NPD says half of U.S. homes have connected TVs; EchoStar launches SAGE smart home product

More cable news from across the Web:

> Streaming video on demand services are now in half of U.S. homes, Pivotal Research's Brian Wieser says. Broadcasting & Cable story

> NPD Group says one in two U.S. homes that have Internet access also has a TV hooked up for streaming Variety story

> Vubiquity has signed a five-year agreement to provide its AnyVU Content Cloud to streaming services company FlixFling. Press release

> Viamedia has reached an agreement to sell local ad time for TDS. Press release

> Discovery Communications has promoted David Leavy to chief corporate operations and communications officer. Press release

> Viacom has released two new tools for its Vantage targeted advertising solution. Press release

> EchoStar Technologies has announced the launch of a new home automation and securities system, SAGE by Hughes. Press release

Telecom News

> Verizon is confident that its acquisition of XO Communications' fiber assets will give it an array of new dark fiber facilities that can satisfy its wireless densification efforts and enhance its enterprise business. Article

> Lumos Networks may be mulling how to break itself into two separate companies -- the metro fiber company and its rural local exchange carrier operation -- but the provider continues to make progress with expanding its FTTP-based broadband customer base. Article

Wireless News

> Google said it is opening its Project Fi MVNO program to all comers, and will ditch the invitation-only policy it had employed since the offering launched 10 months ago. Article

> Verizon CFO Fran Shammo put to rest any speculation that the carrier is planning to launch unlimited data plans anytime soon. But the nation's largest mobile operator appears to have unlimited plans for mobile video advertising. Article

And finally… Vessel, the YouTube competitor founded by former Hulu chief Jason Kilar, has launched an ad-free, $19.99-a-month subscriber version. Broadcasting & Cable story