Motorola Mobility looks away from set-top, toward advanced video gateway

CHICAGO - Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) which, despite its cell-sounding name has a lineage that goes deep into the cable industry's set-top box history, is abandoning the set-top box--to an extent at least--at this year's Cable Show. Its hand has been forced by the increasing interest in and demand for IP-based devices.

"The big themes that we're working on are what we call converged experiences and the shift to IP in the home," said Buddy Snow, senior director of convergence devices and product management for Motorola Mobility.

That translates into a new video gateway device that will enable IP-based video throughout the home to "traditional broadband devices" in addition to IP-connected devices and smartphones," Snow said.

The new box ... er video gateway ... is Moto's first hybrid QAM device and will "look a lot like a headless set-top box," Snow said. The unit, in addition to wireless streaming, also has the ability to transcode MPEG-2-based video into IP MPEG-4-based video "with the right bitrate resolution for different device streams," he said.

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