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IP protocols/software

Comcast, Akamai Team on IPv6 Expansion

Welcome to today's cable news roundup.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s aggressive IPv6 migration continued this week with word that it has moved two of its major portal sites -- Xfinity (the MSO's main customer site) and Xfinity TV (its TV Everywhere hub) -- and the Comcast customer support forum to the new Internet addressing scheme. Comcast said it made the "critical move" in tandem with its content delivery network vendor, Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM), and is preparing to add support for native IPv6 for all its other key websites. (See Comcast: Seamless Transition Key to IPv6 and Cable Giants Get Aggressive on IPv6.)

  • Charter Communications Inc. will use FourthWall Media Inc. Ad Widgets platform to underpin the launch of interactive advertising apps in five markets serving 800,000 digital video homes. The deployment comes almost two months after Canoe Ventures LLC , the cross-MSO joint venture, dropped out of the interactive advertising business to instead focus on VoD advertising. Charter's interactive ad system will feature video overlays, request for information (RFI) apps, and "telescoping," which lets customers view VoD clips about advertised products. (See Cable's Canoe Sinks Interactive Ad Business .)

  • Motorola Mobility LLC will use next week's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) confab show to springboard two video transcoding products: the ST-6000 and the DSR-6400. The space-saving ST-6000, currently in field trials ahead of general availability in June, lets video service providers consolidate up to 12 channels of MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 onto a 1-rack unit box. The DSR-6400 family of integrated satellite receivers will let cable operators convert MPEG-4 signals sourced via satellite from programmers to MPEG-2, the format that most legacy digital cable boxes require. MSOs will become increasingly reliant on such gear as programmers shift to MPEG-4 distribution in order to preserve satellite transponder capacity.

  • Optimum Lightpath , Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s New York-based Metro Ethernet services arm, has added a managed optical transport video service that supports 1.485Gbit/s linear uncompressed HD over a dedicated wavelength. Optimum Lightpath will target the new service to media production facilities, broadcasters, TV stations and video relay bureaus that need to transport HD video of live events to various local destinations.

  • Expect Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) to spice up its brand after hiring James Moorhead as CMO. Moorhead's late of The Procter & Gamble Company, where he most recently oversaw the Old Spice brand and is credited for reviving it. He joins Dish as the satellite TV giant tries to freshen up its own image. (See Dish Relaunches Itself With Hopper.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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