Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
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
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Mchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
New Apple TV: More $$, Not Content Report
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/31/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 16, 2015
Wi-Fi First or Second?
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With Me
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Cats with Phones
Tastes Like Fish Click Here
Please hold while I lick the phone.