Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) will probably never be identified as an IPTV provider, but that doesn't mean the country's biggest cable operator won't be more IP than cable sometime in the near future.
"Comcast is on the road to an all IP-based set-top box," predicted Aaron Schmidt, digital/social coordinator at Broadcom, in a blog posted in conjunction with CES 2013 in Las Vegas, noting that IPTV and cloud-based storage (both IP-based functions) have "generated lots of buzz lately."
Broadcom's interest in this move is strictly business: It's supplying the system-on-a-chip (SoC) foundation on which the Comcast Device Software Reference Design Kit is based, Schmidt said.
"The chipset will be going into Comcast's RNG-150 set-top box, which is set to offer customers a slew of upgrades and options by being the first to fully integrate Internet connectivity with standard digital cable," he wrote. "Broadcom makes all the fancy new features play nicely together in one box."
Those features include a full standard DOCSIS cable modem; an HDTV decoder; MoCA connectivity; 3D graphics; and 1 GHz tuners.
"Cable operators like Comcast are hoping to thrill subscribers with new offerings that go beyond the typical 'triple play' broadband package," wrote Schmidt. "For Comcast customers, [the new set-top box] translates to the ability to stream both IP and broadcast cable content to any device in any room with all of the cutting edge innovation that a single (set-top) box can hold."
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