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

DVR adoption, on-demand usage keep increasing

January 2, 2015 2:39 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

By the numbers: Three-quarters of U.S. households have a DVR, or subscribe to Netflix, or use on-demand (VOD) from a cable or Telco provider. A full quarter of households use some combination of two of the services, and one-tenth use all three.

Charter, Nexstar kick off year with new retrans deal

January 2, 2015 1:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The New Year got off to a positive start with Charter Communications announcing on Thursday that it had reached a new carriage agreement with Nexstar Broadcasting Group. Charter said it had wrapped up the new retransmission agreement with Nexstar prior to the previous one expiring just before midnight on Dec. 31. 

Cable to FCC: start assessing fees on DBS duo

December 30, 2014 2:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC today started taking comments for the next report it will prepare on competition in the satellite market, and the cable industry responded promptly, again requesting that the FCC assess fees on DirecTV and Dish Network commensurate with the fees the FCC levies on every other MVPD.

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Liberty CEO Maffei garners job security

December 30, 2014 11:30 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Liberty Media and Liberty Interactive announced that their respective board of directors had reached agreements to keep Greg Maffei as their president and CEO through 2019. Maffei’s prior contract was close to expiring before the new deal was announced on Monday. 

RCN adds Watch Disney, ABC apps to digital roster

December 30, 2014 11:26 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

RCN is now offering its digital video customers live access to Disney and ABC networks at home or on-the-go via Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD, Watch Disney Junior, Watch ABC Family and Watch ABC. The deal allows RCN’s authenticated subscribers to access the Disney Channel and ABC networks on their iOS and Android devices, as well as online by downloading the respective apps.

Defiant Sony will release "The Interview" after all

December 23, 2014 5:38 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

"The Interview" was put back into theaters Thursday when Sony Pictures Entertainment announced a limited theatrical release for the comedy that provoked an international incident with North Korea and outrage over its cancelled release. Sony also is continuing its efforts to release the film on more platforms and in more theaters.

FCC again stops the clock on the Comcast-TWC merger

December 23, 2014 5:32 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

TWC told the FCC that it had withheld the documents on an incorrect claim of attorney-client privilege, according to the agency. TWC should have turned over those documents in September, but did not until earlier this month (December). Furthermore, there are another 30,000 documents that were misplaced due to some unspecified vendor error.

Kentucky begins $250M project to improve "dismal" broadband availability

December 23, 2014 3:37 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The state is getting most of the money from Macquarie Capital. Macquarie has assemble a team including First Solutions, Fujitsu Network Communications, Black & Veatch, and Bowlin Group, to design, develop and operate the private/public network over the next 30 years.

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SeaChange snags TimeLine Labs for $22M

December 23, 2014 2:48 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Timeline Labs has built a content management platform that enables its customers to discover, curate and display geographically targeted news stories that are trending across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. SeaChange said it intends to expand the target audience to include multiscreen television service providers.

Regulating online video distributors: Capital Currents

December 22, 2014 4:47 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

Now that the NPRM has been published, we can see the legal and policy problems that it will face. There are many. If OVDs are determined by the FCC to qualify as MVPDs, then it might give them certain program access rights. But MVPDs also face certain obligations. Will these same obligations apply to OVDs?

FCC proposes OTT companies get MVPD status

December 22, 2014 4:37 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The question is coming up with increasing frequency, and cannot be ignored. Sky Angel continues to press its case. More recently, the Supreme Court confused the issue immensely by likening Aereo to an MVPD, even though absolutely nobody else agrees, a conundrum that helped drive Aereo into bankruptcy. 

Telstra, Sky invest in Elemental Technologies

December 22, 2014 3:23 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Telstra has invested directly in Elemental Technologies, leading a $14.5 million Series D round of funding joined by Sky, another Elemental customer that had previously invested in the vendor. Elemental said it will use the funds to accelerate worldwide growth and expand its suite of SDV solutions to support the whole of the IP video delivery chain.

Title II means $15B in consumer fees? "Baloney"!

December 19, 2014 1:37 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Communications companies claim that applying Title II regulation to broadband would inevitably lead to up to $15 billion in regulatory fees being passed on to consumers. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who wrote the Internet Tax Freedom Act, says the claim is "baloney."

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Submit those SCTE Cable-Tec Expo abstracts now

December 19, 2014 11:33 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is actively recruiting abstracts for next year’s Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans. The deadline for abstract submissions, which will be reviewed by the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo2015 Program Committee that’s chaired by Liberty Global CTO and EVP Balan Nair, is Feb. 17.

Sony hack adds to security pressure on companies

December 19, 2014 11:26 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Faced with rising cybercrime like the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, companies worldwide are under pressure to tighten security but are hampered by cost and, for some, reluctance to believe they are in danger. The Sony attack was unusual because it included threats of violence if the Hollywood studio released its movie "The Interview," a comedy that depicts the assassination of the North's leader. 

Comcast joins 4K club

December 18, 2014 1:05 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has officially dipped its large toe into the 4K waters with today’s announcement that it’s offering a limited slate of programming in Ultra 4K via an on demand app. Authenticated Comcast subscribers can watch 4K programming from NBC and USA Network for free with today’s launch of the Xfinity in UHD app, which currently works on just 2014 Samsung UHD TVs.

Dish welcomes Netflix in

December 17, 2014 12:43 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Dish said it is integrating Netflix into its service, available as an app to customers who have a second-generation Hopper DVR. The company plans to also roll out the app out on its Joey, Super Joey and Wireless Joey clients. Dish is still considering integrating Netflix content directly into its search functionality.

NYC premiere of ‘The Interview’ canceled as threats fly

December 17, 2014 12:06 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The blow that the hacking attack has dealt Sony is spreading beyond the entertainment corporation itself to theater chains and movie goers alike. And the financial toll is adding up too. Threats of violence against movie theaters. The New York premiere of "The Interview" canceled. Leaks of thousands more private emails. Lawsuits by former employees that could cost tens of millions in damages.

Vudu releases Jinni for search and discovery

December 16, 2014 1:19 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Vudu is adding features that other services introduced some time ago, but is going further than many rivals by letting viewers select sub-genres (action comedies, buddy comedies, etc.), or all movies by plot (heros, romance, time travel, etc.), or mood, or years (the ‘30s, the ‘70s, etc.)

Roku, Comcast do deal on HBO Go, Showtime streaming

December 16, 2014 12:37 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

After an impasse that stretched back several years, Comcast finally has brokered a deal with Roku that allows its subscribers to access HBO Go and Showtime Anytime streams on their Roku devices. The new deal was announced on Tuesday in a blog posting by Comcast’s Matt Strauss, senior vice president and general manager, video services, and came the day after HBO announced its streaming service was live on the Amazon Fire TV. 

CES: Alticast gears up with IoT, CableCard-less demos

December 16, 2014 12:28 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Multi-screen vendor Alticast will bring its cloud-based and Internet of Things (IoT) demos and products to next month’s Consumer Electronics Show as well as its CableCard-less security technology offering. With the recent passage of the STELA bill that dropped the mandate for CableCards, Alitcast’s AltiProtect demo at CES is noteworthy as the U.S. cable industry considers other security options that have been deployed abroad for years. 

Cox close to wrapping up Homelife roll out

December 15, 2014 1:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

With Baton Rouge, La. going live last week, Cox Communications is close to having its home automation and security service launched across its entire footprint. The Cox Homelife service, which was first trialed in Phoenix three years ago, will be completely launched once Cox deploys it in Florida and Georgia in early February.

Deluxe expands 4K capabilities of on demand platform

December 15, 2014 1:28 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Ahead of a launch with a large North American cable operator, Deluxe announced today that it has added key 4K features and capabilities to its cloud-based content supply and video-on-demand (VOD) management platform. New 4K features for Deluxe OnDemand include digital re-mastering using High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC) or H.265, and Higher Dynamic Range (HDR) displays, such as Dolby Vision.

RCN nets carriage deal with One World Sports

December 15, 2014 1:17 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cable over builder RCN has scored a multiplatform carriage agreement with One World Sports. Starting Tuesday, current and new RCN digital subscribers will be able to access One World Sports’ video content in RCN’s New York market and in most of the other sustems in its footprint.

Windstream appoints Thomas as new CEO

December 12, 2014 12:53 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Windstream Holdings announced on Thursday that Tony Thomas was replacing Jeff Gardner as the company’s new president and CEO. In order to smooth over the transition, Gardner will stay on board as a senior adviser to Thomas and as a member of the company’s board through Feb. 1 of next year. Thomas was also named a director.

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