& cplSiteName &

Are Cable's Smart Homes a Smart Move?

Light Reading
LR Cable Opinion
Light Reading
7/11/2012
50%
50%

The Digital Home is an age-old industry concept. Since the earliest days of digital technology in the 1990s, tradeshows for cable, consumer electronics, and other communications and entertainment industries presented mock homes that showed off the wonders of the Digital Age. As the Web, broadband and wireless technology flourished, the Digital Home evolved into the Connected Home and the Connected Consumer.

Now the concepts surrounding the Connected Home are being renewed and refined. The cable industry, as well as its service provider competitors, are brushing up the home network concepts and making them new again, with the help of recent technology innovations and fresh strategies, according to the latest Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, Cable Gears Up for Another Smart-Home Run.

Cable's Connected Home is becoming the Smart Home, one that provides extensive entertainment and communications that move around the home or even beyond the home, as well as security, energy management and other home automation services.

"We really have no interest in being just a security provider. It's really all about broadband and the connected home," said Mitch Bowling, SVP and GM, new businesses for Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), during a 2012 Cable Show panel on home automation.

The Heavy Reading report reviews many of the technologies that make the Smart Home possible:

  • A high-capacity broadband pipe into the home, fueled by Docsis 3.0 (D3) wideband Internet capability for download speeds of up to about 150 Mbit/s, or even faster as cable embraces emerging fiber optic technologies.

  • A multimedia gateway, initially in the form of a Docsis-fueled set-top box (STB) and eventually a whole-home hybrid gateway that includes a D3 modem and STB functionality in a single device.

  • MoCA and DNLA support to route media around the home and serve various consumer electronics. Smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, videogame consoles and other broadband-connected devices provide platforms for cable's TV Everywhere services, live streams and on-demand apps.

  • A cloud-based interactive program guide (IPG) that improves TV navigation and offers a platform for over-the-top (OTT) Web services, interactive apps and service management.

  • Smart-home automation with touchpads to control security monitoring, digital thermostats and lighting and eventually provide services such as remote healthcare.


The report assesses cable's prospects for smart-home services and the technologies that support whole-home experiences and automation. It includes profiles of nine suppliers, including those that support whole-home networking through hybrid gateways and related products, as well as cable's go-to provider of home automation services, iControl.

The enhanced service capabilities increase cable providers' prospects to retain customers and build high-profit-margin broadband businesses, the report says. The more that cable providers can integrate the new broadband applications into a cohesive experience for customers, the greater chance they have that customers will stick with cable as their provider of choice.

Yet cable faces stiff competition for smart-home automation from existing security companies, telcos and other service providers, as well as retail products, the report says. MSOs are asking customers to pay about $30 to $50 per month plus an installation fee amid a down economy and uncertain consumer demand for home automation.

MSOs must educate consumers about the benefits of smart home services and market them successfully in order to achieve meaningful penetration, the report concludes. When it comes to home security, cable must prove that it is highly reliable and trustworthy.

Cable providers want to be the "the trusted provider" for all consumer services, said Asheesh Saksena, EVP and chief strategy officer, Cox Communications Inc. . "This is one of those instances where trust matters."

— Craig Leddy, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider


This report, "Cable Gears Up for Another Smart-Home Run," is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (six issues) to Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/cable.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
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, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
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
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.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP's Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


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.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


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.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
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
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/20/2016
Sprint CEO: We'll Lease Spectrum as Soon as Possible
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2016
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
You Thought Your Customer Service Was Unreliable... 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.