• Narad, Strix combo on wireless systems for cable networks
Narad Networks and Strix Systems announced successful interoperability testing of their complementary Carrier Ethernet solutions. The combination of the former’s FTTx extensions for HFC networks and the latter’s wireless mesh systems represents a new, high-capacity, carrier class option for plant extension and wireless mesh (Wi-Fi) backhaul for metro areas. The pair said the combined system was demonstrated to exceed an aggregate rate of 35 Mbps from end-to-end.
• Movie Gallery to introduce online rental service
Joining the ranks of dozens of other movie rental operations, Movie Gallery said it will launch an online video rental service in mid-to-late 2007. The pilot phase will be a low-cost “friends and family” program that will provide existing customers with another easy way to rent movies. The company currently has approximately 5,600 stores in the U.S. and Canada, and 74 kiosk units, many operating under the brands Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy.
• Thomson to unveil watermarking for Windows Media Video 9
Thomson announced a forensic marking product for Microsoft Windows Media Video 9, which it claims will be the first and only marking solution for the WMV 9 codec on the market. The NexGuard WMV 9 will be demonstrated at NAB 2007 and will be available to be licensed in summer 2007. NexGuard for WMV 9 includes the NexGuard video watermarking technology and the NexGuard Embedder and Investigator tools.
• Yahoo! Health to offer HealthiNation content
HealthiNation, a digital health education network, will provide videos and other content to Yahoo! Health users. Content will include 3D animations, on-camera doctors and documentary-style videos of people sharing their real-life experiences with specific health conditions.
HealthiNation launched in 2005 and utilizes formats such as VOD and streaming Internet video. Yahoo! Health is an informational Web site with about seven million users that aims to help people live better and longer.
• Comcast opens business services support center
Comcast Corp. has opened its new Business Services Support Center in Centennial, Colo. The company said the center will provide nationwide support for business customers who use Comcast Workplace High-Speed Internet, Workplace TV services and Workplace Digital Voice. The support center will initially be staffed with 100 locally-hired employees, and it will employ more than 200 technical support representatives by the end of 2007, the company said.
• Vonage appoints broadband VP
Vonage announced the appointment of Martin Hakim Din as the senior VP of Vonage Broadband. He will lead the company’s effort to bundle high-speed Internet and VoIP phone services. Hakim Din previously led Vonage’s Technical Regulatory Strategy. Prior to that, he held engineering and business development roles at Alcatel and UUNET/MCI.
• Cox stretches into downtown L.A.
Cox Business Services has expanded its service area in Orange County to downtown Los Angeles, offering data transport and Internet services. L.A. businesses can connect via Cox’s SONET, Ethernet connection or IP transport service. Cox delivers commercial broadband and telecom services to 12,600 businesses in south and central Orange County.
• AT&T lands new U-verse launch
AT&T Inc. has launched its U-verse service in Kansas City. U-verse delivers IP-based television service and high-speed Internet service over AT&T’s fiber network. U-verse is now available in parts of 15 markets in six states, and AT&T plans to continue expansion of the service this year.