Cisco Intros SDV Tuning Adapter
Cisco is calling its entry the STA-1520, and the first-generation version will look much like the RNG 100, a new standard-definition cable box that will support MPEG-4 and the removable CableCARD. The STA-1520, however, will be a dedicated SDV "tuning adapter," which is apparently the new industry name assigned to what was previously known as the tuning resolver. (See CableLabs Issues Tuning Resolver Specs and NCTA Sees Solution to Switching Snag.)
The TiVo angle is that the STA-1520 will work with some of that company's standalone digital video recorders (SDVs) that have CableCARD slots.
Jeff Kasten, the senior product manager for product strategy and management at Cisco's newly formed Service Provider Video Technology Group, said the company plans to show off the device at next month's Cable Show in New Orleans, and expects to submit it to CableLabs for certification testing for Wave 60, which is just getting underway.
Cisco has already conducted some interface testing with TiVo and expects to provide some samples to MSOs soon for their internal testing. "So we're pretty far along," Kasten says.
Another vendor that's pretty far along is Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), which calls its SDV tuner the MTR700. Motorola is also showing off the MTR700 at the cable show, including a demo at the CableNET pavilion, and likewise plans to include it in Wave 60. (See As the 'Tuning Resolver' Turns.)
Cisco plans to offer the STA-1520 directly through cable operators.
"We haven't thought about a retail play," says Dave Clark, director of product strategy and management for Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group. "A lot of that has to do with what the service providers want to do. We're still trying to figure out what the market size of this [product] is, as well."
Although it will operate with different SDV platforms, the STA-1520 will work only on systems that use the Cisco digital cable platform.
Motorola and Cisco have not disclosed any pricing figures on their respective SDV tuning adapters.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News