Thursday, September 7, 2006

Intelsat Supports 3 Italia's DVB-H Service

Intelsat was selected by Reti Radiotelevisive Digitali (RRD) to support 3 Italia's commercially available Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H) mobile TV service. Launched in June, the service, called WalkTV, has already attracted over 140,000 clients.

3 Italia is using the IS-905 satellite, located at the 335.5°E orbital location, to broadcast a multiplex of 12 television channels from the 3 Italia network operations to over 450 UHF transmitters throughout Italy. The signal is then re-transmitted terrestrially from the UHF transmitters directly to mobile phones.


SFT Evaluates Hybrid Satellite/Mobile Broadcasting from Alcatel

Alcatel and SFR, the second largest mobile telecommunications operator in France with 17.4 million customers and 8,000 employees, are working together on different growth scenarios for the mobile TV market in France, as well as on a variety of marketing approaches to match different usage profiles and consumption models. Specifically, SFR will evaluate the technical performance of Alcatel's "Unlimited Mobile TV", a hybrid satellite and terrestrial solution in the S-Band. This solution has received the support from the French Industrial Innovation Agency.

Alcatel and SFR have exchanged comparative deployment cost information for the different mobile broadcasting solutions. Alcatel provided SFR with information regarding configuration, as well as the number of sites needed to deploy such an S-band network, and the two companies have jointly validated certain technical and cost hypotheses associated with this deployment.


FCC Considers Changes to 700 MHz Guard Band Licenses

The FCC is considering possible changes to the rules governing the licensees in the Guard Band portions of the 700 MHz spectrum band.

Although the main purpose of the Guard Bands is to protect public safety from adjacent commercial operations, the FCC has also permitted operations in the Guard Bands in order to allow for effective and valuable use of the spectrum. The Guard Band licensees, or Guard Band Managers, make the 700 MHz Guard Bands spectrum available either to system operators or directly to end users in varying degrees of quantity, geographic areas, and duration through private, written contracts known as "spectrum user agreements."

In 2000 and 2001, the FCC completed two auctions of Guard Band licenses. According to existing Guard Band licensees, only a handful of systems have been deployed since the completion of the auctions.

The FCC said it is now is seeking to promote more efficient and effective use of this spectrum.

"I am pleased that we are seizing this opportunity to simultaneously consider allowing more flexible operations for existing services while ensuring that public safety users have access to adequate spectrum. As we move forward in this proceeding, however, we must not overlook the digital television transition and our statutory mandate to soon commence an auction of 700 MHz spectrum," said Kevin Martin, FCC Chairman.

NDS Extends DRM from PC to the Set-top Box

NDS introduced a solution for TV operators that allows digital media on subscribers' PC's to be consumed via the set-top box (STB) over the home network. The new "XTend" software is designed for STBs that are capable of providing IP connectivity. It enables the STB to automatically detect PCs and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. XTend handles all format conversions so that content can be seamlessly transferred and viewed through the STB. XTend also provides a content filtering option, giving consumers a way to manage access to their PC content, while viewed on TV.

NDS, Intel and Viasat Demonstrate PayTV Broadcast Over WiMAX

NDS, in co-operation with Intel and Modern Times Group's Viasat Broadcasting (Viasat), demonstrated live pay-TV broadcast over WiMAX at the IBC 2006 show in Amsterdam. An NDS-Intel pilot program is looking into the feasibility of delivering TV over WiMAX and the viability of WiMAX TV as a business model.

Operators choosing to deploy the WiMAX TV solution from NDS will be able to deliver content over WiMAX to personal Consumer Electronic (CE) devices such as laptop computers and other handheld devices. The WiMAX TV solution includes content security, support for multiple business models, an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and a user interface, both part of the NDS secure client.

The demonstration at IBC featured Viasat content encoded in MPEG-4 AVC using a Grass Valley Argos advanced H.264 real-time encoder and then delivered through the NDS WiMAX TV system over WiMAX to an Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology based notebook PC. http://www.nds.com

Nokia Supplies DVB-H Mobile TV Service for VietNam

Nokia and Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC) announced a jointly-inked deal to launch commercial mobile broadcast TV services based on Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-H) technology in two key Vietnamese cities by end-2006.

VTC, Vietnam's leading national broadcaster and operator in digital broadcasting, will make available its mobile PayTV services to consumer subscribers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Consumers in both cities will be able to enjoy seven digital TV channels as well as a video-on-demand service from a catalog of selected title. The service is available on Nokia's Nseries DVB-H enabled multimedia devices, delivered by the Nokia N92 which will make its debut in Vietnam for this purpose.

JDSU Launches IP Video Test Capability

JDSU added a new SimulSource IP Video Generation Application to its digital and IP video test instrument, the DTS-330. The new software helps network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) verify equipment for IPTV and other triple-play service deployment by identifying and troubleshooting issues or improving performance before it is shipped.

JDSU said the ability for NEMs and operators to conduct stress test and verification on their own allows them to adjust, troubleshoot, and improve performance before equipment is deployed in the network.

SimulSource IP Video Generation Application supports this by generating hundreds of IP video test streams typically involved in a network carrying IP Video services, allowing NEMs to verify and stress test equipment using many types of encapsulation and signal layer analysis (MPEG, upper and lower layer protocol) for a full view of the equipment's performance.

The SimulSource software also enables the DTS-330 to perform testing/verification of both the output and input of multiple aggregated IP video streams over a Gigabit Ethernet pipe.

AMD Leverages Sun Grid Compute Utility Infrastructure

Sun Microsystems announced that AMD is using the Sun Grid Compute Utility for processor design and simulation. Rather than purchase additional infrastructure to conduct processor simulations, AMD opted instead to use the outsourced facility. In addition, because the Sun Grid is powered by Sun Fire servers based on AMD's Opteron processors, the company was confident that the performance of this platform would compare to that of AMD's own internal grid.

The Sun Grid Compute Utility provides access to high-performance computing resources on a pay-for-use basis for $1/CPU-hour.

QUALCOMM Licenses FLO Technology to Newport Media

Newport Media, a start-up silicon developer based in Southern California, signed a royalty-free agreement that enables it to use QUALCOMM's patented technologies to design, manufacture and sell certain semiconductor chip products that implement FLO technology.

FLO technology, a multicast innovation, is a Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) standardized air-interface technology designed to increase capacity and coverage and reduce cost for multimedia content delivery to mobile handsets. The FLO Forum recently gained official approval and publication of the FLO Air Interface Specification by the TIA TR-47.1 Subcommittee. http://www.qualcomm.com
  • Newport Media is headed by Mohy Abdelgany, who previously was a VP, Business Director and Founder of RF Solutions Business Unit ($500 million annual revenues at the time of Mohy's departure) at Skyworks , Conexant and Rockwell (1995-2004). Prior to joining Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, he was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Labs (1989-1995).

Broadcom Extends Stock Option Revisions to June 1998, Sees Additional Charges

Broadcom announced plans to record an option-compensation expense of at least $1.5 billion, more than double its previous estimate. The company said that although its stock option award review is still ongoing, it has identified additional stock option grants for which the measurement dates differ from those originally used to record such awards. The grants at issue were awarded between June 1998 and May 2003.