SureWest Joins the SDV Club

Here's a look at what's turning cable's crank Thursday.

  • SureWest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW) has rolled out BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND)'s switched digital video (SDV) platform in Kansas City, where it operates an HFC system. SureWest is using SDV there to conserve bandwidth and as a bridge for an IP video migration. SureWest said it launched 50 additional HD channels after deploying SDV. BigBand's in the process of being acquired by Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), which is starting to make some hay with a hybrid QAM/IP video gateway. SureWest's SDV deployment makes it a candidate for that product as well. (See Arris Snaps Up BigBand .)

  • Video sub losses continued among private Tier 2 MSOs in the third quarter. Mediacom Communications Corp. lost 22,000 basic video customers, but narrowed it from the 56,000 it lost in the year-ago quarter. Insight Communications Co. Inc. , meanwhile, shed 9,800 basic video customers and 3,700 digital video subs.

  • Former Cox Communications Inc. CTO Scott Hatfield has joined Syniverse Technologies LLC under the same title. Hatfield, who resigned from Cox last year following 15 years with the MSO, most recently served as the VP of Capgemini 's cable practice. (See Cox CTO Resigns and Syniverse CTO Takes Over CEO Job.)

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's first national Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday afternoon went well, but wasn't picture perfect. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) noted that there were "some isolated glitches" among radio and TV stations and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) acknowledged that Emergency Alert Notification messages did not flow through "in some places." But the FCC deemed the test a success, as it was conducted to "identify gaps" and generate data to help make corrections before all EAS participants deploy it by June 2012.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect for IPv6 John Brzozowski has posted some technical details about the MSO's pilot market deployment of the new IP addressing scheme. Initially, the deployment will focus on PCs connected directly to cable modems, while later phases will support home gateway devices and Comcast's commercial fiber-based customers. Brzozowski notes that Comcast is gearing up for a "nationwide rollout" of IPv6 in 2012.

  • Rovi Corp. shares plunged 38.7 percent Wednesday after the IPG specialist missed third-quarter revenue estimates due to weakness in the consumer electronics market, which licenses Rovi's software, including its new cloud-based TotalGuide product. Its service provider business was solid, as sales in that category rose 13 percent.

  • The Comcast Media Center (CMC) netted a deal to provide channel origination and transmission services for the 24-hour NHL Network, which runs high- and standard-def feeds.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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