enable mid-market and large businesses to conference and connect with up to 25 attendees worldwide from nearly any device. Lightpath will design and install videoconferencing systems for their customers.

Charter teams with Recruit Military to hire more veterans

June 30, 2014 12:18 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications has broadened its outreach to the nation’s military veterans through a new partnership with Recruit Military. Recruit Military is a full-service military-to-civilian recruiting firm for all branches and ranks of the armed forces. Its services are provided for free to veterans.

SCTE hires Stoneback as senior director of engineering

June 30, 2014 12:12 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) announced this morning that it had hired cable industry veteran Dean Stoneback as senior director of engineering. Before joining the SCTE, Stoneback served as senior technical marketing manager at Arris, and as senior manager, systems engineering, at Motorola prior to its acquisition by Arris.

Alticast hires former TWC engineer Helms

June 30, 2014 12:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Multi-screen vendor Alticast announced today that it had hired former Time Warner Cable engineer Bill Helms as the company’s chief architect and senior vice president of technology. In his new job, Helms reports to Alticast chief technical officer John Carlucci, whose cable career also included a stop at Time Warner Cable.

Aereo suspends service after Supreme Court ruling

June 30, 2014 11:55 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Online-streaming service Aereo Inc. is temporarily closing down its operation, three days after it was dealt an unfavorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. "We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps," Aereo's Chief Executive Officer Chet Kanojia wrote in a letter to customers posted on its website Saturday.

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Nuvvyo intros 4-tuner Tablo model

June 27, 2014 1:55 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Nuvyyo is making available the 4-tuner version of its Tablo, a retail box that consumers install and hook up with an antenna and a storage device to be able to receive and record over-the-air HDTV. The newest Tablo DVR provides four TV tuners for to simultaneously receive and/or record that many live TV streams.

Envivio enabling Globosat to kick off FIFA games in 4K

June 27, 2014 1:21 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Envivio said it will enable Globosat to broadcast quarterfinal, semifinal, and final games from the current FIFA World Cup tournament at 60 frames per second (4Kp60). Last May, Envivio’s had been involved in a live 4K broadcast of the 2014 French Open tennis tournament.

LG names Coopmans as new Ziggo CEO

June 27, 2014 12:44 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Liberty Global announced this morning that it had made its formal bid on Ziggo and that Baptiest Coopmans will be Ziggo’s new CEO once the deal is done. Liberty also said that Bert Groenewegen would continue as Ziggo’s CFO. Coopmans won’t assume his new position until after the deal closes, which could take place later this year.

Cablevision adds Fight Network, FNTSY Sports Network to video roster

June 27, 2014 12:38 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Thanks to a new carriage agreement, Cablevision is the first major cable operator in the nation to offer subscribers Fight Network and FNTSY Sports Network. FNTSY Sports Network bills itself as the first channel to be entirely dedicated to fantasy sports while Fight Network lives up to its name by offering combat sports-related programming.

Suddenlink’s Sonne new SVP of operation in N.C.

June 27, 2014 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Suddenlink Communications has named Jared Sonne as its senior vice president of operations for its North Carolina region, which is based in Greenville. Sonne will replace Phil Ahlschlager, who is retiring on July 1. Sonne most recently served as vice president of operations for Suddenlink in East Texas and Oklahoma, based in Tyler, Texas.

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Attorney general investigates satellite company

June 27, 2014 12:28 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A satellite TV company has been told to stop going door-to-door in North Dakota until authorities can investigate complaints of misleading and aggressive sales tactics. The attorney general's office says it has received complaints that sales representatives for Dish One company have been elusive about their employer with some claiming to work for Midcontinent Communications or DirecTV.

Vendor CTOs: abstract expressionism

June 27, 2014 12:31 am | Articles | Comments

If you want to know what is going on in technology, from macro trends to specific innovations, and how they interrelate, CTOs are the people to talk to. Thexton, Ferris, Reynolds, Carlucci, and Brockman on the joys of virtualization, the cloud, and software defined networking.

2014 CTO Roundtable cuts a wide swath across the industry

June 26, 2014 11:51 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

This year’s roundtable is chock full of the cable industry’s hot topics and trends from the CTOs that are the movers and shakers across the cable landscape. Werner, LaJoie, Hart, Nair, Kanouff, Jensen, and Brown on where Gigasphere, CCAP, Wi-Fi and other innovative technologies are heading.

New Products: Envivio, RGB Networks

June 26, 2014 8:45 pm | by CED | Articles | Comments

Envivio introduced a new multiprocessor software approach for real-time 4K Ultra HD HEVC (H.265) compression using its Muse encoding software. | RGB Networks recently launched its CloudXstream ad insertion for multi-screen (AIM) and network DVR.

Google previews Android “L” update, announces Android TV

June 26, 2014 1:40 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Android TV, an extension of the Android SDK designed to fit bigger screens. The UI compiles streaming services, games and relevant information while enabling voice controls, search, and Google Cast support.  Android TV can leverage an Android Wear device as a directional pad for navigating the screen.

Aereo loss is a very big deal

June 26, 2014 1:34 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Another thing the average viewer doesn’t get is that Aereo and its approach was a hedge against rising cable costs. Retrans fees are going to keep going up. Cable fees are going to keep going up. That’s a win for broadcasters, but for no one else. It’s a clear loss for viewers, larger than most realize.

What's next for Aereo after Supreme Court ruling?

June 26, 2014 1:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Although the Supreme Court expressed its thinking on the law, it's the lower court that must issue a preliminary injunction stopping the service, as requested by broadcasters. That could take a few weeks. It's not guaranteed that the lower court will halt Aereo's operations, but it's very likely.

After Aereo, what's next for Internet TV?

June 26, 2014 11:51 am | by ASSociated Press | News | Comments

The Supreme Court shot down Aereo's business model this week, but that doesn't mean customers' desire for a better TV experience is gone. Industry watchers say the pay TV business must continue to evolve to win over unhappy customers, even if the nation's top court said grabbing signals from the airwaves and distributing them online without content-owner permission isn't the way.

SCTE announces new, wide-ranging energy program

June 26, 2014 11:22 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) announced this morning a new power and energy program that was designed to insure that cable operators remain competitive over the coming years. The new program is called “Energy 2020” and it’s under the auspice of the SCTE Energy Management program. Energy 2020 replaces the SCTE’s SEMI with a much more inclusive energy management program.

Google Fiber’s greatest success -- In Perspective

June 25, 2014 9:20 pm | by Brian Santo | Articles | Comments

Google’s biggest success was getting customers to redline themselves, while inducing cities that want Google Fiber to compete with each other to see who will go farthest to weaken and/or jettison regulations that involve providing services, and building and operating infrastructure.

Tuesdays with Terry -- Engineering-Wise

June 25, 2014 8:57 pm | by CED | Articles | Comments

Suddenlink CTO Terry Cordova was elected chairman of the SCTE Board of Directors at the end of 2013. We recently caught up with him for a Q&A. "We have large, complex networks that have evolved from stand-alone systems to centralized platforms riding on highly capable, efficient networks. Customers have high expectations that we must meet and exceed."

Google said to be prepping another set-top

June 25, 2014 1:13 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Google is working with several OEMs to create a market of Android-based set-top boxes to compete with other retail devices such as the Roku, Amazon's Fire TV, and Apple's Apple TV. The success these other boxes suggests there is a basis for building a business for versatile home gateways.

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