DirecTV Preps Multiroom DVR
One big beneficiary of this play is Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR), which announced that its chips will power DirecTV's Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) -based networking approach, apparently beating out Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) for that business. (See DirecTV Disses Cable's 'All-MVPD' Plans and DirecTV Picks Entropic.)
DirecTV hasn't revealed any pricing on the new offering, but noted that the boxes are already in production and should start hitting customer homes in the first quarter. It's believed that two DirecTV box models -- the H24 (an HD box) and the HR24 (the primary HD-DVR) -- will come with those MoCA capabilities on board.
Although multiroom DVR capabilities will likely be the initial focus of those boxes, the presence of MoCA could set the table for other apps, including over-the-top video. In that scenario, the primary box could pull video from the Web and distribute it to other TVs and displays via the MoCA network.
DirecTV's longer-term roadmap is also expected to incorporate RVU Alliance technology, which lets compatible devices share content (and propagate user interfaces) over the home network. As recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) documents indicate, DirecTV is a big advocate of RVU. (See DirecTV Disses Cable's 'All-MVPD' Plans.)
More mojo for MoCA
The deal gives MoCA more ammo to use against G.hn, a budding home networking technology rival. (See G.hn No Slam Dunk With Service Providers and Chip Firms Prepare for Home Networking Faceoff .)
"If we [MoCA] haven't won the war, we're on the way to winning the war," Entropic CEO Patrick Henry told Cable Digital News.
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) are among major U.S. MSOs that have at least indicated that their home-networking video plans will revolve around MoCA. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is by far the largest adopter of MoCA, which hopes to outgun G.hn with an "enhanced" mode in the 2.0 version that could support throughputs of 800Mbit/s. (See Cox, Entropic MoCA Deal Not Exclusive , Time Warner Cable Joins the MoCA Club, Pace Adds Entropic MoCA, and MoCA 2.0 'Enhanced' Mode Target: 800 Mbit/s.)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News