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Also: Time Warner, Comcast might bid for German broadcaster; CableCARDs still not hot at retail; Dijit snares fellow social TV startup

STMicro Chips In for Comcast's RDK

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
2/4/2013
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Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • STMicroelectronics NV has shed more light on its plans to support the Comcast Corp. Reference Design Kit (RDK), an integrated software bundle for IP-only and hybrid QAM/IP set-tops and gateways. The chipmaker confirmed that it has secured an RDK license and that it will be supporting it initially on the STiH416, an ARM-based system-on-chip (SoC) for advanced HD set-tops that the vendor introduced in 2011. Among SoC vendors, STMicro joins Intel Corp., Entropic Communications Inc. and Broadcom Corp. among the known RDK licensees, which now number more than 50. STMicro's RDK strategy coincides with a recent cable push by the company that also includes a new Docsis 3.0 chipset that can bond 16 downstream channels and four upstreams. (See Who's On Board with Comcast's Set-Top Kit? and STMicro Reveals its Docsis 3.0 Play.)
  • Time Warner Inc., Comcast and News Corp. are among the potential bidders for Permira Advisers LLP's and KKR & Co.'s 53 percent stake in Germany broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG (PSM), reports the Financial Times. Bloomberg notes that the stake is valued at about €3 billion (US$4.1 billion).
  • The nine largest incumbent U.S. cable operators have deployed just over 600,000 CableCARDs for TiVo Inc. DVRs and other retail devices compared to more than 39 million CableCARDs in operator-supplied set-tops, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its latest CableCARD report. The NCTA has reported out these numbers regularly since the FCC ban on integrated security went into effect in July 2007. In the latest CableCARD-related regulatory dust-up, Charter Communications Inc. is seeking a waiver that will allow it to deploy a new type of box that supports integrated security (for its legacy conditional access system) alongside a new downloadable security platform. Charter claims that it would be prohibitively expensive to develop such boxes with a CableCARD interface, and that the required development time would delay its plan to roll out a downloadable security platform. (See Charter Bemoans CableCARD Costs.)
  • Dijit Media Inc. has inked a deal to acquire the assets of Miso, marking the marriage of two social TV startups that are targeting tablets and other second screens. A proposed merger between two other social TV younglings -- Viggle Inc. and GetGlue -- crumbled recently after Viggle failed to raise another $60 million in financing. (See Anti-Social TV: GetGlue Scraps Viggle Merger.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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    Jeff Baumgartner
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    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    2/4/2013 | 3:56:51 PM
    re: STMicro Chips In for Comcast's RDK
    Now we'll have to see when ST makes some in roads and actually gets its chips built into RDK products.-á Intel, Broadcom and Entropic have already gotten that far, but the RDK era is still just getting underway. JB-á
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