& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
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
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
Friday, October 21, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Evolving the Data Center
Rasool Kareem Irfan, Head, Telecom & Infrastructure Security Practice, Tata Communications Transformation Services Ltd (TCTS)
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
From Philly, With Love

9|30|16   |     |   (5) comments


Join Alan Breznick, cable's answer to the Italian Stallion, as he runs through the highlights of SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, lumbers along in Rocky Balboa's footsteps and searches for the perfect Philadelphia cheesesteak.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SD-WAN Customers Looking for Value Not Cost Savings

9|30|16   |   5:31   |   (0) comments


At NFV & Carrier SDN in Denver, CenturyLink's Eric Nowak told Light Reading that when customers launch SD-WAN, they aren't necessary looking to save money, but instead they are looking for more value from what they're spending. He also shared some unique case studies and lessons learned from launching SD-WAN services.
LRTV Custom TV
Flexible Deployment Approaches for the Gigabit Services Evolution

9|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


For many operators, the gigabit evolution begins with the shift from DOCSIS 3.0 to DOCSIS 3.1. But that move represents a change not only in the protocol itself, but in the approach to architecting their entire DOCSIS delivery chain -- from the headend to the outside plant and home gateway components.

Jonathan Ruff, senior director of global technical ...

LRTV Interviews
Level 3 VP: Enterprises Need More for Less

9|29|16   |   05:27   |   (0) comments


Andrew Dugan, Level 3 group vice president of global technology and IT, says enterprises need more bandwidth and they need it faster and with greater security, but they want to spend less, if possible. They are looking to carriers to reduce their network complexity and help protect them from cyberattacks as well.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Reusable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into reusable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
AT&T CEO Backs Black Lives Matter
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/30/2016
Powell Kills the Cable Show
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/29/2016
Telstra Sees Quadrupled Data Capacity by 2020
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/28/2016
From Philly, With Love
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 9/30/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.