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.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbn Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbn discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With YuLiao

10|30|14   |   6:27   |   (0) comments


Yu Liao, chairman of the Chinese Association for Renewable Energy in Germany, discusses the role that ICT solutions play in helping to grow renewable energy resources in Germany.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview

10|30|14   |   2:54   |   (0) comments


Sifang has been working with Huawei on several projects. JingTao Wu, Assistant President of Beijing Sifang Automation Co. Ltd., believes that the cooperation with Huawei can facilitate Sifang's process of internationalization.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Better Connected Smart Grid: Powering Laos

10|30|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Electricite Du Laos (EDL), a state-owned corporation, discuss the importance of ICT solutions in serving their country's energy needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Junwei Lu

10|30|14   |   4:50   |   (0) comments


Professor Junwei Lu of Griffith University Australia describes his work with micro grid technology and the future of the power industry.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (2) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
Upcoming Live Events
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
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, 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
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed