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

Vubiquity to open up digital storefront at Independent Show

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

Vubiquity will open the virtual doors to its digital storefront at next week’s Independent Show in Kansas City, Mo. The Vubiquity Digital Storefront allows cable operators to offer a range of multi-platform video services, including linear TV streaming, SVOD, electronic sell-through (EST) and support for the Ultraviolet digital rights locker system.

FourthWall Media scores another patent

July 24, 2014 12:09 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

FourthWall Media, which provides cable set-top box viewing data to service providers, announced that the U.S. Patent office had approved a patent for its Ad Widgets interactive advertising platform. FourthWall said the technology allows cable operators, or any distributor of interactive television commercials, to deploy new interactive ad units without the need for testing each individual interactive spot.

FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless

July 24, 2014 12:06 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Leaders at the FX network are trying something new: They're no longer talking publicly about how their programs do on opening night, believing those numbers don't accurately reflect how many people see their shows. Instead, they're waiting a few days to see how many people catch up via time shifting.

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Rogers Communications posts lower Q2 net earnings on flat revenues

July 24, 2014 11:58 am | by The Canadian Press | News | Comments

Rogers Communications Inc. has reported a lower second-quarter net income of $405 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, while the telecom company struggled to add more wireless customers. Net profit was down 24 per cent from $532 million, or 93 cents, in the same quarter of 2013.

House authorizes death of CableCard

July 23, 2014 4:52 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. House of Representatives has reauthorized STELA. The cable industry had hoped to tack on provisions to reform retransmission consent rules, but the House declined. But the House did include language to end separable security requirements. In other words, the House has agreed to let the loathed CableCard die.

UPC Hungary establishes cloud-based app store

July 23, 2014 1:02 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

UPC Hungary has followed its rollout of TV apps a few weeks ago by creating its own app store. The key for UPC Hungary is that by relying on a cloud-based delivery mechanism, it has been able to accomplish all of this without having to swap out any of its non-IP set-top boxes.

Service Electric slings live, recorded content with Arris

July 23, 2014 12:44 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cable pioneer Service Electric TV and Communications picked Arris to enable its whole home DVR platform that streams live and recorded content throughout the home and on the go. Service Electric is using Arris’ Whole Home Media platform, and its subscribers also have the option to buy the Sling-media based Arris MS400 Media Streamer in order to stream live and DVR content to their mobile devices. 

Charter Business offers to pay early termination fees

July 23, 2014 12:40 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Charter Business is going after small businesses in its footprint by offering to buy out the early termination fees that are associated with switching to the cable operator. The buyout allows businesses that are locked into contracts to make the switch to Charter Business without bearing the brunt of the termination fees.

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Javaid boards Rovi as SVP of discovery

July 23, 2014 12:36 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Rovi has tabbed Omar Javaid as its senior vice president of discovery. As head of the newly created discovery business group, Javaid is responsible for Rovi’s discovery product offerings from concept to customer delivery and oversees multiple areas across the group – from engineering, architecture and user experience to product lifecycle management (PLM), program management and product marketing. 

NCTC: A big year for programming rights

July 22, 2014 8:57 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Tier 2 and Tier 3 network operators are heading to Kansas City to learn the latest about TV everywhere, the migration to IP, and customer experience management, but programming issues are likely to be top of mind. “I can say unequivocally that this year, 2014, is the most significant year we’ve ever had from a programming contract standpoint,” said Frank Hughes, SVP of Member Services at NCTC.

Digital ad insertion coming into reach for all

July 22, 2014 6:09 pm | by Craig Kuhl, contributing editor | News | Comments

DAI allows network operators to deliver targeted, addressable ads. It is becoming more common, will become more affordable and easier to implement, and should be showing up on the radar screens of Tier 2s and Tier 3s soon. WOW, for example, is heading into a trial of the technology soon.

R.L. Drake to debut new encoder at Independent Show

July 22, 2014 4:11 pm | News | Comments

R.L. Drake will take the wraps of off its new digital video encoder at the Independent Show. Drake said its new HD MPEG digital video encoder, which is called the “PEG-NE24-IP HD,” was a stand-alone, single HD-SDI input MPEG-2 and H.264 digital encoder designed to support PEG channels carrying local public access, school event, and municipal government programming.

Comcast scores bonus ‘Divergent’ movie content for its digital store

July 22, 2014 1:34 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has expanded its partnership with Lionsgate to include bonus features and interactive content from Lionsgate’s “Divergent” motion picture that is based on the popular series by Veronica Roth. The Lionsgate-designed iOS app, which is free via the iTunes App Store, includes an authenticated premium experience available to Xfinity customers with the purchase of the film through Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand digital store.

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Comcast lets users kick tires on beta test features

July 22, 2014 1:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast is allowing its X1 subscribers to take some new features out for a test drive with a new subsection. The new section on the X1 user interface is called “Comcast Labs" in homage to the cable operators’ advanced technology arm. Comcast subscribers can use the Comcast Labs sandbox to beta test four new apps before the cable operator decides which ones will get the final stamp of approval.

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo to draw a bead on DevOps, Agile Development

July 22, 2014 1:21 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The rate of innovation by cable operators has picked up the pace, and to highlight some of those changes SCTE Cable-Tec Expo will feature back-to-back workshops focused on DevOps and Agile Deployment.The workshops, which will take place on Sept. 24 at the cable confab in Denver, will feature Michael “Doc” Norton, global director, engineering culture for Groupon, and executives from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global.

Comcast ups investments in X1 and infrastructure in Q2

July 22, 2014 1:18 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Whether winning or losing customers, Comcast had its best second quarter in quite some time. The company attracted 203,000 new broadband accounts, while 144,000 former subscribers canceled their video connections. On both measures, this was the best Q2 performance for Comcast in 6 years.

Envivio to show cloud-based multi-screen offerings at Independent Show

July 22, 2014 1:17 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Envivio will be showcasing its cloud-based multi-screen platform at the NCTC’s Independent Show July 27-30 in Kansas City. Envivio said its turnkey, virtualized end-to-end, any–screen video software service can cut down the time frame to launch multi-screen services with minimal CAPEX investments by cable operators.

Qplay folds its hand

July 22, 2014 1:13 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

“We truly enjoyed bringing you the best videos from around the Internet. We had fun building and using Qplay and hope that you did too. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to keep developing and running the service,” Qplay said in a statement.

Tablets enrich Verizon’s 2Q results

July 22, 2014 1:13 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

In the second quarter earnigns report this morning, tablets helped Verizon's bottom line as it added 304,000 postpaid phone net additions and 1.15 million postpaid tablets. On the FiOS side, Verizon posted subscriber gains across its video, data and phone services.

Netflix tops 50M subscribers as 2Q earnings soar

July 22, 2014 1:02 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix's second-quarter earnings more than doubled as new episodes from a hit series helped the Internet video service surpass 50 million worldwide subscribers for the first time. The gains announced Monday include an additional 570,000 U.S. subscribers, slightly more than Netflix's management predicted. The quarter is typically the company's slowest of the year, as people spend more time outdoors instead of watching video.

C Spire using Amino boxes for gigabit triple play

July 21, 2014 1:01 pm | News | Comments

C Spire will be using IPTV set-tops from Amino to deliver the triple play to customers of the gigabit network the company is building in parts of Mississippi. The company said it will use Amino's Live Advanced Media Centre and A140 devices to provide broadband, telephone and digital HD television services.

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.

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. 

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