Comcast's Internet + TV Set-Top Surfaces
Recent documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal that Pace Micro Technology has indeed developed an Internet-connected gateway box called "Xfinity Spectrum" that's being used to power a technical trial that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) kicked off recently in Augusta, Ga. (See Comcast Tests Broadband-Fed Xcalibur Service.)
Those documents, first uncovered by Wireless Goodness, seem to confirm a Light Reading Cable report that posted an image of the purported gateway device, code-named "Parker." (See Rumor: Is This Comcast's 'Parker' Box?.)
According to the documents, the four-tuner device, dubbed the Pace RNG210N, is capable of blending traditional cable TV with social networking apps like Facebook , as well as YouTube Inc. content, and contains a USB 2.0 port and a IEEE 1394 connection. As reported here earlier, the box also comes equipped with a CableCARD slot, tru2way middleware, and an Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) processor. (See What's Inside Comcast's Parker Box?)
"You can experience Internet video, Internet radio, email and more, all on one device, while enjoying a completely immersive social experience," notes the user guide that comes with the device.
The guide for the box also shows off renderings of a new, more capable user interface that's believed to be central to Comcast's Augusta trial. Comcast has yet to say if or when it plans to offer the box on a commercial basis. (See Comcast Tests Broadband-Fed Xcalibur Service.)
A source familiar with the project says Samsung Corp. 's already been selected as a second source for the Spectrum box, and that Comcast will need to significantly price-reduce the box before it's ready for a large deployment.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable