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

Samsung reveals potential for smart TVs to eavesdrop

February 10, 2015 12:13 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Watch what you say in your living room. Samsung's smart TV could be listening. And sharing. Voice recognition technology in the South Korean company's Internet connected TVs captures and transmits nearby conversations. 

Netflix launching in Cuba

February 9, 2015 1:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Only about 27 percent of Cuba's population currently has access to the Internet, according to Internet Live Stats, which uses information from the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations and the World Bank to estimate the world's Internet users.

Sling TV available to everyone, adds AMC Networks

February 9, 2015 12:28 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

As of today, Sling TV’s cord-cutting service is open for business to everyone, and it also announced that AMC Networks has joined its roster of content providers. Sling TV, a subsidiary of Dish, started out as an invitation-only offering when it was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month.

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Calix helps deliver Alabama’s first gigabit service

February 9, 2015 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Calix has lit up the state of Alabama’s first 1-gigabit service through a deal with Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative (FTC.) After launching last week, FTC, which is Alabama's largest member-owned telephone cooperative, is providing symmetrical 1-gig speeds to customers in DeKalb and Jackson counties.

Apple exploring an over the top TV service

February 6, 2015 12:52 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Apple is reportedly reviving discussions with programmers about creating a streaming TV service. The company is in early stages of negotiations with programmers about securing rights to content, and has been demonstrating the ability to deliver TV, according to re/code.

Texas two-step: TWC Maxx rolls into Dallas area

February 6, 2015 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable has started notifying its subscribers in Dallas and surrounding areas that its TWC Maxx project, which includes the conversion to all-digital, will soon be underway. By early summer of this year, those Dallas area subscribers will be able to tap into speeds of up to 300 Mbps down with the reclaimed bandwidth from the analog-to-digital conversion.

Bright House Networks delivers BabyFirst programming

February 6, 2015 12:04 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

BabyFirst, which is a TV channel targeted at toddlers and their parents, has launched on Bright House Networks, the nation’s sixth-largest cable operator. The launch added 2.5 million Bright House Networks customers in Detroit, Indianapolis, Central Florida, Tampa, Birmingham and Bakersfield to BabyFirst’s distribution, which now stands at more than 50 million U.S. homes, in English and, via SAP, Spanish.

Chunghwa using Envivio encoders to test 4K streaming

February 5, 2015 1:54 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Chunghwa Telecom will be using Envivio’s Muse Ultra HD software to support two modes of 4K HEVC delivery to a wide range of devices: video-on-demand content delivered via unicast transfer, and NVOD through multicast to HwaCom set-top boxes.

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Video, data, advertising fuel Charter’s fourth quarter results

February 5, 2015 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Charter Communications’ fourth quarter results were driven by robust video and advertising revenues, and a continued increase in data subscribers. Charter’s residential video subscribers grew by 3,000, as opposed to a loss of 2,000 a year ago, while it added 104,000 high-speed Internet customers in the quarter.

Netflix heads to Japan

February 5, 2015 12:13 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix is expanding into Japan this fall, marking the first time that the Internet video service will be available in Asia. The move announced late Wednesday marks another step toward reaching Netflix's goal to stream video on Internet-connected TVs, phones, tablets and computer throughout the world.

Report: Service provider router market to top $11.5 billon in 2019

February 4, 2015 12:57 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

According to a recently published report by Dell’Oro Group, the global service provider market is projected to top $11.5 billion in four years. The service provider market includes core and edge routers while the report also examined the enterprise router market.

Comcast, Charter bottom dwellers of Harris reputation poll

February 4, 2015 12:53 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | Blogs | Comments

In the 16th annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study that was released today, Charter Communications and Comcast ranked 92nd and 93rd, respectively out of the 100 companies on the list. Given Comcast’s slate of customer service debacles, including the news last week that a customer’s name was changed to “A**hole Brown” on his bill, it’s no surprise to see it near the bottom.

It's official: the FCC intends to reclassify broadband

February 4, 2015 12:49 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

In order to enforce network neutrality, the FCC will propose reclassifying broadband under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler plans to raise network neutrality principles from general tenets to explicit rules, and he intends to include mobile broadband for the first time.

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Sony trims full-year loss forecast to $1.4 billion

February 4, 2015 12:44 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Sony Corp. trimmed its forecast of losses and gave a figure for damages from the Sony Pictures hack, but said it would suffer no significant harm from the cyberattack in the long run. The entertainment and electronics giant delayed the announcement of its earnings for the October-December quarter because the hack affected its ability to compile its complete results in time.

Suddenlink adds Rodriguez's El Rey channel

February 3, 2015 2:00 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Suddenlink has added the El Rey Network in some of its markets. El Rey Network is an English-language general entertainment channel founded by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, and features “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” and the Lucha Libre wrestling series “Lucha Underground.”

Time Warner Cable boots up Denver data center

February 3, 2015 1:11 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable flipped the “on” switch to its $85 million National Data Center West facility near Denver over the weekend. Time Warner Cable first broke ground on expanding the national data center, which is located in the Denver suburb of Centennial, in June, 2013. 

DLNA certifies first wave of trick mode products

February 3, 2015 1:00 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

The Digital Living Network Alliance (DSLNA) has certified the first wave of products from its members that support its trick mode specifications. The trick mode video specs, which include the support of fast-forward, re-wind and frame-by-frame function, are a mandatory feature of DLNA’s interoperability guidelines.

FCC preparing to void laws barring muni broadband

February 2, 2015 1:00 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

The FCC is said to be developing a plan to curtail or even void state laws that prohibit municipal broadband. The indications are accumulating that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler isn’t backing off on any of his threats to bring the communications industry to heel.

Sling TV recruits Univision to OTT roster

February 2, 2015 12:44 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications will be joining Sling TV’s OTT lineup after the two companies struck a deal that included multi-stream rights for live and VOD content. The terms of the agreement included the flagship Univision Network, UniMás, UDN (Univision Deportes Network), Galavisión, El Rey Network, Bandamax, De Película, as well as Univision and UniMás broadcast stations nationwide.

Comcast pushes TWC merger date back to August

January 30, 2015 1:40 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Barring delays, Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable would have been completed by February. But there have been delays. Squabbles among companies who are party to the review, about who can see what documents in the proceeding, have repeatedly delayed the review process.

Nickelodeon going direct to consumer too

January 29, 2015 2:30 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

What's not yet known is whether this offering will be the same channel as what cable and satellite TV subscribers now get, similar to the services planned by HBO, ESPN, and CBS.  It's possible the service will have just supplemental content or archives of past shows when it launches in March.

Why cable objects to broadband being 25 Mbps

January 29, 2015 1:55 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | Blogs | Comments

MSOs are now providing broadband rates far in excess of the proposed new minimum, but the cable industry insists that’s not the point. The speed definition of broadband is intrinsically tied into the network neutrality debate, which is tightly intertwined with the argument about how to classify broadband. (updated Jan. 30 to include ACA comment)

Time Warner Cable improves subscriber metrics in 4Q

January 29, 2015 12:40 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable had some positive news to report in what may be its last earnings report before being consumed by Comcast later this year. In the fourth quarter, the nation’s second-largest cable operator reported its best quarterly subscriber numbers in seven years, which included the loss of just 38,000 basic video subscribers, which was less than analysts had projected.

WOW! Business adds fiber in Chicago to serve 38 downtown buildings

January 29, 2015 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

WOW! Business has purchased fiber conduit in Chicago to better serve 38 downtown buildings. The fiber conduit runs along Wacker Drive in the downtown Chicago central business district and will enable WOW! to offer its triple play and cloud computing services in the area.

CBS, Bell Media reach deal on Showtime in Canada

January 29, 2015 12:28 pm | by Mike Robuck, @CEDmagazine | News | Comments

Multimedia provider Bell Media and CBS inked a long-term content licensing and trademark agreement for Showtime in Canada, which brought the Showtime brand to Canada for the first time. The Showtime programming will be available across Bell Media platforms in English and French, including its new premium TV streaming service, CraveTV, as well as its pay television service, The Movie Network (TMN.)

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