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

Ericsson trials LTE broadcast in Poland

September 2, 2014 1:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Ericsson and Polkomtel said they were successful with a test of LTE broadcast technology. The trial was conducted on August 30, when the operator streamed the opening game of the 2014 World Volleyball Championship between Poland and Serbia to 300 selected guests and journalists at Warsaw's National Stadium.

Envivio takes multi-screen to the cloud

September 2, 2014 1:21 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Envivio is calling its virtualized cloud-based SaaS video solution Nuage, French for cloud. It operates as a service on private, operator-owned networks, on the public cloud, or in hybrid environments. The system will handle video from content acquisition to delivery to the consumer, on any screen.

AT&T files suit against Cox for patent infringement

September 2, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

On Friday AT&T filed a patent lawsuit against Cox Communications alleging that the cable operator and over 30 of its regional systems had infringed on eight of its patents. The patents were related to DVRs and set-top boxes as well as managing VoIP and data services.

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Report: 84% of households subscribe to pay-TV service

September 2, 2014 12:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

A recent report by Leichtman Research Group (LRG) found that about 84 percent of U.S. households nationwide subscribed to some form of pay-TV service. The report said that with an increase in occupied housing, penetration of pay-TV among residential households had waned from its peak in 2010 following the digital transition.

Netflix unveils new way to share recommendations

September 2, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix is giving its Internet video subscribers a more discreet way to recommend movies and TV shows to their Facebook friends after realizing most people don't want to share their viewing habits with large audiences. Until now, Netflix subscribers linking the service to their Facebook accounts automatically disclosed everything they were watching with a potentially wide-reaching range of people. 

Envivio sets up cloud multi-screen service for Chinese company

August 28, 2014 4:15 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Beijing Gehua CATV Network is preparing a cloud-based multi-screen delivery service that will rely on transcoding technology from Envivio. BGCTV will use Envivio Muse encoders to help transmit 150 SD channels and 50 HD video channels to connected TVs, PCs, smartphones, iPads, and other devices.

GCI locks up 7-year agreement with Disney

August 28, 2014 2:00 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

GCI, Alaska’s largest cable operator, has inked a seven-year agreement with Disney networks, a lineup that includes ESPN and ABC Family channels. The deal, which was negotiated by the National Cable Television Cooperative, allows GCI to continue broadcasting 16 sports, news and entertainment channels into 2021 without interruption and adds products like the SEC Network and on-demand programming.

Suddenlink launches WatchESPN

August 28, 2014 1:58 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Suddenlink Communications is now offering its subscribers the WatchESPN app and access to ESPN’s web portal to view live sports coverage anytime. Earlier this month, Suddenlink and ESPN parent The Walt Disney Company announced a multi-year distribution agreement, which included access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN News, ESPN Deportes, the Longhorn Network and the SEC Network.

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Energy-efficient set-tops have saved $168M in electric bills

August 28, 2014 1:31 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The movement to make cable CPE more energy-efficient has paid off, saving U.S. cable customers as much as $168 million in total on their energy bills. New set-top boxes use approximately 14 percent less energy than those previously used by service providers.

Comcast subscribers gain more TVE access to Pac-12 Networks

August 28, 2014 11:31 am | News | Comments

Thanks to an expanded agreement, Comcast’s subscribers now have more TV Everywhere access to the Pac-12 Networks’ programming. With the college season about to kick off, Comcast customers now have access to all seven Pac-12 Networks on their computers and mobile devices through the Pac-12 Now app and web portal.

Telefonica ups bid to create Brazil's top operator

August 28, 2014 10:31 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Spain's telecommunications company Telefonica has raised its offer to buy Brazilian operator Global Village Telecom, or GVT, from French media conglomerate Vivendi to 7.45 billion euros ($9.82 billion) from 6.7 billion euros previously. Telefonica S.A. said in a statement Thursday the offer includes 4.66 billion in cash and 12 percent of the share capital in the new company.  

Former CEO Frankel resigns from Synacor’s board

August 27, 2014 5:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Former CEO Ron Frankel resigned from Synacor’s board of directors effective Aug. 25. Frankel had served on the board since 2001, which was also the same year he was named CEO. Frankel said in March that would be leaving his position as CEO, but would remain on the board and as an advisor. 

Chunghwa plans trial of 4K VOD

August 27, 2014 1:30 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The Taiwanese operator will be using Broadpeak's server and CDN manager solutions, and HwaCom set-top boxes. Chunghwa Telecom is looking to deliver 4K VOD and NVOD content, to a range of devices. VOD content will be unicast, while NVOD will be multicast.

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WOW! Business doubles up service delivery team to serve commercial customers

August 27, 2014 12:31 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

WOW! Business announced this morning that it had streamlined and expanded its business service delivery team to better serve small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), enterprise and wholesale communications customers across its 19 markets. WOW Business’ 60-member service delivery team has doubled since the same time frame a year ago, and recently moved into a national service delivery center in Huntsville, Ala. 

Rogers, Shaw debut Netflix competitor

August 26, 2014 1:53 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Rogers and Shaw have allied to launch a video streaming service in Canada that will compete directly against Netflix. The joint venture and the service will be called Showmi The companies said the content available will include 11,000 hours of television and 1,200 movies, with 30 per cent Canadian content.

FCC names network neutrality expert as CTO

August 26, 2014 1:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

UC Irvine professor Scott Jordan was named the new CTO of the FCC. For those who try to read tea leaves, Jordan’s appointment might be a signal that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is serious about exploring the possibility of reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service.

S3 Group takes testing out of lab, into live networks

August 26, 2014 12:36 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Video test and validation platform vendor S3 Group has expanded its StormTest portfolio beyond labs and into live networks with its new StormTest Warning Center element. The new cloud-based platform enables remote service monitoring, validation and real-time analytics of video services across connected devices on live networks.

Senate video promotes broadcaster a la carte

August 26, 2014 12:34 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

VIDEO: Senate Republicans are promoting the notion of making local stations a la carte on cable networks with a new YouTube video. The idea has the potential for gaining bipartisan support, even in this bitterly divided Congress, as a consumer-friendly and nearly pure free-market solution.

BT signs expanded deal with thePlatform

August 26, 2014 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

White-label video publishing vendor thePlatform has signed an expanded, multi-year agreement with United Kingdom-based triple play provider BT. With the new deal, thePlatform’s mpx system will serve as the cloud-based, central video publishing system for BT TV, as well as provide support for other video-related initiatives.

German IPTV service powered by Elemental video platform

August 25, 2014 1:48 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Deutsche Glasfaser, an FTTH network provider is preparing to go live within a few weeks with linear TV, radio, VOD and multiscreen services to regional subscribers in Germany. The company is using a video platform from Elemental Technologies to deliver the services.

TiVo bows Roamio DVR for cord cutters

August 25, 2014 12:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

TiVo has targeted the niche of cord cutters with its new, limited edition Roamio OTA DVR that receives over-the-air signals via antennas. The Roamio OTA, which was designed for TV viewers that don’t subscribe to cable or satellite services, costs $49.99 out of the box, compared to the $200 that TiVo charges for the four tuner, CableCard enabled Roamio model.

Charter Spectrum takes flight in more SoCal communities

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

Following a recent conversion to all digital, Charter Communications has launched its Charter Spectrum brand in more communities in Southern California. The new digital services included a free speed upgrade from up to 30 Mbps on the downstream to 60 Mbps for most of the MSO’s subscribers in the area. 

LG bets on pricey OLED technology as future of TVs

August 25, 2014 11:55 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

LG Electronics Inc. announced two new giant OLED TVs with ultra-high definition screens Monday, sticking with its strategy of using the exceptionally expensive OLED display technology. The South Korean company said it will ship 65-inch OLED TVs starting September in South Korea, Europe and North America. A 77-inch model will hit shelves later this year.

Dish Network taps Swain as new CFO

August 22, 2014 12:06 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Dish Network announced that Robert Olson will retire from his positions of executive vice president and chief financial officer on Oct. 15. Steve Swain, currently senior vice president of programming, will take over the CFO position from Olson, and report to Dish CEO and president Joseph Clayton.

TWC adds tablets to news app

August 22, 2014 12:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable recently updated its TWC News app to include support for tablets as well as mobile devices. The latest update allows authenticated Time Warner Cable subscribers to tap into live and on demand programming from the cable operator’s news channels in New York City, the state of New York, North Carolina and Texas.

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