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Contec Nears Bankruptcy Exit

Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, T.G.I.F. edition.

  • A Delaware court has approved the bankruptcy plan of Contec Holdings Ltd. , the Bain Capital -owned cable set-top and cable modem repair giant, Bloomberg reports, noting that the plan will chop long-term debt from US$350 million to about $52.5 million. Contec repairs about 2 million cable boxes per year, including devices made by Motorola Mobility, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Pace plc , Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Samsung Corp. (See STB Repair Firm Plots a Bolt From Bankruptcy and Set-Top Repair Giant Seeks Chapter 11 Fix .)

  • Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) have signed a new, comprehensive carriage deal that places a heavy emphasis on TV Everywhere. The new deal includes ESPN 3D and access to the out-of-home, broadband-fed "Watch" feeds of The Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, ABC, ABC Family and ESPN.

  • Consumer demand for new ultra-hi-definition 4K TVs (those with a horizontal resolution of about 4,000 pixels) will remain "negligible for the foreseeable future," and not account more than 1 percent of the global LCD TV market during the next five years, predicts IHS iSuppli . The research firm expects global shipments of 4K LCD-TVs to rise to 2.1 million in 2017, up from just 4,000 in 2012. There's very little 4K-ready content and anyone who's even in the market for a 4K set will need deep pockets. Sony's 84-inch 4K TV, for example, is priced at $25,000. On top of all that, 1080p resolution is "good enough" for most people, the firm says. (See Photos: Comcast/NBCU Ultra-HD Demo and A Glimpse of Ultra-HD .)

  • House of Cards, the Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) original drama series starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and directed by David Fincher, will debut Feb. 1, 2013. Netflix will offer the entire 13-episode first season all at once. The second season is slated to start production in 2013.

  • Some advancements are coming out of the cable connector world. PPC says it has developed new shielded connectors that can fend off interference caused by Long Term Evolution (LTE) deployments. PPC will show them off this month's Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando. (See Study: LTE Can Knock Out Cable TV.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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