Light Reading
More than 50 suppliers – set-top vendors, chip makers, app developers, and integration/testing firms – have joined Comcast's expanding lineup of reference design kit licensees

Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/14/2013
50%
50%

More than 50 companies, including almost a dozen set-top vendors, five service providers and five chip makers, have secured licenses for Comcast Corp.'s Reference Design Kit (RDK), an integrated set of software for hybrid QAM/IP and IP-only set-tops and gateways, according to industry sources.

Obtaining a license isn't a guarantee it will generate any business with the nation's cable operator or other service providers that end up adopting the RDK, but it's an important first step. Additionally, sources say Comcast makes its vendors adhere to an additional set of requirements ... so there's that.

Comcast says the RDK will help it cut product development cycles to a year or less. It should also allow operators to pick from a broad set of vendors and reduce their reliance on a U.S. set-top market that's historically been dominated by Motorola Mobility LLC and Cisco Systems Inc. (See Comcast's Set-Top Accelerator Gains Traction.)

In Comcast's case, that's already starting to happen as it deploys Xfinity X1, a next-gen video service that utilizes the RDK. Pace plc is making the first iteration of the XG1, a multi-tuner HD-DVR. But the operator has already approved Pace, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Motorola and Cisco for the RNG150N, a companion box that brings whole-home capabilities to the XG1 and also utilizes the RDK. Arris Group Inc. is among the vendors making the new XG5, a "headless" gateway that will work with IP-only HD client boxes from a group of suppliers that initially includes Pace, Humax Co. Ltd. and Technicolor SA. (See Comcast All-Service Gateways Go 'Headless', Comcast's X1 Flies Into Philly, Comcast's X1 Gets a Multi-Room Partner and Comcast's IP-Only Set-Top Unveiled.)

CPE vendor choices could expand to several more, based on the current licensees, which include Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Ubee Interactive and iNovo Broadband Inc., a startup made up of several former Cisco and Scientific-Atlanta execs. (See Ex-Cisco Execs Form Cable Set-Top Startup.)

The RDK is also gaining support of multiple silicon vendors, with Intel Corp., Broadcom Corp., MStar Semiconductor Inc., STMicroelectronics NV and Entropic Communications Inc. already in the licensing and/or product development mix.

Although Comcast is the world's largest cable operator , it will likely need participation from other MSOs to achieve massive economies of scale for products based on the RDK. Time Warner Cable Inc. is expected to use the RDK for some products, but it's not clear if some of the other service providers with licenses (Rogers Communications Inc., BSkyB Ltd., NET Brazil and Liberty Global Inc. among them) will follow suit.

Comcast said it could only confirm companies that had issued press releases about their respective RDK license agreements. Here's an expanded RDK licensee list, based on those public announcements as well as from data supplied to Light Reading Cable independently (companies that have previously disclosed themselves as RDK licensees are listed below with an asterisk).

Company Product Focus
Access Systems Americas Software and applications.
Alticast Corp.* Middleware and applications.
Arris Group Inc.* Set-tops, gateways, applications and user interfaces.
AwoX Networks DLNA middleware for consumer electronics products.
Beechwood Software Audio/video application and services integration for embedded devices, including set-tops.
Bitrouter Integration services for TVs, set-tops, connected devices and user interfaces.
Bluestreak Technology Inc. Software for connected TVs, set-tops, smartphones and tablets.
Broadcom Corp.* Set-top/CPE silicon.
BSkyB U.K.-based pay-TV service provider.
CableLabs U.S. MSO-backed R&D house and developer of cable specifications.
Cisco Systems Inc.* (and NDS) Set-tops, gateways, middleware, user interfaces, system integration services.
Corpus Media Labs Cross-platform applications.
Entropic Communications Inc.* Set-top/CPE silicon.
Espial Group* IPTV set-top middleware and TV browser software.
Evolution Digital LLC* Set-tops/CPE.
HCL America Inc. Middleware and application development, product testing.
Humax Co. Ltd.* Set-tops/CPE
Infosys Limited Business consulting, technology, engineering and outsourcing services.
Inovo Broadband Inc. Set-tops/CPE.
Intel Corp.* Set-top silicon.
Itaas Inc.* Product testing and integration.
JetHead Development Inc. Embedded software for consumer electronics systems.
LG Electronics Smart TVs and apps.
Liberty Global* Cable operator serving parts of Europe, Chile and Puerto Rico.
Linaro Open source software for ARM system-on-chips (SoCs).
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Engineering, construction and financial services.
Motorola Mobility* Set-tops/CPE, middleware, apps, user interfaces
Mstar Semiconductor Semiconductors for displays and digital home platforms.
Myriad Group Maker of Java Virtual Machines.
Net Brazil Brazil-based service provider.
Opera Software ASA Web browsers for desktops and other connected CE devices.
Pace plc* Set-tops, gateways, CPE.
Red Embedded Consulting Technical consulting services.
Rogers Communications Canada-based pay-TV and mobile services operator.
S3 Group* Product testing and integration.
Sagemcom Set-tops/CPE.
Samsung Electronics Set-tops/CPE.
SeaChange International (VividLogic) Video middleware, UIs and integration services.
Solekai Systems* Product testing and integration.
ST Microelectronics CPE silicon.
Tech Mahindra IT outsourcing and Web development.
Tata Elxsi* Product testing and integration
Technicolor SA* Set-tops/CPE, user interfaces and apps.
TeleIDEA BV Software engineering.
thePlatform Comcast-owned Internet video publisher.
ThinkAnalytics Video search and recommendation software for set-tops and connected devices.
Time Warner Cable* Second-largest U.S. cable operator.
Ubee Interactive Gateways/CPE.
UXP Systems Multi-platform apps and services.
Verimatrix Inc. Multi-platform video security and encryption.
Video Experts Group Software development and project outsourcing.
Videon Central* Testing and development of CE software.
Visible World Advanced advertising software and systems.
WiPro Ltd. Consulting and outsourcing.
WyPlay Set-top box software development.
Zenverge Inc. Video transcoding silicon.


— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/18/2013 | 1:33:00 AM
re: Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?
Hey Steve. Thanks for posting and passing word along. I'll be in touch very soon and look forward to learning more about you and the company. JB
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/18/2013 | 1:31:16 AM
re: Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?
Word
craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/18/2013 | 1:15:34 AM
re: Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?
It's amazing that RDK has attracted such widespread participation in a relatively short timeframe. There are more than a dozen companies on the list that we've never heard of before. Like Jeff, we on the Heavy Reading research side of the house would like to hear more about your RDK plans. So feel free to drop me a line at:

Craig Leddy
Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider
cleddy@interactivetvworks.com - - - - - - - -
Craig Matsumoto
50%
50%
Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/17/2013 | 7:01:47 PM
re: Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?
Thanks for chiming in, Steve.

You share a first and last name with one of the Light Reading founders, so seeing your message on our front page was a bit freaky at first.- :) - (Now, if you also look like Hugh Laurie and speak with a British accent, that'll be *really* strange...)
SteveAtSentosa
50%
50%
SteveAtSentosa,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/17/2013 | 5:54:30 PM
re: Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?
Hi Jeff,

Steve Saunders here, founder of Sentosa Technology Consultants.- We are based in Colorado, about 20 folks or so, we have been around for 5 years, providing software development services to the cable industry.- We were significant contributors to the OCAP RI, and one of the first RDK licensees.

If you would like to talk in person for more info, please feel free to contact me:

------ Steven Saunders
------ steve@sentosatech.com
------ 303-809-8043
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/17/2013 | 4:27:11 PM
re: Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?
Well, the list indicates who wants in on the RDK action... time will tell who actually gets some. And we suspect there are many more... like perhaps 70+ by now.

Also have a list of a handful of others that I was researching but left off the list as I haven't pinpointed them or their role yet:
- Channel Islands (the service provider?)
- Sentosa (a service company that i hear is based in Colo).-
- Trick Play-(not familar with them yet)
- Triple Play-(ditto as above)
- Zodiak or is it Zodiac, the video software/iTV company that's worked with TWC, Cablevision and others?

Making more calls on those, but fee free to drop me a line if you have a sense on who these other folks are and where they're located. JB
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
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
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
1959 Newsreel: Make Phone Calls – From Cars!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/24/2014
Meet the Phantom Network for NFV
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed