Comcast should benefit from the move toward usage-based billing for broadband. Charging by the gigabyte could encourage more households to sign up for cheap, basic tiers and start to bring in more money if wealthier households start adopting data-hungry "4K" or "Ultra HD" TV sets.
The number of U.S. homes that don't get traditional television service continues to increase, but that doesn't mean they don't have TVs. The Nielsen company said in a report that three-quarters of the estimated 5 million homes that don't get TV signals over the airways or through cable, satellite or telecommunications companies have televisions anyway.
Integration and testing vendor Tata Elxsi announced that it has licensed the Comcast Reference Design Kit in order to speed up the development of next-generation TV products. Previously announced licensees for the RDK include itaas, Entropic, Broadcom, Motorola and S3 Group.
Time Warner Cable subscribers already had access to Viacom programming via its TWC TV app, which serves up live show to computers, iOS and Android devices within a home, but now they have access to an expanded lineup of full-length episodes from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike and VH1.
Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said the agency would vote on a "detailed proposal" for implementing the auctions at the meeting, "an important step toward pioneering the world’s first incentive auctions and freeing up significant spectrum for mobile broadband."
Sigma Designs has introduced a pair of media processors that integrate HPNA connectivity for IPTV and hybrid STBs. Both media processors feature 3-D video, integrated graphics processing, video scaling, DDR3 memory support, a customizable UI and a power-efficient CPU that can deliver OTT content.
It has taken a village of vendors, but Liberty Global’s Horizon TV platform, which enables home networking, TV Everywhere services, personal recommendations and Internet applications to TVs, is now available to subscribers in the Netherlands.
The service is being jointly offered by Spanish infrastructure telecom operator Abertis Telecom and Nagra. The multi-screen hosting service is already in use by Spanish broadcasters for their HbbTV-based services and will be enhanced to become what is expected to be the world’s first commercial deployment of MPEG-DASH.
Rovi has been very, very busy. It has revised its DivX codec, which was written for file-based transfer, to support streaming, and it has arranged for Broadcom to support the upgraded DivX Plus Streaming in one of its major set-top box chips, the BCM7241.
EchoStar is now shipping three set-top models that incorporate Entropic Communications’ set-top silicon and demodulator technology. The boxes are currently being deployed at Bell Canada, Dish Mexico and Telus, one model per company: the EchoStar 6400FG (Bell Canada), the EchoStar M211HDR (Dish Mexico) and the EchoStar 6400T (Telus).
With new support for DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP), along with previous support for Smooth Streaming, HLS and HDS, network operators are now able to use SeaWell’s Spectrum software to convert all major streaming formats dynamically and deliver IP video content to any connected device.
HBO Europe is using RGB’s Video Multiprocessing Gateway (VMG) and TransAct Packager for transcoding and packaging video for its HBO Go live streaming service. The transcoded and packaged video content is delivered via Microsoft Smooth Streaming.
SCTE makes its headquarters in Exton, Pa., which is part of Comcast’s Freedom Region. The SCTE is using Comcast Business Class Ethernet and Business Class Trunks to provision advanced data and voice capabilities across multiple offices in its headquarters.
Ziggo will deploy ActiveVideo Networks’ CloudTV platform. Ziggo has begun providing interactive services on set-tops from Humax. The initial deployment will include video-on-demand (VOD) navigation and guide functionality, including enhanced search, discovery and previews.
Synacor’s Cloud ID enables consumers to authenticate, authorize and/or register, at any time or location, on any device. The new Social Login capability gives Synacor customers the flexibility to offer consumers access to online pay-TV content simultaneous with their access to social accounts such as Facebook, Twitter or Google.
Yospace is also jumping into the cloud services space, hoping to stand out by virtue of being able to provide dynamic, live ad insertion. The Yospace CSM Cloud Network is geographically diverse, which it said means loads are balanced while ensuring that end users are serviced from the Yospace servers closest to them.
Suddenlink Communications has hired former Insight Communications executive Gregg Graff as its senior vice president of sales. Graff, who will be based in Suddenlink’s St. Louis headquarters, is in charge of all of Suddenlink’s residential sales-related activities across all channels.
Cogeco Cable has expanded its relationship with Rovi by signing on to use Rovi Video, which provides metadata collections for TV shows and movies across set-top boxes, mobile devices and on the Internet. Using Rovi Video, Cogeco customers can access English and French profiles of Canadian and international celebrities.
Avail-TVN said it will provide a range of content, including studio, broadcast and cable content, providing access to live and on-demand content across multiple devices. Avail-TVN will also arrange for digital licensing and enabling technologies.
TiVo plans to integrate Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS) to protect content delivered through hybrid set-top boxes (STBs) that use TiVo’s user interface. That includes content protection for content ultimately consumed on tablets, smartphones and other browser-based devices.
Pace is taking a deeper dive into personalization by adding ThinkAnalytics’ recommendation engine into its Cobalt Media Head End and software. Recommendation engines are still somewhat of a novelty to cable operators, but ThinkAnalytics deployed its first multi-platform personalized recommendation engine years ago.
The Envivio 4Caster G4 encoding appliance for the Envivio Muse software-based encoder family offers six times the density compared to the current platform – up to 72 SD or 12 HD channels per 2RU chassis, with the potential for further future density improvements.
By integrating 4:2:2 decoding for DVB-S/S2, IP and DVB-ASI input interfaces into the ProView 7100, Harmonic said it allows content providers to cost-effectively decode SD and HD content presented as either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 AVC compressed streams with improved picture fidelity.
Amino Communications will be offering a USB Wi-Fi dongle, built around Celeno’s Wi-Fi chipsets and including software for HD multimedia home networking applications, with its A140/A540 set-top boxes. These models are designed for the retail market for IP-based services.
Assembling a network from scratch in 60 days isn’t for the faint of heart. Rarely, if ever, has it been done before on the scale of the Pac-12 Enterprises networks that will begin this month, delivering more than 850 events annually to seven linear channels, and eventually beyond.