Sunday, April 23, 2006

Siemens and Widevine Cooperate on IPTV

Siemens Communications will offer Widevine Technologies' content protection and digital forensic solution as part of the Siemens SURPASS Home Entertainment solution.

Widevine said it now enables more than 90 global operators to acquire and license premium broadcast and video-on-demand (VOD) content from major broadcasters and studios. htt://

Verimatrix Updates Content Authority System

Verimatrix introduced the second generation of its Content Authority System (VCAS, which protects against theft of paid content.

Theft of service prevention from Verimatrix is a proactive, multifaceted approach to eliminate revenue loss due to service piracy, such as cloned set-top boxes (STB) and attacks on the software downloading platform.

"The advances in VCAS 2.0 represent a breakthrough in smart card-less content security solutions," said Bob Kulakowski, CTO, Verimatrix. Highlights of VCAS 2.0 include:

  • VideoMark is a robust and invisible content tracking solution that enables forensic, user-specific marking of individual video copies to track piracy to the individual STB. Every STB contains an individual user identification, which is linked to that consumer via a unique digital certificate. Because piracy can be traced back to the source, and not just the network operator, content owners are ensured a higher protection level than other distribution methods, such as DVDs and VHS tapes.

  • SimulCAS provides a single content security system for both Digital Video Broadcasting-Cable (DVB-C) and IPTV by supporting the simultaneous transmission of channels in both analog and digital formats.

  • Quantum Authentication detects 100 percent perfect clones of real STBs where clones are exact in every way. Regular data sent to the Verimatrix server reveals operational differences between real STBs and cloned STBs, such as watching different channels or asking for keys at different times.

  • Federated Authentication ensures the STB is connected to the correct physical line at the subscriber's house or apartment. On a daily basis, VCAS sweeps the network to detect cloned STBs where the credentials have been cloned, but the physical connection between the DSLAM and STB can never be duplicated.

  • DVB Simulcrypt Support provides the network operator the option to act as a content or broadcast aggregator by reselling or redistributing a single IPTV video feed to other IP video service providers. Service providers can send a single secure video feed to numerous video service providers or telcos resulting in a single video feed resold by multiple operators.

  • ADAPT copy protection sits with the STB to prevent digital video from being recorded and distributed as analog onto a VHS tape. It distorts the video making it unwatchable when the tape is replayed.

HomePlug Issues Call for BPL Specification

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance issued an open "Call for Submissions" to the Broadband over Power Line (BPL) industry for technical submissions in several key areas related to the alliance's Access BPL Specification. The HomePlug Access BPL working group expects to address such topics as repeating, redundancy, network management, provisioning and others for inclusion into the specification. This invitation is open to all who are interested and those who submit will have the opportunity to present at the upcoming Broadband over Power Line - Specification Working Group (BPL-SWG) Meeting in Nice, France (May 22 - 24, 2006).

D-Link Develops HomePlug IPTV Solution for Taiwan's Chunghwa

D-Link has designed a new HomePlug home networking solution to address the emerging IPTV market for Chunghwa Telecom, the incumbent telecom operator in Taiwan. D-Link is using Intellon's HomePlug with Turbo chips to provide connectivity between access modems and IPTV set-top-boxes using existing power lines in homes.

Globalstar Announces $400 Million Financing

Globalstar, a provider of mobile satellite voice and data services, raised $400 million in debt and equity financing. The financing consists of $200 million of debt in the form of a five-year term loan and a four-year revolving credit facility, both underwritten by Wachovia Securities. The $200 million in equity capital is being invested by affiliates of the Thermo Companies. Minority shareholders in Globalstar will be provided an opportunity to participate in the equity financing.

Globalstar said it plans to use the proceeds of the financing, as well as cash from its ongoing business, to fund the design and deployment of the company's second-generation satellite constellation, upgrades to its ground segment and the launch of eight spare satellites for its current constellation in early 2007.

Globalstar's second generation satellite constellation will continue to voice services as well as increased data speeds to both handheld and fixed subscriber equipment. Globalstar is already capable of providing ancillary terrestrial component service or ATC, which the FCC authorized it to provide in January. The second-generation satellite constellation will fully integrate ATC and ensure the company's long-term capability to provide ATC and other integrated wireless multimedia satellite solutions.

Extreme Networks to sell Campus Headquarters

Extreme Networks agreed to sell its corporate headquarters campus in Santa Clara, California at a price of $70 Million. Completion of the transaction is contingent upon successful rezoning of the property for residential development, and is expected to close in 15 to 21 months. The company will proceed with its plans for the relocation of its corporate headquarters to a separate campus in the area.

Alcatel Offers Gigabit Ethernet and PoE Stackable Switches

Alcatel unveiled its new OmniSwitch 6850 family of stackable 10/100/1000 and 10/100/1000PoE workgroup switches, which are 10 Gigabit capable workgroup switches. The OmniSwitch 6850s are the first Alcatel switches to provide Gigabit power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capabilities, as well as offer extensive port diversity, full Alcatel Operating System (AOS) support, gigabit to the desktop, 10 Gigabit uplinks, and enhanced performance for a flexible, intelligent and highly available network.

The OmniSwitch 6850L models provide Fast Ethernet to the desktop and are software upgradeable to Gigabit. With the Gigabit Ethernet upgradeability feature, OmniSwitch 6850L switches allow the enterprise to upgrade one or more switches at a time via software, saving the cost of completely replacing the hardware.

The Alcatel OmniSwitch 6850s and 6850Ls also provide capabilities for future use such as advanced security for the edge, support for user mobility and dual IPv4/IPv6 capability.

The switches are available in 24-port and 48-port versions, with AC and DC power with standard and high-power PoE, and with or without 10-Gigabit uplinks. Eight of them can be stacked together for a total capacity of 384 Gigabit ports and 16 10-Gigabit ports. The OmniSwitch 6850 is available immediately from Alcatel resellers while the OmniSwitch 6850L will be available in summer 2006. Prices start at $3,995 list for the OmniSwitch 6850-24 model.

Cavium Offers High Performance Accelerator Cards for Network Appliances

Cavium Networks introduced a line of PCI/PCI-X accelerator cards designed for handling security and other processing intensive applications in networking platforms. Currently, many network appliances, L4-L7 switches, application gateways, and storage systems have been built using x86-based motherboards with PCI/PCI-X connectivity. The PCI/PCI-X cards accelerator cards offer a ready-to-deploy solution to rapidly add multi-gigabit acceleration for compression/decompression, pattern-matching (RegEx), IPsec/SSL processing, and TCP termination. Specifically, the cards can be used to accelerate IPsec, SSL, TCP, IPS/AV and compression functionality, as well as high-availability LAN bypass features.

The OCTEON XL Accelerator cards, which are offered in a range of 4-port Gigabit Ethernet NIC inline and co-processor configurations, deliver performance ranging from 500 Mbps to 6 Gbps.

Cavium said it has numerous Tier-1 design wins for its OCTEON XL accelerator cards.

JDSU Adds VoIP Analysis to IP Test Platform

JDSU has enhanced its exiting IP network troubleshooting and data analysis platforms, JDSU's DA-3400 and DA-3600A, with VoIP call quality monitoring capabilities. The DA-3400 is able to support 8,000 simultaneous calls and the DA-3600A can support 64,000 VoIP calls.

The DA-3400/3600A's new VoIP features also include the ability to show signaling details of VoIP calls using a graphic display that captures signal/packet set-up and tear-down during a VoIP call exchange. This feature also details the timing and response code, delivering prompts that warn the user the VoIP signal did not go through.

Broadcom Ships 802.11n Wi-Fi Chipsets

Broadcom began shipping its "Intensi-fi" wireless LAN chipsets to several top manufacturers of wireless networking gear. Broadcom's Intensi-fi chipsets are compliant with the draft-802.11n specification, offering real world throughput of greater than 180 Mbps.

Broadcom said its Intensi-fi products are not only interoperable with a wide variety of 802.11a/b/g and draft-802.11n devices, but feature unique enhancements that can improve the performance of legacy Wi-Fi products. The Intensi-fi routers employ a "good neighbor" mode that ensures optimal performance in mixed networks when using the optional 40 MHz transmission mode -- dynamically managing the use of 40 MHz channels and reverting back to 20 MHz channels when traffic is high or legacy clients need to communicate.

The Broadcom chipset includes a draft-802.11n media access controller (MAC)/baseband chip (BCM4321) and a finely-tuned, dual-band radio chip (BCM2055) that can be configured for a variety of high-speed wireless applications. Broadcom also offers a high-performance network processor that provides advanced routing and bridging capabilities for router and gateway designs.

Verizon Business Enhances Digital Media Platform

Verizon Business unveiled a new version of its digital media platform to enable broadcast and entertainment companies to more efficiently manage, edit and deliver digital media content. The new version supports the National Television System Committee (NTSC) signal, the standard for North America, Central America and Japan. As a result, broadcast and entertainment companies in those regions can now use the platform.

Earlier versions of Verizon Business' ICF Media Platform support the Phase Alternate Line (PAL) broadcast standard commonly used in much of Western Europe, including the United Kingdom, West Germany and Holland; several countries in South America and Africa; and the Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and other islands of the Pacific. North American users could deploy the media platform with the PAL version, but only with pre-recorded content that needed to be reformatted.

The media platform integrates with existing production systems to streamline content distribution in virtually any format to any device, including EVDO-enabled products from Verizon Wireless.

In addition, Verizon Business plans to roll out in the third quarter of this year a version of the media platform that supports HDTV signals. With this version, customers will be able to maintain HD quality as they store, edit and deliver content through any distribution channel -- including IPTV, personal video players and other portable wireless and mobile devices.

SeaChange Introduces New MediaLibrary 6000

SeaChange International introduced its new MediaLibrary 6000 -- a transmission storage system providing a low-cost entry point for small and mid-sized broadcasters and other content producers. With IP network capability, like the Broadcast MediaLibrary 24000e, the ML 6000 provides centralized, online access to every video/audio file, helping to streamline on-air operations.

The ML 6000 scales incrementally from 730 gigabytes to as high as 12 terabytes. SeaChange's MediaCluster 'single-copy' technology provides fault-resilience without mirroring.

The ML 6000 also provides guaranteed I/O bandwidth via specialized IP accelerator Gigabit Ethernet ports. It can scale up to nine nodes, providing incremental increases in bandwidth and storage.

Nokia Opens Research Center at M.I.T.

Nokia and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announce the opening of the Nokia Research Center Cambridge. The new research facility, which is a collaboration between Nokia Research Center and MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), aims to explore and develop technologies that will be available in the marketplace in five to ten years.

The center is currently focusing its research on several projects, each part of a larger vision where mobile devices become elements of an "ecosystem" of information, services, peripherals, sensors and other devices. Specific projects include:

  • Project Simone addresses new ways to interact with your mobile device primarily using speech.

  • MobileStart provides a framework for task-oriented applications that interact via written language on the mobile device.

  • MyNet/UIA develops a way for different users to easily and securely connect various devices to each other and across the Internet.

  • Asbestos explores the use of new operating systems mechanisms for information flow control to prevent private information from being inadvertently shared or maliciously exposed.

  • SwapMe develops a platform for Semantic Web applications that are policy, preference, and context aware.

  • ComposeMe provides mechanisms for verifying interoperability of Web services.

  • Armo explores new design methodologies and languages to enable the development of high-performance, energy-efficient hardware for mobile devices.

The facility will have approximately 20 researchers from MIT and 20 researchers from Nokia. Joint projects will be managed under the direction of a joint steering committee, and Dr. James Hicks from the Nokia Research Center has been named director of the Nokia Research Center Cambridge. Arvind, Johnson Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at MIT, will be the program manager for MIT/CSAIL.

Amino Announces High Definition H.264/ AVC Set-top Box

Amino introduced a new IPTV set-top box that supports High Definition, H.264 (MPEG4/AVC) video streams and is modeled on the same design as previous AmiNET generations.

The AmiNET130 can deliver HD as multicast, on-demand video and multi-room IPTV services. The company expects to announce the first customer deployment of the new unit in Q3 2006. In anticipation of consumer expectations for H.264 HD services, the AmiNET130 supports Dolby Surround Sound (5.1) and is also compatible with adapters for home networking over the existing infrastructure.