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

Comcast Wholesale, NCTC ink multi-year renewal deal

July 28, 2014 12:05 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast Wholesale and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) announced this morning the renewal of a multi-year agreement for the HITS National Authorization Service (NAS), which included support for universal digital terminal adapters (uDTAs.) With NAS, NCTC cable operator members can reduce the cost associated with their live, on demand and IP services through a centrally managed platform.

TNT’s ‘The Last Ship’ tops Comcast VOD voting contest

July 28, 2014 12:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The results are in for Comcast’s first-ever The People’s hotlist voting campaign, which allowed Xfinity subscribers to vote for their favorite summer movies and shows on Comcast’s VOD platform. According to a blog post by Andy Hunter, vice president, programming for Comcast Cable, more than 20 million votes were cast by customers each time they watched their favorite summertime movies and TV shows.

GLDS strikes a multi-year deal with Sweetwater Cable

July 28, 2014 11:54 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Wyoming-based Sweetwater Cable TV has signed a multi-year agreement to use GLDS’ (Great Lakes Data Systems’) solutions to support its triple play services. Great Lakes Data Systems’ WinCable is a billing and service-provisioning platform that’s used by small to medium-sized broadband service providers. It offers tools to manage FTTH, digital video, VoIP, high-speed Internet and other services.

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March / April 2014

July 25, 2014 6:19 pm | by CED | Digital Editions | Comments

Uncoiling Viper: the future of converged IP platformsIt's InGeNeOs! Every cable modem a probe!Video encoding: HEVC is actually hereWallchart: The Evolution of Multi-screen Networks

SEC Network adds TWC, BHN to carriage roster

July 25, 2014 12:07 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have scored a deal with ESPN to carry the SEC Network just ahead of the network’s launch Aug. 14. With the latest deal in hand—Time Warner Cable has typically forged carriage agreements for both itself and Bright House Networks— the SEC Network will be available to approximately 60 million homes nationwide.

Jones/NCTI to provide call center tools to enTouch

July 25, 2014 12:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Jones/NCTI announced this morning that it had inked an agreement with Houston-based enTouch to provide enTouch a suite of learning tools for its field and call center frontline employees. The new enterprise platform includes Jones/NCTI’s in-depth course material, mobile learning application and career path development tools, as well as its LogiCall customer service support.

BSkyB to create multinational European TV network

July 25, 2014 11:51 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

London-based pay TV network BSkyB has agreed to take control of its sister companies in Italy and Germany, creating a multinational European broadcaster. The deal could have a wider impact on the media industry, giving Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox a cash boost to potentially revive its attempt to buy Time Warner.

U-verse chugs along in Q2

July 24, 2014 12:51 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

AT&T said it added 488,000 high speed Internet subscribers, including 55,000 business customers. The company said it also added 190,000 U-verse TV subscribers, for a new total of 5.9 million. That’s roughly on par with the number of adds in the last few quarters.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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