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Comcast Takes New Tech Partners Home

With consumer electronics swamping the news as 2012 International CES opens its doors, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has made some gadget announcements of its own.

  • Comcast is to integrate Myriad Group AG 's Java Virtual Machine (JVM) into its tru2way software platform, and agreed to tie Myriad's JVM with its Device Software Reference Design Kit (RDK), a pre-integrated software bundle that powers tru2way, IP or hybrid QAM/IP devices. Separately, Comcast has selected GreenPeak Technologies BV 's Zigbee RF4CE-capable controller chips for use in "enhanced" RF-remote controls that do not require line-of-sight with the set-top box. Comcast is using the RF-based remotes as part of its Xcalibur trial in Augusta, Ga., and intends to deploy hybrid RF/IR (infrared) remotes to control legacy boxes too. (See Comcast to Swing Xcalibur Wide in 2012.)

  • Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) also threw in with Comcast, announcing Tuesday that it is pre-integrating Comcast's RDK and tru2way-based on-screen guides on four of its connected home STB chipsets: the BCM7425, BCM7428, BCM7420 and BCM7125. Comcast's RDK includes the CableLabs OpenCable Application Platform/tru2way middleware reference implementation, and aims to make it easier for others to develop devices and apps for Comcast's legacy digital TV system as well as Xcalibur, the MSO's next-generation video platform. (See CableLabs: 'Hundreds' Have Downloaded Tru2way Reference Stack.)

  • NBCUniversal LLC 's Sports Group and Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC) are teaming up to make coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games in London available in 3-D to all U.S. distributors (cable, satellite and telco) that cover the event. It will mark the first time the Olympics will be offered domestically in the format, though the 3-D broadcasts (more than 200 hours are planned) will be shown on next-day delay.

  • Nine percent of Americans have cut the cord (no longer subscribe to pay-TV services) and 11 percent say they intend to do sometime soon, finds a new annual media survey from Deloitte Development LLC . Among other findings, the number of Americans that have streamed a movie has risen from 28 percent in 2009 to 42 percent.

  • Speaking of cord-cutters, they may find something to like about Simple.TV, a device that combines the DVR with the kind of place-shifting capabilities found in a Slingbox, allowing users to send live and recorded content, including freely available over-the-air TV, to smartphones, tablets and other connected devices. Early on, the US$149 Simple.TV unit will support the iPad, Roku Inc. boxes, Google TV-enabled devices and the Boxee box, notes NewTeeVee.

  • Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) will offer anyone with a broadband connection a 24-hour free preview of its TV Everywhere platform starting Feb. 1. The coming Dish Test Drive will provide a "sample" of the company's over-the-top video vault.

  • Cox Communications Inc. and Suddenlink Communications are the latest cable operators to join Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s TV Ads network, reports Multichannel News, noting that BendBroadband started testing Google's online ad-buying service last May.

  • Hillcrest Labs has lined up a handful of new customers for its motion control software and equipment: LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) will use the Hillcrest technology in its existing and new "smart" TVs; Warpia Inc., which will bundle Hillcrest's Scoop remote and Kylo Web TV browser; AsusTek Computer Inc. , which will use a custom version of Hillcrest's Kylo browser for PCs; and Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN), which will embed Hillcrest's Freespace Sensor Modules in its new DLP projector reference designs. (See Hillcrest Web Browser Targets Cord Cutters.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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