Light Reading

Comcast All-Service Gateways Go 'Headless'

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/7/2013
50%
50%

Arris Group Inc. and Pace plc are among the first vendors out of the chute with a new type of "headless" triple-play services gateway that's based on Comcast Corp.'s pre-integrated Reference Design Kit (RDK) software stack for IP-capable devices. (See Comcast's Set-Top Accelerator Gains Traction.)

The new class of hybrid QAM/IP boxes are headless in the sense that they don't handle the video rendering tasks that a "headed" gateway/set-top would. These gateways will use a mix of Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) and Wi-Fi to distribute video signals on the home network via IP to tablets, smart TVs and low-cost HD client boxes. They also support the operator's high-speed data and digital voice services.

Instead of deploying the device near the primary television, a headless gateway can be installed at the home's primary demarcation point, such as the basement, garage or side of the house. That could help the operator provide higher-performing signal to the home.

On Monday, Arris and Pace both unveiled such gateways that are based on Comcast's XG5 product specification and RDK software, which includes a tru2way middleware stack.

Arris, which is in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility LLC's Home business, calls its XG5 product the MG2402. It's powered by the Intel Corp. Puma 6 MG Docsis 3.0 chipset, which can bond 24 downstream channels – enough to product downstream bursts of about 1Gbit/s. The device is also outfitted with 8 QAM channels to handle the operator's traditional MPEG-based digital video services. It's also equipped with a CableCARD (for legacy conditional access) and software-based security for IP video.

Pace's initial version of the XG5 uses Broadcom Corp. chipsets, including the BCM3128 receiver and BCM3335 transcoding hybrid IP gateway SoC.

Both products can support 802.11ac and MoCA 2.0, a platform that can handle up to 800Mbit/s over the home's coax network. The integrated Zigbee piece is for the operator's home automation/security services. The transcoding element can turn QAM video into IP streams that can be read and displayed by tablets, smart TVs and other devices hanging off the home network.

Comcast has not announced launch plans for this new class of gateway, but Arris SVP Derek Elder tells Light Reading Cable that the vendor expects field trials of the MG2402 to get under way this quarter and to reach volume shipments by the second half of 2013.

Pace and Arris are demonstrating their headless handiwork at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Why this matters
Comcast's XG5 represents U.S. cable's first big move into a headless server/client architecture designed to reduce capital costs by taking advantage of low-cost client boxes and consumer electronics gear such as iPads that can integrate traditional set-top functions.

The XG5 also emerges as the first gateway that will work with the Xi3, a new HD client device also based on the Comcast RDK. Pace and Humax Co. Ltd. are the first known makers of the Xi3. The XG5 can support local DVR storage through in internal hard drive or external eSATA drives, but the XG5 (along with the Xi3) is also a likely candidate for a network DVR that Comcast has under development and is testing in the Boston area. For more





— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
gconnery
50%
50%
gconnery,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/11/2013 | 6:17:14 AM
re: Comcast All-Service Gateways Go 'Headless'
I can't find any mention of a single device that can play DLNA Premium Content.-á Can you name something that is actually for sale or expected to be available soon?-á Or is this still just a pipe dream?
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/7/2013 | 10:28:44 PM
re: Comcast All-Service Gateways Go 'Headless'
The other big idea behind this is the notion of going set-top-free since these gateways can ship video directly to tablets and smart TVs. That's true with IP-devices that can hook into the home network, but some TVs will be working off these HD clients, which are still set-tops , just smaller and less expensive. JB
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Interviews
In the Cloud With Telecom Italia

3|5|15   |   7:10   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders sits down with Telecom Italia's Simone Battiferri at Mobile World Congress to discuss virtualization, agility and the economic advantages of the cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
New Ways of Working

3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bridging the Digital Gap

3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Making the Internet of Things Affordable

3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Evolution, Not Revolution

3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
LRTV Custom TV
Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
LRTV Interviews
DT's Virtualization Vision for Europe

3|4|15   |   10:23   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks virtualization, cloudification and standards with Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE's Wireline at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks with Jane Chen, ZTE's Senior VP of Wireline Business, about innovations in her product line at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson CEO Talks Telco Data Center Tech

3|4|15   |   05:45   |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg discusses telco data center technology, business models, small cells and more.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.