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2008 CABLE SHOW: Motorola Diagnoses Set-Tops

NEW ORLEANS -- Motorola is letting operators play doctor with its set-tops -- remotely.

The vendor on Sunday announced the SmartStream Terminal Data Collector (STDC), which transmits data from Motorola set-top boxes over a cable network to a centralized database. For example, the software can report the number of video-transmission errors and the amount of DVR disk space available.

The goal with STDC is to potentially eliminate the need for truck rolls to troubleshoot basic set-top problems. Previously, such data has been available only through Motorola's on-screen configuration screens.

The diagnostic tool is available as part of a software update for all of Motorola's current and legacy set-top platforms, with the exception of the DCT2000 which is still in development.

According to Motorola, the software can be used as a support tool and installed on-demand (as when a customer is calling with a problem), or it can be used to monitor set-top boxes in aggregate.

Motorola is also showing the NBBS Device Management Platform, which lists all the devices a customer has from the operator (e.g., set-top box, cable modems and telephony devices) on a single screen. NBBS was developed by Netopia, a maker of DSL-based equipment Motorola acquired in November 2006.

 For more news from NCTA's The Cable Show '08, click here.