Light Reading

Broadcom Shields Set-Tops From Hackers

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/3/2013
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Welcome to today's cable and broadband news roundup.

  • Broadcom Corp. has added an advanced layer of security to its set-top chips that's designed to keeping hackers at bay. The chipmaker says it has licensed and is in the process of activating a set of countermeasures from Cryptography Research across its set-top platforms, starting with the BCM7231, a system-on-chip (SoC) for IP set-top boxes. Broadcom intends to support the new security platform in its new cable and satellite TV chipsets as well, since they will also become key theft-of-service targets for video pirates. Broadcom's Nick Dunn says the encryption enhancements are becoming more critical as set-tops expand beyond the simple MPEG decoder and add IP components that enable them to share premium video content with gaming consoles and other consumer electronics devices via an HDMI interface. Dunn believes other industries will have to layer in similar countermeasures as pay-TV operators continue to expand their TV Everywhere strategies. "We think the mobile industry will have to follow suit," he says. "They [mobile operators] are equally susceptible to the same type of attacks."

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. has extended its customer care and billing contract with CSG Systems International Inc. through March 2017, with an option to extend it to March 2018. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but TW Cable represented 10 percent of CSG's revenues in the third quarter of 2012, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. CSG is also in the process of forging a new long-term deal with Comcast Corp., which generated about 21 percent of CSG's revenues in the third quarter.

  • Blake Krikorian has joined Microsoft Corp. after the software giant purchased id8 Group R2 Studios, a home-automation company started up by Krikorian in 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported. Krikorian is best known for co-founding Sling Media Inc., the video place-shifting pioneer that EchoStar Corp. bought in 2007 for $380 million.

  • Alticast Corp. will integrate ThinkAnalytics Ltd.'s personalized video recommendation engine into its Windmill interactive TV software platform for customers in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. Some of Scotland-based ThinkAnalytics' major customers include BSkyB Ltd., Virgin Media Inc., Liberty Global Europe BV and Cox Communications Inc., which recently added a feature to its tru2way-based guide that lets customers receive personal recommendations for up to eight users in a given household.

  • TW Cable has made a small acquisition that will help it expand its New York clusters. Its $1.2 million acquisition of Princetown Cable Co. covers about 600 subscribers in Princetown, Duanesburg and Rotterdam, according to the Times Union.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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