& cplSiteName &

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

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

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        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
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
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/18/2013 | 1:31:16 AM
re: Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?
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
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...)
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
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
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Readings 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.
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
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 Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
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
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
T-Mobile: AT&T & TW Means Ma Bell Not Focused on Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/24/2016
Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
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.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
'Oh, Were You Looking for This?' Click Here
'I was just playing some games...'
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.