Video services

Motorola Still Tight With Comcast

Motorola Mobility LLC is the latest major vendor to license Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s Reference Design Kit (RDK), a pre-integrated software bundle for the MSO's next generation of IP-only and hybrid QAM/IP set-tops and video gateways.

One aim of the RDK, which includes the CableLabs reference implementation of tru2way middleware and the QT application framework, is to accelerate the traditionally slow set-top box development cycle and help Comcast (and other MSOs that adopt it) to tack on new features and applications rapidly. The RDK, for example, factors into the X1, a next-gen video platform from Comcast that features IP applications and a cloud-based navigation system. (See Comcast's Cloud TV Service Rolls Into Atlanta and Comcast Sizes Up All-IP Set-Top .)

Examples of RDK licensees include Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), itaas Inc. and Silicon Software & Systems Ltd. (S3) .

Why this matters
Despite questions about the fate of Motorola's cable business following the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) acquisition, Motorola remains a key supplier to Comcast, so it's important that it stays closely involved with the MSO's big video programs.

Plus, if you're an incumbent vendor or a new one on the scene that wants any sort of shot of being involved in Comcast's future set-top and video gateway plans, licensing the RDK should be priority No. 1. And, the same will likely be true as other major cable operators get behind the RDK.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:23:08 PM
re: Motorola Still Tight With Comcast

The license gets Moto in the game for Comcast's new X1 platform, and possibly the all-IP X3.  Starting to hear rumblings that Comcast is also working on a central headless gateway that would shuttle content to IP-connected devcies such as TVs, tablets and simple IPTV clients, and I could see Motorola making a play on that one.

But the RDK, to amplify the point jtombes made earlier, does open things up to other other vendors, including iNovo, the new/old kid on the block. JB

AESerm 12/5/2012 | 5:23:06 PM
re: Motorola Still Tight With Comcast

Also hearing (and writing over at Videonet) that at least one licensee expects more operators, including international, to join the RDK initiative. Scale is what this thing needs.

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:23:04 PM
re: Motorola Still Tight With Comcast

S3 implied the same when I chatted with them about the RDK.  If I'm Comcast, I'd say the more the merrier in the U.S. and abroad for the scalability reason you stated. While they are big enough to get some big initiatives off the ground, they will need support from others to give it more legs. And it appears that the benefits of the RDK are outweighing the not-invented-here attitudes that have prevented the industry from being on the same page on the digital video side in the past. The DTA project is an example of a project that has really taken off in part because of the adoption it's gotten outside of Comcast.JB


Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:23:03 PM
re: Motorola Still Tight With Comcast

Makes alot of sense. Perhaps the Moto announcement means we'll continue to hear about more licencees at a trickle's pace, Gotta get the usual suspects in there for sure, and hope to expand it to even more sources. Heard rumors about several others that have apparently signed, so i'll have to vet those. JB

CableGearHead 12/5/2012 | 5:23:03 PM
re: Motorola Still Tight With Comcast

Its about time.  Cisco, Pace, Technicolor, and others are already OEM licensees of the Comcast RDK.

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