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

Report: Apps on set-top boxes a booming business

March 3, 2014 12:55 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

According to a recent report, last year one out of every 10 pay TV households had access to applications on set-top boxes, including apps for news and information services, service provider specific apps, over-the-top (OTT) video, games, and music services. By 2019, nearly 40 percent of pay TV households should have access to similar services and features, according to ABI Research’s report on set-top box applications. 

AT&T adds more live channels to U-verse app

March 3, 2014 12:42 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T’s authenticated subscribers can now view 27 additional live channels with the U-verse App for tablets and smartphones. With the latest additions, U-verse TV customers can now watch a total of 136 live channels inside the home and 44 live channel outside of their homes. 

Bright House Networks promotes Wade to VP/GM in Bakersfield

February 28, 2014 12:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bright House Networks recently announced that it has promoted Danielle Wade to vice president and general manager of its Bakersfield service area. In her new job, Wade is responsible for managing all aspects of Bakersfield’s cable operations, as well as ongoing local execution of new products and services. 

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Academy Awards ceremony to stream live online for first time in select cities

February 28, 2014 11:58 am | News | Comments

The Academy Awards ceremony will stream live online for the first time to select cable providers in eight U.S. cities. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and ABC announced Thursday that Sunday's telecast will be available online and on mobile devices. A cable or satellite subscription login is required for the live stream at Oscar.com and ABC.com, or via the mobile app WatchABC.com. 

Hulu selling Japan business to Nippon TV

February 28, 2014 11:54 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Video streaming company Hulu says it's selling its business in Japan to Nippon TV. A price wasn't disclosed. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins says Hulu had grown to a point where it believed the best path forward was to sell its Japan business to a strategic buyer.

Cox culls some call centers

February 27, 2014 12:22 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cox Communications will close the doors on some of the smaller call centers across its footprint in order to centralize operations into seven large call centers. Streamlining its call center operations could lead to a 3 percent cut, or roughly 436 employees, in Cox’s overall work force, but some of those laid off employees could migrate to the larger call centers.

Dish blends in volume, power, and recommendation features on app

February 27, 2014 12:17 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Dish Network has added some bells and whistles to its Dish Explorer app that works with its whole-home Hopper DVR platform. Dish subscribers with the app can now use their iPads for volume and power control on their TVs, and now there are also personalized program recommendations based on viewing habits.

Alticast enables KT's satellite-based on-demand

February 26, 2014 1:51 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

At the heart of SkyLife's SOD service is the Alticast Media Cloud Platform, which is comprised of four major components:  a Cloud content ingest/delivery system, a Cloud service system, a Cloud media storage system and a Cloud streaming system. 

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Disney launches digital movies app with Apple

February 26, 2014 12:56 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Disney is launching a digital movies app that allows fans to store movie purchases online and play them back over Apple devices and computers. The app is built on The Walt Disney Co.'s KeyChest technology, which stores and records consumers' purchases of digital movies on distant servers.

Vyve Broadband picks TiVo, Evolution Digital for DTAs

February 25, 2014 1:00 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Vyve Broadband, which recently changed its name from BCI Broadband, will make its move from analog to digital by working with TiVo and Evolution Digital. The deal marks the first time that DVR pioneer TiVo has used digital transport adapters to provision its service with a cable operator. 

TiVo founders try to reprogram Internet video with Qplay

February 25, 2014 12:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Qplay is controlled through an application that can be installed on an iPad or iPhone to select video separated into categories, or "Qs." All the video is stored in remote data centers so the line-up remains in sync even when a user switches from watching on a TV screen to viewing on an iPad or another device.

SCTE sends shout out for Cable-Tec Expo abstracts

February 25, 2014 12:48 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is seeking papers and presentations for technical sessions at this fall’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo Sept. 22-25 in Denver. SCTE said that its SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2014 Program Committee was targeting papers that addressed technologies, best practices, solutions, workforce training, and case studies.

What Netflix-Comcast deal means

February 25, 2014 12:37 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

After years of bickering, online video purveyor Netflix and media giant Comcast, the largest U.S. broadband service, are working together to provide their subscribers with a more enjoyable experience when they're watching movies and old television shows over high-speed Internet connections. The new partnership is part of a breakthrough deal that was announced Sunday.

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ThinkAnalytics opens doors on new Silicon Valley office; hires Soucie

February 24, 2014 12:34 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Search and recommendation vendor ThinkAnalytics is opening a new office in Silicon Valley and has hired industry veteran Rich Soucie to work with the company’s new and existing business partners in the San Jose area. Soucie, who previously worked for Arris, was named vice president of business development for Think Analytics.

Dish 2013: flat, as far as the eye can see

February 21, 2014 12:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company ended 2013 with approximately 14.057 million TV subscribers, compared with approximately 14.056 million at the end of 2012. Dish also added approximately 253,000 net broadband subscribers, bringing its total broadband subscriber base to approximately 436,000.

AT&T unveils kid friendly app

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

AT&T is taking the worry out of channel surfing for parents by offering a free mobile app that was designed for use by children. In addition to the parental control features, the AT&T U-verse Kids! app lets children tune into TV programs via remote control buttons that were designed for kids.

Report: Emerging markets drive growth in pay-TV market

February 21, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Despite the emergence of various over-the-top video providers, the pay-TV market will continue to grow thanks to emerging markets in places such as Latin America. A report by Infonetics Research said DirecTV Latin American saw a 15 percent increase in satellite subscribers year-over-year from the third quarter of 2012 to the same quarter last year.

Aereo suffers first major legal setback

February 20, 2014 1:32 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A District Judge  argued that Aereo's retransmission of video signals is "indistinguishable from a cable company," and said that if Aereo continued to do business, it would damage broadcasters' ability to negotiate with legitimate licensees, siphon viewers away from their websites and subject them to potential piracy.

Google begins process to expand Fiber in 2015

February 20, 2014 1:03 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

As with the previous three Google Fiber cities, Google is playing for the most favorable possible build conditions, including guarantees the company will be able to string fiber with a minimum of fuss, plus any regulatory grease that might be forthcoming. Cox, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T are at risk for a little more competition. Verizon? Not so much. Not at all, in fact.

Set-top box sales fuels strong Q4 for Arris

February 20, 2014 12:50 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Arris reported its fourth-quarter earnings last night and announced that its set-top box shipments increased by a whopping 43 percent when compared to the previous quarter. That growth was spurred by increased shipments of its hybrid XG1 HD DVR for Comcast’s X1 platform, shipments to Latin America and increased shipments of its QIP box to Verizon.

DirecTV’s Q4 results top analysts' estimates

February 20, 2014 12:41 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

DirecTV's fourth-quarter net income declined 14 percent, hurt in part by increased expenses. The performance still topped analysts' expectations. The No. 1 provider of satellite TV services in the U.S. also announced Wednesday that its board approved a new $3.5 billion stock repurchase program.

Synacor fuels Midcontinent’s TVE Sochi viewers

February 19, 2014 12:33 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Midcontinent Communications has deployed Synacor's Cloud ID Auto Authentication feature in time for the Sochi Olympics, which has led to a decrease in TV Everywhere abandonment by its viewers. Using Synacor’s white label auto authentication, Midcontinent has reported a dramatic drop in TV Everywhere abandonment, coming in under 10 percent compared to a typical TV Everywhere abandonment rate of approximately 50 percent.

Broadcom, Elemental, enable 4K Olympics broadcast

February 18, 2014 1:50 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Broadcom, Elemental and NTV-Plus designed and deployed an end-to-end 4K HEVC workflow using Broadcom-enabled real-time decoders, Elemental Live video encoders, NTV-Plus satellite uplink and signal receiving systems, and Sony cameras for playback on Panasonic 65-inch 4K TVs.

RCN first MSO to debut Opera TV Store on TiVo boxes

February 18, 2014 12:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RCN subscribers with TiVo boxes can tap into video, music, games, social media, news and a range of apps now that the Opera TV Store is available. With this morning’s announcement, RCN became the first cable operator to launch the Opera TV store on TiVo DVRs

Verizon tops customer service survey, Comcast last

February 18, 2014 12:34 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

While Verizon had the highest customer satisfaction results for its customer service calls, Comcast received the worst marks out of the nine companies that were surveyed. Out of the nine categories in the customer service survey, Comcast scored the lowest in eight, according to a survey by Vocal Laboratories (Vocalabs).

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