Light Reading
Netflix erects Icahn defense; Liberty Global sells 50,000 Horizon TV subscriptions; TWC posts Sandy update; DirecTV CEO is staying put

Charter Video Plan Good News for Cisco, Samsung

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/5/2012
50%
50%

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Samsung Corp. stand to gain as Charter Communications Inc. takes a page from the Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) playbook and pursues a software-based video security system. Charter is seeking a two-year waiver to use set-tops with integrated security so it can have ample time to go all-digital and deploy a software-based security system that could be used in leased boxes as well as third-party retail devices. Under then-COO Tom Rutledge, Cablevision obtained a similar waiver in 2009 to aid its rollout of a security system based on the NDS (now Cisco) "key ladder," which is currently being used in Samsung-made set-top boxes. A successful deployment would help Charter shift away from pricey CableCARDs. Charter noted in its waiver request that, like Cablevision, it would employ a "simulcrypt" approach so it could continue to support its legacy security systems alongside the new security platform. (See Former Cablevision Exec Heads to Charter and Cablevision Scores Set-Top Waiver Extension .)

    Charter's already got some in-house know-how. James Blackley, an ex-Cablevision exec who recently joined Charter as EVP of engineering and information technology, was closely involved in the Cablevision deployment. Industry sources say Cablevision has been eager to have other U.S. MSOs adopt its system to help boost product volumes, attract more set-top suppliers, and, of course, drop unit costs. CableLabs , meanwhile, has already specified how a cable operator can implement Cablevision's Open Media Security (OMS) approach. Multichannel News first reported that Charter filed the waiver request at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Nov. 1. (See CableLabs OKs the Cablevision Way.)

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) has adopted a poison pill defense to protect the company against a hostile takeover by Carl Icahn, who recently acquired a 9.98 percent stake in the streaming video giant, Bloomberg reported, noting that it would be triggered if an "activist shareholder" acquired 10 percent of the stock, or an institutional investor bought 20 percent. (See Icahn: Netflix Sale Has 'Crossed Our Minds' and Icahn Nabs 10% of Netflix .)

  • Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) posted a third-quarter net loss of $22 million ($0.08 per share), narrowed from a net loss of $333 million ($1.18 per share) in the year-ago quarter, on revenues of $2.5 billion, up 4 percent. The MSO lost 90,000 video customers in the quarter, but added 180,000 digital cable additions. Liberty Global said it has sold more than 50,000 subscriptions for Horizon TV, a hybrid QAM/IP video platform it debuted in the Netherlands in September. Liberty plans to intro Horizon TV in Switzerland later this quarter, followed by intros in Ireland and Germany, its largest market, in 2013. (See Liberty Global Embarks on New TV Horizon.)

  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) blogged Sunday that most of the remaining cable outages caused by the Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey are due to power outages. Among the updates, about 6,000 customers are out in Staten Island; 14,000 in Queens (due in part to damage at the MSO's hub in the Rockaways); 1,600 in Brooklyn; and 12,000 in New Jersey and Mount Vernon, N.Y. Cable services were restored to about 90 percent of TWC's customers in southern Manhattan as of Sunday. (See Operators Slog Ahead in New York & New Jersey.)

  • Mike White has signed on to remain chairman, president and CEO of DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) beyond the end of his current three-year employment contract, which expires on Jan. 1, 2013. According to an 8-K filing, his new deal includes an annual base salary of $1.7 million, and twice that in bonuses in 2013 if White meets certain performance goals. White is also to receive a non-qualified stock option award valued at $12 million.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

    (6)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:06 PM
    re: Charter Video Plan Good News for Cisco, Samsung


    Charter acknowledged in the filing that its deployment would probably offer tougher sledding than Cablevision's.  Cablevision had the benefit of deploying in a very centralized, concentrated New York City metro (it has not yet deployed this to its Bresnan properties, to my knowledge), while Charter's will have to support it in more than 190 headends  in 25 states. 


    Makes me wonder if others will follow suit and get more big operators on a path that takes them away from clunky CableCARDs. JB

    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:05 PM
    re: Charter Video Plan Good News for Cisco, Samsung


    Yeah, that was a smooth move by Cisco in many ways. NDS was suppose to help the MSOs drive a wedge, so Cisco went out and bought the wedge.  JB

    AESerm
    50%
    50%
    AESerm,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:05 PM
    re: Charter Video Plan Good News for Cisco, Samsung


    Scratching my head wondering how Cisco stands to gain here, then re-read and remembered the NDS angle. That was a quick acquistion. As for relative difficuilty, yes, there's only one large MSO that can control all its sytems from one swivel chair!

    cmmurrey
    50%
    50%
    cmmurrey,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:04 PM
    re: Charter Video Plan Good News for Cisco, Samsung
    An open-standard, IP-based successor to CableCARD would significantly benefit TiVo and other 3rd party retail devices. The solution that Charter is proposing requires a proprietary hardware chip that would not work beyond Charter and possibly Cablevision. Rutledge and Charter are clearly trying to save cost by not having to buy CableCARDs. If the FCC issues a request for comments on this filing, I will likely submit a response opposing the waiver suggesting that an alternative industry wide IP-based, open-standard, "downloadable solution", not requiring specialized hardware chip, be adopted.
    Jeff Baumgartner
    50%
    50%
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:18:03 PM
    re: Charter Video Plan Good News for Cisco, Samsung


    You're behind in the count, though, since Cablevision already got the FCC to approve its waiver... and Charter pretty much wants a  repeat performance. Not sure how the FCC can deny the waiver request when it was already granted to CVC.  But that doesn't mean we won't see some compelling arguments seeking a denial,  and I suspect the CEA will also try to fight this.  The last time, CVC argued that the NDS key ladder is already supported on a bunch of chips found in CE devices from Broadcom, STMicro, and Conexant. Still, i don't know where this would leave TiVo, or if TiVo could somehow support the NDS key ladder.


    NDS meanwhile pledged to offer this key ladder on an open basis and *claimed* that it can work with anyone's conditional access system... even though Cablevision is using NDS's Videoguard CA with the keyladder, so i place this in the I'll believe it when i see it category. JB '

    cmmurrey
    50%
    50%
    cmmurrey,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 5:17:01 PM
    re: Charter Video Plan Good News for Cisco, Samsung


    Earlier today I submitted my comments to the FCC in opposition to Charter Communications' request. My full filing can be read here or it should go live on the ECFS site sometime tomorrow. 


    Basically my opposition can be summed up as folllows, 





    Charter’s waiver request should be denied because it does not comply with the integration ban in a way that furthers the goals of Section 629. Consumer electronics companies will not manufacture retail devices that only work with one or two cable operatorsin certain geographical areas because consumers won’t buy such products. Consequently, Charter’s “solution” will hurt, not help, retail availability of navigation equipment by placing retail equipment at a competitive disadvantage in terms of cost, support and innovation. Charter’s motivation to support CableCARD will diverge from its own business interests which is precisely what common reliance is designed to prevent. Instead of granting a waiver that would undermine retail alternatives, the FCC should urge the industry to come up withan IP-based downloadable successor to CableCARD that everyone can use.




    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

    10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


    Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Distributed Access Architectures – 2

    10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


    ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Distributed Access Architectures – 1

    10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


    SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

    10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


    ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

    10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


    SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

    10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


    Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

    10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


    Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

    10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


    SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

    10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


    Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Building a Better Dubai

    10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


    Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

    10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


    Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

    10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


    Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
    Upcoming Live Events
    October 29, 2014, New York City
    November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
    November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
    December 2, 2014, New York City
    December 3, 2014, New York City
    December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
    February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    Infographics
    WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
    Hot Topics
    Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
    Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
    Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
    Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
    Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
    1959 Newsreel: Make Phone Calls – From Cars!
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/24/2014
    Meet the Phantom Network for NFV
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/23/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed