Light Reading
Cable operators are ready to take another run at offering a full suite of smart-home services to increase customer spending

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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (10) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (0) comments


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
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
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
Comcast Turns Off Streampix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/26/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed