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

Arris goes to market with OTT/linear platform

July 21, 2014 12:05 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Arris teamed up with Wurl to debut a new open platform for cable operators that blends over-the-top (OTT) content with traditional programming services on Arris’ set-top boxes. Arris Market, which is part of Arris’ Whole Home Solution, is standards-based and comes with an HTML5 interface that integrates OTT content with linear content.

Comcast scores SEC Network deal with ESPN

July 18, 2014 12:50 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

With less than one month left until the SEC Network kicks off its college football coverage, ESPN and Comcast announced this morning that a deal had been reached. Striking a deal with the nation’s largest cable operator and ISP is a watershed moment for the SEC Network, but it still needs to sign off on deals with Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV, among others.

RCN now offering Showtime Anytime to subscribers

July 18, 2014 12:45 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RCN is now serving up Showtime Anytime’s TV Everywhere video content for free to its authenticated subscribers. Showtime Anytime is provisioned across PCs, tablets, smartphones, Xbox 360 game consoles and Roku devices across the nation to RCN subscribers of Showtime. Showtime Anytime also includes the live broadcast of both the East and West Coast feeds of Showtime.

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Ericsson 2Q beats street, posts $394M profit

July 18, 2014 12:38 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Ericsson today posted a second quarter profit of $394 million despite curtailing LTE rollouts by major North American carriers. Revenue for the quarter came in at just over $8 billion, which beat analyst expectations. In a press release, the Swedish equipment maker said sales in the quarter were mainly driven by continued capacity projects in North America and growth in the Middle East, China and India. 

Liberty Global buys a stake in BSkyB’s ITV

July 17, 2014 12:41 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Liberty Global announced today that it was buying a 6.4 percent stake in British broadcaster ITV from BSkyB for 481 million pounds, or $824 million. Liberty Global said in its press release that it didn’t intend to make an offer to acquire all of ITV, but reserved the right to do so if circumstances warranted it.

Fox's bid for Time Warner sparks content merger race

July 17, 2014 12:32 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Even though Rupert Murdoch's $76 billion bid for rival media giant Time Warner Inc. has been rejected, that doesn't mean the change sweeping through the TV and film industries will stop any time soon. The cash-and-stock bid by Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. was partly meant to counter consolidation among U.S. TV distributors like Comcast-Time Warner Cable and AT&T-DirecTV. 

Comcast red faced by customer service rep

July 16, 2014 12:47 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Comcast is apologizing after a tech-savvy California customer posted eight minutes of telephone conversation online in which he tried repeatedly to get a customer service representative to disconnect his service. The customer, Ryan Block, succeeds in getting the unidentified Comcast rep to agree to disconnect his service, but only after the rep repeatedly asks Block for a reason. 

Sling Media unveils 2 devices for out-of-home TV

July 16, 2014 12:43 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Sling Media, the maker of devices that let people watch their cable channels while traveling, is trying to become more relevant in the living room. Traditionally, Sling's strength has been in so-called place shifting. Sling is trying to change that with a model announced Tuesday. 

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Rejected Fox bid for Time Warner shows growth mood

July 16, 2014 12:39 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Though rejected, a surprise bid by Rupert Murdoch's Fox for entertainment rival Time Warner underscores that large media companies are in the mood for major consolidation. Time Warner Inc., which owns the Warner Bros. movie studio and TV channels such as TNT, TBS and HBO, said Wednesday that it rejected the deal and had no interest in further discussions. 

Cisco’s Lloyd, Liberty Global Fries to speak at Cable-Tec Expo

July 15, 2014 1:05 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cisco’s Rob Lloyd and Liberty Global’s Mike Fries have been added to the list of featured speakers for the Denver edition of SCTE Cable-Tec Expo Sept. 22-25. Lloyd, president, development and sales for Cisco, will be on center stage on Sept. 23 at Expo while Liberty Global president and CEO Fries will follow on Sept. 24.

Buckeye, Sinclair break 7-month retrans impasse

July 15, 2014 1:00 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After a seven-month long standoff, Buckeye CableSystem viewers can now watch NBC again after a new agreement was reached with Sinclair Broadcast Group. According to The Toledo Blade, which, like Buckeye, is owned by Block Communications, the new two-year agreement was reached yesterday.

Envivio putting on the hits in 4K for French music channel

July 15, 2014 12:56 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

French broadcaster TDF is using Envivio’s 4K Ultra HD compression technology to test a broadcast of the NRJ Hits music channel in 4K. From the Eiffel Tower in Paris, NRJ Hits, which is a leading French music channel, is distributed over the national digital terrestrial television (DTT) service.

Epix reaches carriage agreement with AT&T

July 14, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Thanks to a new carriage agreement, AT&T is now distributing Epix’s movies and original programming to its U-verse subscribers. AT&T has added Epix, Epix 2, Epix 3 and Epix Drive-In to its channel lineup, and is offering a free preview of Epix that will run from July 25-27.

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Cox doles out promotions to Woisard, Richter, others

July 14, 2014 12:11 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

This month Cox Communications promoted Leigh Woisard and George Richter—the company’s top execs for communications and supply chain, respectively—to senior vice president positions. Woisard was promoted to senior vice president of corporate communications and public affairs while Richter was upped to senior vice president of supply chain management.

Cogeco's decision to drop IPTV project cuts profit

July 11, 2014 1:30 pm | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

Cogeco Cable has abandoned an IPTV project after failing to meet performance expectations, resulting in a Q3 writedown. Instead, the Canadian operator will roll out a TiVo-based service to subscribers in Quebec and Ontario within the next year, similar to that offered by subsidiary Atlantic Broadband. 

Cineplex Store moves to Deluxe multi-screen delivery

July 11, 2014 12:34 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company has contracted wth Deluxe OnDemand to power its video-on-demand service, the Cineplex Store. Cineplex’s online subscribers will be able to stream or download content to iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows 8-supported devices.

TWC, Tennis Channel serve up U.S. Open contest

July 11, 2014 12:10 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable subscribers can enter a contest to win a VIP trip to the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in early September. Two grand-prize winners can win a five-day trip to New York for two to watch U.S. Open Tennis action in Flushing, New York.

Aereo: We're a cable company

July 11, 2014 12:04 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Aereo, the television-over-the-Internet service that suspended operations after the Supreme Court ruled against it, is refusing to disband for good. The company is now using the Supreme Court's own language to force broadcasters to treat it just like a cable TV company. In Aereo's view, that means broadcasters must license their signals to Aereo under a 1976 copyright law.

LG Display unveils 18-inch flexible display

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

LG Display Co. has developed an 18-inch flexible display that can be rolled into the shape of a thin cylinder, a step toward making a large display for flexible TVs. The South Korean display panel maker said Friday the flexible display has a resolution of 1200 pixels by 810 pixels and maintains its function when it is rolled up.

FTC sues Amazon over kids' app charges

July 11, 2014 11:49 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon over charges that the company has not done enough to prevent children from making unauthorized in-app purchases, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court. The move had been expected since last week, when Amazon said it wouldn't settle with the FTC over the charges. 

Comcast Business wraps up Choice hospitality deal

July 9, 2014 3:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Choice Hotels International has picked Comcast Business as a qualified vendor for its triple play service offerings. Choice Hotels has more than 5,000 franchises located across the nation including brands such as Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Hotels & Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend Hotels.

Cox scores deal with SEC Networks

July 9, 2014 3:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

With a little over a month left before the kickoff of the SEC Network, ESPN announced it had reached a carriage agreement with Cox Communications. Southeastern Conference college sports action will be available on multiple platforms and across Cox’s entire footprint when it launches. Aug. 14.

Buckeye Cablesystem's parent buys MSO in Mississippi

July 9, 2014 12:54 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Block Communications is buying MetroCast, which it will operate as a subsidiary. The combination of MetroCast and Buckeye Cablesystem would give Block control of roughly 176,000 subscribers. Metrocast is in the midst of an upgrade to all-digital.

Comcast to kick off ‘People’s Hotlist’ voting campaign next week

July 9, 2014 12:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has come up with yet another way of engaging customers across its vast VOD library with next week’s kick off of “The People’s Hot list on Xfinity On Demand” campaign, which allows subscribers to vote for their favorite summer movies and shows. July 14 Comcast will post a mashup of the 200 "must-see" movies and TV shows from this summer.

Charter bows 55 new Latino channels in New England

July 9, 2014 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Communications recently added its Latin View video tier in its New England footprint. With the addition of Latin View, Charter subscribers now have access to 55 digital channels, including 15 in HD, comprised of news, movies, sports, family and children’s programs from Mexico, Latin America and Spain. 

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