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G.hn Gets Some Love

11:40 AM -- The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) crew is a confident one these days, but it may be too early in the wired home networking game to declare any big winners or losers.

It was only a week ago that Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR) CEO Patrick Henry declared that MoCA is "on the way to winning the war" if it hadn't won it already, a comment he shared as the chipmaker announced that DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) would be powering a new line of multiroom DVRs with Entropic's silicon. (See DirecTV Preps Multiroom DVR and MoCA 2.0 'Enhanced' Mode Target: 800 Mbit/s.)

There's no denying that it's a big win for MoCA (DirecTV has 18.4 million subs in the U.S.), but MoCA still may have some company to contend with there.

EE Times reported last week that DirecTV is also testing out WiFi as well as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 's budding G.hn standard, which is looking to provide a high-speed networking system that works over all types of home wiring: coax, phone, and powerlines. (See ITU Advances G.hn and G.hn No Slam Dunk With Service Providers.)

And the satellite giant allowed that it picked MoCA because it was one of the few reliable horses it could ride when it was vetting decisions for its networking strategy.

"Back then the pickings were few -- it was basically MoCA or HomePNA," DirecTV VP of set-top engineering Henry Derovanessian told EE Times, adding that it's also scrapped the use of HomePlug Powerline Alliance adapters.

Although DirecTV's eager to get its hands on some G.hn samples, it's not ready to say when (let alone if) it might actually employ G.hn in its set-top product line.

But as long as there are more sizable companies, like DirecTV, that are at least willing to leave their future options open, the MoCA folks should realize that this technology war won't be won or lost overnight. It may be just getting started. (See Chip Firms Prepare for Home Networking Faceoff .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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