Light Reading
Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!

Comcast Forges 'Excalibur' for IPTV

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
10/28/2009
50%
50%

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has an underground IPTV and video convergence project underway, code-named "Excalibur," Cable Digital News has learned.

Comcast hasn't released any details about the project, said to be near the top of the MSO's priority list. But sources familiar with Excalibur say its aim is to develop a "services overlay" that would put all IP services, including video, into a common provisioning and management system. Sources also say Excalibur will use a form of digital rights management (DRM) for security.

However, a Comcast official said it's more appropriate to call the work a "natural extension of the work we're doing" with IP. Comcast has been using IP for years to deliver voice, Internet access, and even some video applications, the official added. (See SCTE Expo: MSOs Prep IPTV Push .)

Comcast is expected to use Excalibur to help it pursue an IPTV strategy that includes personalized, unicast video services -- although older, QAM-based video will still factor in for years to come.

But the broader vision has Excalibur factoring in with Comcast's "TV Everywhere" ambitions, which involve delivering IPTV to PCs, smartphones, and myriad other video displays that speak IP. (See Comcast Web TV Trial: 10,000 Being Served and Comcast Nears 'TV Everywhere' Launch.)

Industry sources say about 100 employees are involved with Excalibur, with Comcast Interactive Capital president and founding partner Sam Schwartz running point on the project.

A Comcast official confirmed that Schwartz has been named president of a newly created division called Comcast Converged Products, a position that reports to Comcast CTO Tony Werner. Industry sources say Schwartz gets at least five direct reports.

It's said that a good portion of the work centered on Excalibur/Comcast Converged Products will be done in Radnor, Pa., where Comcast already operates some facilities and where the GuideWorks LLC joint venture is based.

Excalibur is hiring
Although Comcast isn't shouting about Excalibur from the hilltops yet, some public information about it has emerged. The "odinjobs" beta site lists three recent job postings for Excalibur: a lead architect, a system administration support consultant to support the "Excalibur Content Ingest team," and a procurement lead. The location listed for all three is Philadelphia.

The postings also share some detail about Excalibur, characterizing it as Comcast's "next big thing":

Comcast is going to change the way America looks at television. Sound exciting? Then be a part of our next big thing. Our customers want access to entertainment from every source and we are going to bring it to them! Whether it is their TV, PC, smartphone, or the next cool device, we are building a next-generation platform that will serve them all and provide a seamless experience. It is the converged world we have all been waiting for.


Microsoft, Adobe in hot pursuit
It's unclear whether Comcast has issued any formal requests for proposals (RFPs) or requests for information (RFIs) on Excalibur, but multiple sources say Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), and Intertrust Technologies are among those in the running for the DRM component. Comcast has already shown interest in bringing Adobe Flash to the set-top environment. (See Comcast Offers Glimpse of Flash Strategy .)

It's not clear yet who has the inside track, but one source familiar with the project says Comcast is concerned about Adobe's consumption-based licensing terms.

Comcast didn't confirm any Excalibur-related talks with those vendors, but noted that it's holding conversations with "hundreds" of companies for different components and applications that may or may not end up becoming part of the project.

What ends up emerging from all this work is still in flux. "There are no product plans or specific products to talk about at this time," the Comcast official said.

While Comcast's Excalibur project is high on ambition, the name may not score many points for originality. In days of Docsis yore, Excalibur was also the code name Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) used for its Road Runner high-speed Internet service.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News




Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2009, the telecom industry’s premier event for the exploration of a comprehensive entertainment convergence strategy, to be staged in Orlando, Fla., November 10-12. For more information, or to register, click here.


(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:53:19 PM
re: Comcast Forges 'Excalibur' for IPTV


top 10, at least.

bethkoferets
50%
50%
bethkoferets,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:52:55 PM
re: Comcast Forges 'Excalibur' for IPTV


lol I'm sure

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
LRTV Custom TV
Exploring the Future of Cable Access

10|15|14   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Brett Wingo looks at where cable access architectures are heading, discussing the impact of DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, Remote PHY, SDN, virtualization of cable networks and related technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet
Stephen Saunders, 10/15/2014
HBO Will Go OTT in 2015
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/15/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed