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

Pico Digital introduces new miniCMTS

September 22, 2014 11:56 am | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Pico Digital introduced what it’s calling a miniCMTS, optimized for multi-family residential applications, private networks, and small cable providers. The company’s aim was to provide a rich feature set at a low price point. It can support up to 400 DOCSIS cable modems, DOCSIS 2.0, or a mix of 2.0 and 3.0.

FourthWall preparing set-top monitoring system

September 22, 2014 11:25 am | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Precision Diagnostics will collect a range of set-top box data, including Model Info, current status of STB, signal frequencies and signal levels, and much more, and constantly monitors equipment to make sure it's functioning correctly.

Cox names Wolfe SVP, Southwest region manager

September 19, 2014 12:17 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cox Communications announced that it has named John Wolfe as senior vice president and Southwest region manager, which is Cox’s largest region in the nation and includes Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas. Wolfe, who has logged nearly 30 years in the cable industry, came over to the Southwest from Cox's Northeast region, where he served as the senior vice president and region manager.

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Behind the curtain: How Comcast drives VOD usage

September 18, 2014 8:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | Articles | Comments

Special events like Watchathon help Comcast’s more than 20 million video subscribers drill down into its 50,000 video assets on their set-top boxes, 400,000 online assets and the 20,000 pieces of video that are available via its Xfinity Go App. The stunts also help move the TV Everywhere ball forward.

TV’s enduring mantra: Buy or die

September 18, 2014 7:31 pm | by Stewart Schley, Media & technology writer | Articles | Comments

Memory Lane: Before they started launching or buying their own cable channels in the 1990s, the Big 3 television networks were sanctimonious about an upstart medium called “cable TV.” The smugness was rooted in reality, at least for a while. The force that lavished the three networks with rich profits was scarcity.

NCTA kills off Cable Show, rebrands as INTX

September 18, 2014 12:42 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Faced with dwindling attendance over the past few years and the continued evolution of Internet technologies, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has pulled the plug on The Cable Show in favor of rebranding it as INTX. INTX, which stands for the Internet and Television Expo, will still be held on The Cable Show’s original schedule of May 5-7 next year in Chicago, but with more of an Internet focus.

Senate Commerce Committee passes satellite bill

September 17, 2014 6:48 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Senate Commerce Committee has passed STAVRA, reauthorizing satellite TV broadcast of distant signals. One of the few non-satellite provision retained prevents local TV stations from colluding when negotiating retransmission consent contracts with cable operators.

Authentication inhibiting TVE growth? Poll says: poppycock!

September 17, 2014 1:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

It is commonly held that the authentication process is so cumbersome for TV Everywhere that it is retarding the growth of TVE services. TDG says that’s simply not true. Only 7 percent of TVE users view the process of authentication negatively, with less than 1 percent ranking the process as "very difficult."

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Virgin Media tunes up 1-Gig test with ‘narrow trenching’

September 16, 2014 12:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media, which is the largest cable operator in the UK, will fire up a small 1-Gigabit trial in the Cambridgeshire village of Papworth that will feature a new trenching technique for laying fiber. Virgin Media said it would lay fiber in Papworth by using “narrow-trenching,” which it claims could reduce the cost of the network roll out by 33 percent. 

Time Warner Cable to broadcast last 6 Dodger games on local TV

September 16, 2014 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After being shut out of broadcasts of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ baseball games this season, Time Warner Cable announced that local fans would be able to watch the final six games on a local TV station. Dodgers fans were frozen out of this season’s broadcasts because other cable, telco and satellite video providers weren’t able to come to terms with Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA, which televises Dodgers games.

ViXS, Entropic drop litigation efforts

September 16, 2014 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Entropic and ViXS announced this morning that they have settled all of their legal differences, which included alleged patent violations and unfair trade practice allegations, while agreeing to cross-licensing deals that cover the patents that were at the root of the litigation. Entropic launched the first legal volley in May of last year when it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ViXS.

Rovi takes guide to the cloud

September 15, 2014 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Rovi introduced the cloud-based version of its Rovi Guide, and published a reference design for a set-top box based on Broadcom’s BCM7445 Ultra HD SoC and running Nexus-Trellis software. The cloud-based version of Rovi Guide is an HTML5-based, multi-platform media programming guide.

ONO taps into TiVo’s cloud APIs

September 15, 2014 12:20 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

ONO, the largest cable operator in Spain, will be among the first cable operators to tap into TiVo’s APIs in order to offer its subscribers improved TV Everywhere services. ONO, which was already a TiVo customer, will integrate TiVo's service capabilities into its multi-screen mobile and web applications, including search and discovery capabilities and remote PVR recording management functionality.

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Mediacom checks off two retransmission deals

September 15, 2014 12:16 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Mediacom Communications, which has been a vocal proponent for new retransmission agreement guidelines, announced this morning that it had reached new agreements with LIN TV and Vaughan Media. With LIN TV and Vaughan onboard, Mediacom has also signed retransmission consent agreements with ABC and Fox TV Holdings this year.

France bristles as Netflix advances in Europe

September 15, 2014 12:08 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix is tapping into six new markets Monday hoping to gain a big subscriber base around Europe, but is facing a frosty welcome in France. Well-established French competitors are trying to head off a Netflix wave, the government wants oversight and the cinema industry wants Netflix to invest heavily in French productions.

AT&T eyes bundle of DirecTV and 15 Mbps wireless broadband

September 12, 2014 6:54 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

If its acquisition of DirecTV is approved, AT&T plans to dedicate spectrum for a fixed wireless broadband complement to satellite TV services, according to comments AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega. He also said signaled that AT&T has no interest in building out Wi-Fi networks.

Dish, Nagra integrate security to cut off piracy

September 12, 2014 1:49 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Nagra said Dish Network is first customer to deploy its new security system, which hardwires conditional access into set-top chips. The approach should frustrate pirates who infiltrate control word networks, steal control words, then distribute them, enabling anyone to hack into content.

HBO Europe marries Go to linear TV

September 12, 2014 1:24 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

HBO Europe is delivering HBO Go to affiliates through ActiveVideo’s CloudTV StreamCast platform, an arrangement that will allow video distributors to distribute HBO Go directly to any set-top box. HBO Europe operates in 14 territories in eastern and central Europe and the Netherlands.

Elemental's Delta server takes multi-screen to new level

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

Elemental Delta is based on the company’s transcoding technology, and can be configured either as an edge server or an origin server. The system combines JIT packaging, origin services, intelligent caching, dynamic ad insertion and replacement, and end-to-end encrypted content protection functions.

Cable One adds sports surcharge to subscribers’ bills

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

Due to burgeoning sports programming costs, Cable One has added a monthly sports surcharge of $2.94 across its footprint. The surcharge, which will take effect in the next billing cycle, impacts all residential standard cable tier subscribers.

TiVo stretches sales reach in Europe

September 12, 2014 12:10 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

TiVo has strengthened its sales team in Europe with new offices and staff in Austria, England, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The new offices will help TiVo better serve its European customers, which include ComHen in Sweden, Ono in Spain, and Virgin Media in the UK.

CTIA: Mobile drives new levels of sports engagement

September 12, 2014 12:00 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The consensus at the CTIA Day 3 sports panel discussion is that mobile is fundamentally changing how sports fans experience the game. Andrea Kremer, chief correspondent for the NFL Network, spoke with Colin Smith, managing director of digital media at NASCAR; John Kosner, executive vice president of digital and print media at ESPN, among others.

Thomson's new transcoder based on Intel QSV

September 11, 2014 1:26 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Thomson said it collaborated directly with Intel on a new product in its ViBE line, the ViBE XT1000 Xtream Transcoder. The XT1000 employs Thomson’s own Mustang video encoding algorithms and is based on Intel’s Iris Pro Graphics 5200 and Core i7 processors.

Reach for the cloud: ActiveVideo joins RDK

September 11, 2014 12:46 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cloud vendor ActiveVideo has joined the cable industry’s Reference Design Kit (RDK) initiative, which would provide a virtual bridge between devices and cloud-based user interfaces, applications and services. ActiveVideo will integrate its Nano Client software into the RDK common framework for testing. 

Comcast provisions Xfinity On Campus with CSG

September 11, 2014 12:42 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

CSG announced this morning that it was providing the content monetization and management platform for Comcast’s Xfinity On Campus service. After several years of trials, Comcast officially launched the IP-based Xfinity on Campus service last month. The service allows college students to watch live TV and VOD content on their IP-enabled devices, including, laptops, tablets and smartphones while on campus.

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