Motorola Mobility Licenses Comcast RDK to Expedite Next-Gen Video Services

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
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Reference Design Kit Speeds Set-Top Development to Rapidly Drive the Evolution of TV

HORSHAM, Pa. — As the TV viewing experience evolves with more connected devices in the home than ever before, service providers must enable the anytime, anyplace, any screen experience that viewers demand. To achieve this, Motorola Mobility (NASDAQ:GOOG) is licensing the Reference Design Kit (RDK) from Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), which significantly improves the set-top box development cycle, driving the evolution of TV through innovative hardware and software technologies.

The RDK is a pre-integrated software bundle that creates a common framework for powering tru2way®, IP or hybrid set-top boxes and video gateway devices. It accelerates the development and deployment of next-generation video services such as cloud-based functionalities like Video on Demand (VOD), and improved guide experiences with richer graphics and better search functionality. Comcast licenses the RDK to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), semiconductor manufacturers, software vendors and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to create a community of innovators focused on bringing rich, multi-screen TV home entertainment experiences to consumers faster.

“Our goal is to work closely with our operator customers to provide consumers with simple and intuitive entertainment experiences so they can enjoy their content anytime, anywhere, on any screen,” said Larry Robinson, Motorola Mobility Senior Vice President and General Manager, Home Devices. “We’ve worked closely with Comcast as a strategic and innovative partner for many years, and we’re excited to license the RDK as a smart, integrated solution to help move the industry forward in the evolution of TV.”

The RDK was developed by Comcast as a community-based project allowing developers, vendors and operators to use a defined stack of software on one layer in order to provision set-top boxes and video gateways. Its standard interfaces and shared source code model ensures the interoperability of interfaces and functionality on multiple platforms.

“Accelerating the cycle of innovation for video solutions, and specifically set-tops, is a common industry goal,” said Steve Reynolds, Senior Vice President, CPE and Home Network for Comcast. “We are thrilled that an industry innovator such as Motorola is embracing this cooperative effort to provide operators, developers and device vendors the foundation required to innovate at a fast pace – a requirement in today’s rapidly-changing multiscreen TV environment.”

The traditional, or current, implementation of the RDK includes CableLabs’ “Reference Implementation” for OCAP and tru2way®, as well as the Java Virtual Machine. Open-source components of the RDK include: GStreamer (a media management framework); QT (a windowing framework that allows cable operators to do multiple applications within the same runtime environment); and WebKit, all of which are execution environments that can be tailored to each MSO. There are also optional plug-ins, such as Adobe Flash and Smooth HD.