Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?

More than 50 suppliers – set-top vendors, chip makers, app developers, and integration/testing firms – have joined Comcast's expanding lineup of reference design kit licensees

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

January 14, 2013

6 Min Read
Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?

More than 50 companies, including almost a dozen set-top vendors, five service providers and five chip makers, have secured licenses for Comcast Corp.'s Reference Design Kit (RDK), an integrated set of software for hybrid QAM/IP and IP-only set-tops and gateways, according to industry sources.

Obtaining a license isn't a guarantee it will generate any business with the nation's cable operator or other service providers that end up adopting the RDK, but it's an important first step. Additionally, sources say Comcast makes its vendors adhere to an additional set of requirements ... so there's that.

Comcast says the RDK will help it cut product development cycles to a year or less. It should also allow operators to pick from a broad set of vendors and reduce their reliance on a U.S. set-top market that's historically been dominated by Motorola Mobility LLC and Cisco Systems Inc. (See Comcast's Set-Top Accelerator Gains Traction.)

In Comcast's case, that's already starting to happen as it deploys Xfinity X1, a next-gen video service that utilizes the RDK. Pace plc is making the first iteration of the XG1, a multi-tuner HD-DVR. But the operator has already approved Pace, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Motorola and Cisco for the RNG150N, a companion box that brings whole-home capabilities to the XG1 and also utilizes the RDK. Arris Group Inc. is among the vendors making the new XG5, a "headless" gateway that will work with IP-only HD client boxes from a group of suppliers that initially includes Pace, Humax Co. Ltd. and Technicolor SA. (See Comcast All-Service Gateways Go 'Headless', Comcast's X1 Flies Into Philly, Comcast's X1 Gets a Multi-Room Partner and Comcast's IP-Only Set-Top Unveiled.)

CPE vendor choices could expand to several more, based on the current licensees, which include Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Ubee Interactive and iNovo Broadband Inc., a startup made up of several former Cisco and Scientific-Atlanta execs. (See Ex-Cisco Execs Form Cable Set-Top Startup.)

The RDK is also gaining support of multiple silicon vendors, with Intel Corp., Broadcom Corp., MStar Semiconductor Inc., STMicroelectronics NV and Entropic Communications Inc. already in the licensing and/or product development mix.

Although Comcast is the world's largest cable operator , it will likely need participation from other MSOs to achieve massive economies of scale for products based on the RDK. Time Warner Cable Inc. is expected to use the RDK for some products, but it's not clear if some of the other service providers with licenses (Rogers Communications Inc., BSkyB Ltd., NET Brazil and Liberty Global Inc. among them) will follow suit.

Comcast said it could only confirm companies that had issued press releases about their respective RDK license agreements. Here's an expanded RDK licensee list, based on those public announcements as well as from data supplied to Light Reading Cable independently (companies that have previously disclosed themselves as RDK licensees are listed below with an asterisk).


Product Focus

Access Systems Americas

Software and applications.

Alticast Corp.*

Middleware and applications.

Arris Group Inc.*

Set-tops, gateways, applications and user interfaces.

AwoX Networks

DLNA middleware for consumer electronics products.

Beechwood Software

Audio/video application and services integration for embedded devices, including set-tops.


Integration services for TVs, set-tops, connected devices and user interfaces.

Bluestreak Technology Inc.

Software for connected TVs, set-tops, smartphones and tablets.

Broadcom Corp.*

Set-top/CPE silicon.


U.K.-based pay-TV service provider.


U.S. MSO-backed R&D house and developer of cable specifications.

Cisco Systems Inc.* (and NDS)

Set-tops, gateways, middleware, user interfaces, system integration services.

Corpus Media Labs

Cross-platform applications.

Entropic Communications Inc.*

Set-top/CPE silicon.

Espial Group*

IPTV set-top middleware and TV browser software.

Evolution Digital LLC*


HCL America Inc.

Middleware and application development, product testing.

Humax Co. Ltd.*


Infosys Limited

Business consulting, technology, engineering and outsourcing services.

Inovo Broadband Inc.


Intel Corp.*

Set-top silicon.

Itaas Inc.*

Product testing and integration.

JetHead Development Inc.

Embedded software for consumer electronics systems.

LG Electronics

Smart TVs and apps.

Liberty Global*

Cable operator serving parts of Europe, Chile and Puerto Rico.


Open source software for ARM system-on-chips (SoCs).

Larsen & Toubro (L&T)

Engineering, construction and financial services.

Motorola Mobility*

Set-tops/CPE, middleware, apps, user interfaces

Mstar Semiconductor

Semiconductors for displays and digital home platforms.

Myriad Group

Maker of Java Virtual Machines.

Net Brazil

Brazil-based service provider.

Opera Software ASA

Web browsers for desktops and other connected CE devices.

Pace plc*

Set-tops, gateways, CPE.

Red Embedded Consulting

Technical consulting services.

Rogers Communications

Canada-based pay-TV and mobile services operator.

S3 Group*

Product testing and integration.



Samsung Electronics


SeaChange International (VividLogic)

Video middleware, UIs and integration services.

Solekai Systems*

Product testing and integration.

ST Microelectronics

CPE silicon.

Tech Mahindra

IT outsourcing and Web development.

Tata Elxsi*

Product testing and integration

Technicolor SA*

Set-tops/CPE, user interfaces and apps.


Software engineering.


Comcast-owned Internet video publisher.


Video search and recommendation software for set-tops and connected devices.

Time Warner Cable*

Second-largest U.S. cable operator.

Ubee Interactive


UXP Systems

Multi-platform apps and services.

Verimatrix Inc.

Multi-platform video security and encryption.

Video Experts Group

Software development and project outsourcing.

Videon Central*

Testing and development of CE software.

Visible World

Advanced advertising software and systems.

WiPro Ltd.

Consulting and outsourcing.


Set-top box software development.

Zenverge Inc.

Video transcoding silicon.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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