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

Viacom blacked out on Cable One

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

In the middle of a standoff on carriage fees, the cable operator has removed its Viacom lineup. Cable One is threatening to just let the Viacom channels go. The company noted that its customers have been requesting other channels, including BBC America, Sprout, The Blaze, Hallmark Channel, National Geographic, Investigation Discovery, TV One, Sundance and others.

Akamai works with Aspera to accelerate file transfer

April 1, 2014 1:09 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Aspera Upload Acceleration option integrates Aspera’s FASP transfer technology directly into Akamai’s NetStorage cloud-based online storage platform. The integrated system will significantly increase upload transfer speeds, with no need for customers to re-architect the workflow or build custom API calls.

FCC bans broadcaster collusion in retrans negotiations

March 31, 2014 1:31 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC issued two key decisions today, one that prohibits broadcast stations from joining together in retransmission consent negotiations, the other opening another 100 MHz of spectrum for Wi-Fi applications. Under the new regulations, two or more separately owned Top-4 broadcasters in the same market would be prohibited from banding to negotiate retrans deals.

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Conax integrates with Anevia

March 28, 2014 1:51 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Conax and Anevia have integrated the latter’s video streaming and CDN solutions with the the former’s Contego Unite content protection platform. The two said the combined system simplifies the ability to roll out over the top (OTT) services.

Viacom demanding 100% increases in carriage fees

March 28, 2014 1:16 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The programmer is playing hardball as it negotiates carriage fees with cable operators all across the country, in some cases demanding rate increases variously described as being more than 100 percent and as being 40 times the rate of inflation. By one estimate, there are nearly 700 small cable operators, representing roughly 5 million customers, in confrontations with Viacom.

Casa Systems adds upstream module for CMTS

March 27, 2014 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The new DOCSIS 3.1 upstream module supports the full spectrum in the upstream direction from 5 Mhz up to 100 Mhz, and has four times the processing power of its predecessor. It delivers 8 channels per port for a total of 128 channels per module. 

Bright House Networks tops customer experience rating; Comcast last

March 27, 2014 12:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

For the third straight year, Bright House Networks came out on top of a survey that was based on customer experience. On the other hand, Comcast finished at the bottom of the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings, which was conducted for the fourth year by the Temkin Group.

Report: Dish, DirecTV engage in merger talks

March 27, 2014 11:57 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of satellite TV companies Dish and DirecTV surged in midday trading Wednesday after a report said that Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen had contacted DirecTV CEO Mike White about merging. Bloomberg News reported Ergen initiated the discussion in response to Comcast Corp.'s pending $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc., which was announced last month. The news service cited several unnamed sources.

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Comcast uncoiling Viper across video services

March 26, 2014 6:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

Comcast started developing its organically grown Viper platform several years ago as a way to build a cloud-based, IP video infrastructure that would deliver live streams, full linear lineups, on-demand video, cloud DVR service and other digital video products and services to the full range of IP devices.

HEVC: Coming Soon to a Device Near You

March 26, 2014 3:19 pm | by Kanaan Jemili, SVP, Product Management, Rovi | Articles | Comments

Content producers don’t want to invest in the technology needed to create HEVC programming without a significant installed base of HEVC-capable playback devices. And hardware manufacturers don’t want to invest in HEVC players until there’s more HEVC content. One way to break the stalemate and drive adoption of HEVC is to go direct to consumers – to make available software that includes HEVC creation and playback support.

TiVo locks up deal with WaveDivision

March 26, 2014 12:54 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

TiVo has notched another customer win by announcing a deal with WaveDivision Holdings, which offers triple play services through its Wave Broadband and Astound brands. WaveDivision is going all in with TiVo on a co-branded version of its whole-home DVR platform, which is slated to go live mid-year. 

Nagra/Kudelski buying Conax

March 26, 2014 12:50 pm | by CED | News | Comments

The Swiss group is buying Conax for roughly $256 million. Nagra/Kudelski said Conax will fit in with the company’s portfolio of products for service providers, including its OpenTV5 middleware, multiscreen/OTT solutions and SmarDTV’s advanced conditional access modules.

Cox Media takes geographic-based ads for a trial spin

March 26, 2014 12:46 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Working with Invidi Technologies, Cox Media has started addressable advertising trials that target viewers by their geographic locations. The two companies said they have entered into an “exploratory agreement” to measure the effectiveness of addressable advertising delivered according to specific viewer geographic, demographic, and other pre-determined viewer qualifiers.

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Facebook buying virtual-reality company for $2B

March 26, 2014 12:39 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Facebook is buying virtual reality company Oculus, betting $2 billion that its technology will become a new way for people to communicate, learn or be entertained. Irvine, California-based Oculus VR Inc. makes the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that's received a lot of attention from video game developers. 

New Products: Fairview Microwave, CSG Systems

March 25, 2014 8:08 pm | Articles | Comments

Fairview Microwave recently launched a new line of armored coaxial test cables, which were designed to withstand the rigors of continued field and production line testing. | CSG International an-nounced the recent worldwide launch of its new cyber security platform, which was designed for the enterprise security sector.

Engineering-wise: NextGen Digital Video over NextGen DOCSIS

March 25, 2014 7:54 pm | by Daniel Howard, CTO, SCTE | Articles | Comments

Modern cable networks provide dynamic digital video transport that is a mix of linear, switched, and on-demand MPEG2 transport streams, as well as multicast, narrowcast and unicast IP video streams carried over DOCSIS, Wi-Fi, or carrier Ethernet.

House Committee passes STELA version enabling broadcaster "collusion"

March 25, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology passed a version of the STELA act that explicitly allows broadcasters to band together in negotiations with MVPDs, a maneuver that the FCC is in the process of trying to bar, and which the ACA has explicitly called “collusion.”

Charter Media to cut ribbon on new production facility in Wis.

March 25, 2014 11:35 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

On Thursday Charter Media will open the doors on its new production facility in Madison, Wis. To mark the occasion, Charter will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Madison Chamber of Commerce. Charter Media is the sales division of Charter Communications.

Liberty Global’s Warga to join SCTE’s board

March 25, 2014 11:31 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Liberty Global’s Bill Warga will add an international flavor to the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ board of directors when he joins in September. Warga, vice president, technology and a member of the chief architecture group for Liberty Global, will replace Time Warner Cable’s Mike LaJoie.

Disney to buy YouTube video producer Maker Studios

March 25, 2014 11:19 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Disney said Monday that it is buying YouTube channel operator Maker Studios for $500 million as the family entertainment giant seeks to stay in front of younger viewers who are increasingly watching short videos online. It's the latest and largest acquisition of a YouTube channel network by a major Hollywood studio and represents another vote of confidence in the video service as an incubator of talent.

Memory Lane: Will the circle be unbroken?

March 24, 2014 7:26 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Articles | Comments

If you slice through the snake of black cable that connects to your TV set and peer directly into the exposed innards, you’ll see a circle. Inside it, at the center, is a conductor, which in turn is shielded by insulating material and surrounded by a concentric outer conductor. You’re staring at an essential enabler of the modern telecommunications revolution: coaxial cable.

Sense and Copyrightability

March 24, 2014 6:42 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

The fact that OTA broadcast stations are also carried on cable systems is thoroughly and absolutely irrelevant to Aereo – Cablevision is absolutely irrelevant to Aereo, and even if five Supreme Court Justices disagree I still won’t buy the argument.

Apple-Comcast! Hurry! Everybody Over-React!

March 24, 2014 1:20 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

This ends up being less than The WSJ makes it out to be… at first. After paragraphs and paragraphs of speculation, the paper reports that Apple is asking for an arrangement Comcast has no doubt already laughed off, assuming the report has all the details.

Bright House Networks rebrands commercial services division

March 24, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks has re-branded its business services division as Bright House Networks Enterprise Solutions. The former name was Bright House Networks Business Solutions, but Bright House said in a press release that the premise for the new name was “we’re wired differently.”

Aurora Networks bows new transmitter system

March 24, 2014 12:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Aurora Networks took the wraps off of a new transmitter system that was designed to reduce power consumption for DOCSIS 3.1 services. Aurora Networks said the HT3300H Series Double-Density 1310 nm Transmitter System also included 1.2 GHZ transmitters and featured high rack density. 

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