Cable Tech

Broadcom Opens Gateway to IP

Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) introdced the BCM7422, a 1.3GHz chip that will let MSOs shuttle video over home networks to other IP-connected displays while teeing up full-resolution 3D programming. (See Broadcom Unleashes Video Gateway SoC.)

The chip is designed for advanced, "headed" gateways that marry traditional set-top functions with a Web services layer and home-networking chops that can encapsulate an incoming cable broadcast TV stream onto IP.

Broadcom hopes to see its new product enter field trails by the second half of 2011, with 2012 representing the first significant deployment period.

Why this matters
It's Broadcom's response to pressure from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), which is making some progress with its own video gateway strategy with cable MSOs and other types of service providers.

Cable operators are increasingly eager to use advanced gateways as part of their IP video strategies, embodied by today's news that Comcast is seeding its IPTV strategy and testing the concept in Augusta, Ga. (See Comcast Tests Broadband-Fed Xcalibur Service.)

By centralizing key features and functions into a central gateway, the theory is that MSOs can continue to support their legacy QAM-based video infrastructure while layering in IP capabilities. This scenario would also let cable take advantage of cheaper IP-only set-top boxes.

For more
For more on cable's shift toward video gateways and the brewing Broadcom/Intel battle, please check out the following stories:

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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