Light Reading

Humax Takes Comcast Angle Into US Cable

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

South Korean set-top maker Humax Co. Ltd. is making an aggressive move into the North American cable market that appears to be led by a push at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK).

It's not clear if Humax has won any business at the nation's largest cable operator yet, but multiple industry sources say the company is already starting to develop products to Comcast's specifications, a scenario that could apply more pressure on the MSO's traditional box suppliers, such as Motorola Mobility, Pace plc and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

But rather than targeting Comcast's business for video gateways, Humax appears to be focused on the lower end of the market, placing early efforts on IP-only HD client boxes and a new line of QAM-based HD Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) devices. (See Comcast HD-DTAs Reach the FCC.)

"They [Humax] will get a shot at that business," says an industry source. Comcast and Humax have not commented on their purported relationship.

On the IP side, Humax appears to be working on the XI3, an IP client device that is expected to receive video from a gateway that can transcode QAM video to IP format and shuttle it along the home network using Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) and possibly Wi-Fi. Down the line, those clients should be able to receive IP video directly if and when Comcast decides to launch an IP simulcast. Those boxes, not expected to be ready until next year at the earliest, could also be made to work with a network DVR. Pace plc , the first supplier of Comcast's hybrid QAM/IP X1 box, is also among the vendors known to be developing the XI3. (See Meet Comcast's IP-Only Set-Top.)

Humax also has some executives on board who know the cable business and hail from Samsung Corp. , a company that has success at Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Bright House Networks and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC). Among recent moves, Frank Romeo joined Humax as SVP, digital cable business development in April 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile. (See Samsung Boxes Break In at Cablevision .)

U.S. cable represents a new opportunity for Humax as operators prepare their shift to IP and Motorola Mobility's and Cisco's grip on the market continues to weaken. Comcast, meanwhile, is trying to open and speed up the set-top produce development cycle with the Reference Design Kit (RDK), a pre-integrated software bundle for IP-connected set-tops and gateways. (See Comcast's Set-Top Accelerator Gains Traction and Cisco, Humax & Technicolor Join Comcast's Crew .)

Satellite TV represents the bulk of Humax's set-top market, with much of its U.S. business coming way of DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), says Broadbandtrends LLC Principal Analyst Teresa Mastrangelo, noting that Humax is typically a top five or six set-top player in terms of global revenue share. "The RDK may give them an opportunity to come into the cable market. They can take what Comcast wants and just port it on their set-top box."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
The Business Case for Open Source

11|30|15   |     |   (1) comment

Open source helps companies enhance infrastructure, undermine competitors' advantage and teach collaboration. But there are problems.
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
Hong Kong Moments
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/26/2015
Facebook in Africa: Beauty or Beast?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/27/2015
Cable Gives Thanks for Business Services
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 11/27/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.