BigBand Nabs Patent for Switched Broadcast Earlier this week, BigBand Networks announced it has been awarded a patent relating to its switched broadcast solution. The patent, US Patent No. 6,999,477, "is for the method and system of selecting media streams from multiple sources, and dynamically provisioning them to particular groups of subscribers," according to the press release. BigBand said it has established the bandwidth efficiency gains of switched broadcast in multiple documented field deployments completed to date. The company will unveil several of the additional benefits that could be enabled next week at the NCTA National Show in technology demonstrations and in a published white paper entitled "Switched Unicast: It’s Not Just About Capacity". AT&T Takes Aim at Video in California AT&T California announced its financial commitment to bring next-generation interactive TV and video services to the state. The company said it is prepared to invest up to $1 billion over the next three years upgrading its fiber-optic network in California. This investment represents a portion of the $4.4 billion AT&T plans to spend on its Project Lightspeed initiative between now and the end of 2008. Project Lightspeed will bring fiber closer to AT&T customers’ homes, continuing the company’s aggressive network buildout in California. More fiber in the ground, closer to customers, will make it possible for AT&T to provide new, next-generation IP-based services over its existing network, including high-speed data, VoIP and an IP-based TV service. Pace Awarded CableLabs’ Interoperability Status Pace Micro Technology, a digital set-top box provider, announced that its new Vegas TDC575 SD-DVR digital set-top box, with an embedded DOCSIS 1.1 cable modem and DOCSIS Set-Top Gateway (DSG) functionality, had achieved CableLabs Verified for Interoperability status. This follows Pace’s achieving CableLabs Verified for Interoperability status for Pace’s DOCSIS 2.0 and DSG Tahoe TDC775D HD-DVR box last fall. Pace recently announced the availability of the Vegas SD-DVR and will debut it at the upcoming NCTA National Show. Best Buy to Offer HP HDTV Sets HP has signed a national distribution agreement for its line of HDTV sets with Best Buy, the nation’s largest electronics retailer. Beginning in late April, Best Buy stores nationwide will offer HP HDTV sets, including LCD and plasma models. In late August, Best Buy also will add HP’s MediaSmart TV in select U.S. markets. MediaSmart TV allows customers to access music, movies, photos and videos stored on any PC or notebook computer and to enjoy them in their living rooms. DVRs in Outer Space FFV, an innovator of digital video recorder (DVR) technology for broadcast, surveillance, industrial video, presentation, and military applications, announced that Kayser-Threde GmbH is using the Recon ultra-compact DVR board in a scientific instrument on the International Space Station for outer-space research on physics under weightlessness. Hmm, will it network with DVRs on other space stations so that everyone can watch "The Sopranos?"