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

S3 Group sets up shop in Philly

April 23, 2014 12:30 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Video test and validation platform vendor S3 Group will open the doors on a new office in Philadelphia to better serve its East Coast customers. Dublin-based S3 Group also has an office in San Jose, but the Philly office puts it closer to Comcast, which is headquartered in Philadelphia, Videotron and Time Warner Cable. 

The Aereo arguments, from inside the Supreme Court chambers

April 22, 2014 1:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can side with broadcasters in a copyright challenge to an Internet startup company without threatening the burgeoning world of cloud computing. Several justices expressed concern that a ruling for the broadcasters could hamper the continuing development of cloud computing, which gives users access to a vast online computer network that stores and processes information.

AT&T signals intent to become OTT power

April 22, 2014 1:36 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T and the Chernin Group (which owns Crunchyroll) have formed a joint venture to “acquire, invest in and launch over-the-top (OTT) video services.” The companies are committing $500 million toward the effort. To that end the companies plan to invest in advertising and subscription-based VOD as well as streaming.

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Sochi golden for Comcast’s 1Q; X1 reducing churn

April 22, 2014 1:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The numbers are in: Comcast CEO and chairman Brian Roberts said the company’s X1 platform reduced “voluntary” churn by 20 percent to 30 percent relative to its broader base in the first quarter. Overall, Comcast is dropping 15,000 to 20,000 X1 boxes, which are being provided by Pace and Humax, a day into customers’ homes, which doubled its deployment rate from six months ago.

Cognizant buys itaas

April 22, 2014 12:28 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Giant IT company Cognizant has purchased privately-held itaas for an undisclosed amount, expanding its reach into the cable industry. Cognizant expects itaas expertise can be brought to bear to support other industries such as banking, retail, and healthcare.

AT&T lines up 21 potential markets for 1 Gbps U-verse

April 21, 2014 1:49 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The new candidate metropolitan areas include: Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Oakland, Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, San Francisco, and San Jose.

TiVo report: Networks lose out with C3 ratings

April 21, 2014 12:48 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

With the advertising upfront season looming, TiVo released a report this morning that said the top-10 “season pass” programs lost $88 million in ad revenue due to the current C3 ratings system. By switching to C7, which would provide commercial ratings for live viewing plus an additional seven days instead of three, ratings and revenue would increase by 5 percent to 17 percent, according to TiVo.

Alticast to get up close and personal at Cable Show

April 21, 2014 12:45 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Alticast will be showing a range of technologies at The Cable Show next week that address the increased demand for personalized video services. Demonstrations include the company’s “set-top box on a stick” HDMI Media Express as well as several boxes that were built using the Reference Design Kit and Alticast’s integrated HTML5-based application framework technology.

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Will Aereo fly? Broadcasters' copyright challenge to TV over Internet reaches Supreme Court

April 21, 2014 12:36 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The entertainment conglomerates that own U.S. television networks are waging a legal fight, culminating in Tuesday's Supreme Court argument against a startup business that uses Internet-based technology to give subscribers the ability to watch programs anywhere they can take portable devices. The source of the companies' worry is Aereo Inc.

Birch Communications buying Cbeyond for $323M

April 21, 2014 12:31 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Birch Communications Inc. is buying technology and communications equipment provider Cbeyond for about $323 million. Cbeyond announced in November that it was considering its strategic options. Its shares surged on word of the deal.

Review: Tablo a nifty little over-the-air HDTV system

April 19, 2014 2:24 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

The Tablo is a nifty little item that lets you play over-the-air signals on your tablet. You can watch live, or record in advance and watch later. You can choose to record specific episodes, new episodes of a series, or an entire series. You can take your device anywhere, connect to the Internet, and you have access to your Tablo, including everything you’ve got stored on your disk drive. 

Arris snaps up SeaWell Networks

April 18, 2014 3:20 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In the first deal since it completed the Motorola Home acquisition a year ago, Arris announced Friday that it had bought SeaWell Networks for an undisclosed sum. Arris said it would be integrating SeaWell’s adaptive bit rate (ABR) technology and “talent” into its Network & Cloud business.

Aereo CEO speaks on future of company, industry

April 18, 2014 1:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The future of Aereo hinges on a case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court next week. Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia discusses how the Internet and IP networking are affecting the fundamentals of the TV business, and how the Supreme Court decision is important because for Aereo there is no "Plan B." 

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Viewers binge on Comcast’s latest Watchathon Week

April 18, 2014 12:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast said this year’s edition of its Xfinity Watchathon Week set records for VOD consumption with 61 million views and 50 million hours of spend binging. This year’s binge viewing fest ran from March 31 through April 6 and included a record setting day on April 5 with nearly 11 million hours of viewing for the biggest day ever for Comcast’s VOD service. 

A-L to upgrade Elisa's IP/MPLS network

April 17, 2014 1:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Finnish mobile and fixed broadband service provider Elisa has contracted with Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade its IP/MPLS network for greater broadband capacity. A-L said it will also supply a full set of services: installation and commissioning, lifecycle program management, operations support and consulting, migration of network elements and services.

Vodafone Netherlands working with Entone

April 16, 2014 1:38 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Vodafone Netherlands is partnering with Entone and its systems integration partner, Divitel, to support TV services on its fiber to the home (FTTH) network in the Netherlands. Vodafone’s Thuis service offers a number of television features including Pause Live TV (PLTV), along with a video on demand (VOD) library from public broadcasters, HBO, Videoland, and many others.

Multichoice taps Clearleap for multi-screen management

April 16, 2014 1:14 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The African pay-TV provider, which operates services in sub-Saharan Africa, will use the Clearleap products to manage its library of premium live and on-demand video content, then distribute and monetize it across VOD, web portals, apps and more.

Nagra provides Dish, EchoStar multi-screen protection

April 16, 2014 12:49 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Dish Network and EchoStar have expanded their security partnership with Nagra to include digital rights management (DRM) for multi-screen services. Dish and EchoStar have deployed the Nagra MediaLive Player (NMP) with Nagra’s MediaAccess Persistent Rights Management (PRM) technology, which is Nagra’s studio-approved DRM solution, to enable and secure the Dish Anywhere multi-screen VOD service.

Dish to refund $2M to Washington state customers

April 16, 2014 12:30 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for a surcharge officials called deceptive, but the satellite TV provider denied wrongdoing in the agreement announced Tuesday by the state attorney general's office. The Colorado-based company also will give existing customers who were charged the fee cash credit or access to free programming and pay the state nearly $570,000.

Time Warner Cable develops first RDK-based box with Humax

April 15, 2014 12:55 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable used the Reference Design Kit (RDK) to create its first IP set-top box that features its cloud-based navigator. Time Warner Cable said the new box, which is being built by South Korean manufacturer Humax, would be deployed in select markets by the end of this year.

BHN teams up with CNSG on new channel partner program

April 15, 2014 12:49 pm | News | Comments

Bright House Networks signed a strategic channel partnership agreement with Converged Network Services group (CNSG), which is a telecommunications and data center consulting firm and master agent based in Charlotte, N.C. As a Bright House Networks Channel Partner, CNSG’s network of sub-agents and partners will now be able to offer the company’s voice, Internet, and advanced managed services.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

April 14, 2014 1:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Data released Monday by Netflix Inc. showed Comcast delivered its video at an average rate of 2.5 megabits per second during March. That was a 66 percent increase from a recent low of 1.51 megabits per second in January.

DECE okays Nagra's DRM for UltraViolet devices

April 14, 2014 12:53 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem has approved Nagra’s digital rights management system to protect the streaming of premium SD and HD content to open devices for its UltraViolet streaming service. DECE had previously approved Nagra’s DRM, Nagra MediaAccess Persistent Rights Management, for streaming to closed devices.

CTAM jumpstarts ‘tv everywhere’ campaign

April 14, 2014 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In an effort to increase subscribers’ use and awareness of multi-screen services, CTAM announced this morning that it had kicked off its “tv everywhere” campaign. After research by a committee of 20 cable operators and marketers, CTAM’s board approved the action plan, which included a new logo and the use of the “tv everywhere” (tve) brand.

Field Museum in Chicago upgrades speed with Comcast Business

April 14, 2014 12:25 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Field Museum in Chicago recently upgraded its data services to a 1Gbps Ethernet connection from Comcast Business. The additional bandwidth allows museum goers to interact with collections, content and exhibits while giving the museum’s staff a faster connection for file transfers and other business uses. 

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