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Cable Catchup

1:25 PM -- In today's cable-centric roundup, Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) stirs up some goodness for a chipmaker, flash storage in set-tops aims to be more than a flash in the pan, Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) edges out the competition at Germany's largest MSO, and the Feds get ready to put the vote to rules governing "white spaces."

  • It's good to be in the MoCA business these days. Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR) shares shot up almost 11 percent in midday trading Monday after the chipmaker bumped its third-quarter revenue guidance to between $60 million and $61 million, up from previous guidance of $51 million to $53 million.

    Entropic attributed it to multi-room DVR ramp-ups by Tier 1 pay TV operators. Barclays Capital noted today that Entropic is gaining from fresh deployments by the likes of DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Cox Communications Inc. , with shipments to long-time MoCA user Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) expected to remain steady.

    But Entropic won't own the market forever. Barclays Capital expects Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) to get 10 to 15 percent of the market by the fourth quarter, thanks in large part to the chipmaker's work with Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT).

  • Using flash memory cards for set-top storage is officially in vogue after NDS Ltd. announced the combo of its MediaHighway box software with SanDisk Corp. (Nasdaq: SNDK)'s P5 solid state drive. (See NDS, SanDisk Team on Set-Top Storage.)

    The idea is to create a new breed of cheaper set-tops with "DVR like" functionality using cards with storage capacities in the range of 4 to 16 GBytes. The concept might sound familiar. Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) is working on a similar DVR-lite idea with a tru2way-based set-back box called the "Phantom." (See Tru2way 'Phantom' Box Is a DVR Lightweight .)

  • Arris stayed on an edge QAM roll Monday after notching a deal with Kabel Deutschland GmbH , Germany's largest cable operator with 8.9 million homes passed. The deal calls for the MSO to tap Arris's D5 edge QAMs for capacity for digital video, high-speed data, and video-on-demand (VoD) services.

    It's the latest, sizable win for Arris's D5, coming weeks after we learned that Time Warner Cable recently awarded Arris a nice chunk of its edge QAM business. (See Arris Wins at Time Warner Cable .)

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to set the rules governing the use of "white spaces" (vacant, unused portions of the digital TV spectrum) for wireless broadband when the Commission meets on Thursday, Sept. 23. (See FCC Sets White Space Vote.)

    Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) will be among the parties welcoming a positive vote. The cable industry? Not so much. It's been concerned that services based on unlicensed white spaces technology will interfere with and impair cable services. (See Cable Worried About 'White Space' Tech.)

    The FCC could help to avoid the interference issue by enacting rules to ensure that white space devices are smart enough to avoid parts of the spectrum that are already in use.

  • Radio Frequency Over Glass (RFoG) technology is going to be a niche cable player for years to come, but it's still getting some decent spot duty. The latest example is Troy Cablevision, which is using Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT; Paris: PHA)'s "Node+Zero" all-fiber RFoG platform to serve more than 1,600 business and residential subs in Troy, Ala. (See Troy Cablevision Plugs In Hitachi's RFoG and Costs Could Keep RFoG a Niche Player .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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