Light Reading
Also: Dish hops around Fox advertising snub; FiOS TV tunes up its TV Everywhere lineup; smart TVs on the rise

Comcast Unit Packs More TV Into Less Space

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • Comcast Corp.'s Colorado-based HITS unit has released an upgrade to its video distribution platform for independent Tier 2/3 cable operators that still relies heavily on MPEG-2-based digital video but is becoming more efficient from a bandwidth perspective. The upgrade, known as "Q2" and getting underway in the second quarter, is being applied to the HITS Quantum Platform and will convert several HITS standard-definition transponders to more bandwidth-efficient DVB-S2 technology, a move that will generate more capacity and increase the number of HD services that can be delivered via the MPEG-2 format. The upgrade will also enable HITS to deliver the entire programming lineup via a single satellite, and will let HITS affiliates add more programming and reduce bandwidth consumption without having to rebuild their headends or replace their MPEG-2-based digital set-top boxes, Comcast said. The operator estimates that more than 70 percent of its HITS Quantum multiplexes will be using 256 QAM DVB-S2 technology and, as a result, will enable cable operator partners to free up to 25 percent of their bandwidth for new services. The upgrade comes into play as HITS and the National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC), which represents almost 1,000 independent cable operators, recently reworked a deal that provides access to the HITS upgrades. Comcast says the "majority" of participating NCTC members have already opted in for the upgrades, while "several" programming groups have also signed up to tap into the upgraded platform. Comcast and the NCTC made the announcement as the co-op's Winter Educational Conference (WEC) gets set to kick off this week in Las Vegas.
  • Fox Broadcasting Co. is refusing to run Dish Network Corp. ads these days as the two companies lock horns in the courts, but the satellite giant still figured out how to promote its controversial Hopper HD-DVR during Sunday's running of the Daytona 500. Dish and its Hopper logo still got air time by sponsoring the Leavine Family Racing's No. 95 Ford Fusion (here's a pic), driven by Scott Speed, who finished in 23rd and won $305,514, by the way. Dish and the broadcasters are battling in the courts over the Hopper's ad-zapping AutoHop feature. Last week, Fox upped the ante by targeting a new feature in a second-generation version of the Hopper that lets users sling live TV over the Internet to PCs, tablets and smartphones, and port recorded TV shows to mobile devices. (See Fox Attacks Dish's New Video Slinger.)
  • Verizon Communications Inc. FiOS TV has added 11 networks from the NBCUniversal LLC to its TV Everywhere stable: Bravo, USA, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC News, NBC, Syfy, mun2, Telemundo and Cozi TV. While most of those nets are pitching in on-demand content, the deal also provides authenticated FiOS TV subs with access to a live stream of the CNBC TV feed. Verizon says it will be adding "a few more NBCU networks" next month as it fleshed out the lineup of its My Verizon TV everywhere portal, which already offers access to shows and streams from HBO, Starz Entertainment LLC, Showtime Networks Inc., ESPN and Turner Broadcasting System Inc., among others.
  • More than 25 percent of TVs shipped in 2012 were "smart" (i.e. Internet-connected), according to Screen Digest, predicting that the number will rise to more than 50 percent 2015. The trend is a positive one for cable operators that are pursuing all-service gateways that can deliver services to connected TVs without the need for a separate set-top or client device. (See Comcast All-Service Gateways Go 'Headless' .)
  • ESPN has inked a deal to sell its U.K. and Ireland TV channels business to BT Group plc for an undisclosed sum. The buy primarily includes the ESPN and ESPN America channels and their live sports portfolio, including the FA Cup, Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League, UEFA Europa league and the German Bundesliga.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

    (0)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    Flash Poll
    Wagner’s Ring
    Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

    8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments

    Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

    8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments

    Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

    8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments

    SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

    8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments

    Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

    8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments

    Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

    8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments

    At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    VeEX – Live from the Show

    8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments

    An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

    8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments

    Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
    LRTV Custom TV
    NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

    8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments

    Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
    LRTV Custom TV
    A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

    7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments

    Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Sprint's Network Evolution

    7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments

    Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
    LRTV Documentaries
    BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

    7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment

    Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
    Upcoming Live Events!!
    September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
    September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
    September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
    October 29, 2014, New York City
    November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
    November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
    December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
    Hot Topics
    Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
    Utilities to Pump $11.2B Into Smart Grid – Study
    Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 8/26/2014
    Verizon Launches QR Code Security Solution
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2014
    Fiber Revival at Deutsche Telekom
    Iain Morris, 8/25/2014
    M2M's In Fashion: Wearables Play the US Open
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/25/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed