INTX 2016: 15M-Plus Devices Running RDK

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RDK Management, the joint venture of Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global, said it has made progress with deployments and the number of companies in the U.S. and abroad that have signed on licensees for the preintegrated software platform for IP-capable set-tops and, more recently, broadband gateways.

Of the platform’s flavors, RDK-V provides a common method to manage various video functions on set-top boxes such as tuning, IP video, third party DRM, and media streaming/DLNA, and RDK-B provides common methods to manage complex broadband functions such as home-networking interfaces, including WiFi and Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), wide area networking, local area networking, device management and diagnostics, as well as smart home/Internet of Things and multicast video.

Per the J.V., more than 15 million devices are now running the RDK, a number that has tripled since last year’s INTX confab in Chicago. Among distributors, Comcast is using the RDK to power X1, its next-gen video platform. Last month, Comcastestimated that nearly 35% of its 22.4 million video subs are now on X1, and that it added 1.1 million X1 subs to the mix in Q1, a 53% increase on net adds versus the year-ago quarter.

As another recent example, Cox Communications is also using the RDK for a new Contour multiscreen service that relies on X1. RDK-backer Liberty Global is using the platform in the current version of its Horizon TV service.

RDK Management also announced that licensees of the platform have grown to more than 275 across MVPDs, consumer electronics manufacturers, chipmakers, software developers and systems integrators.  More than 25 cable, satellite and telco service operators in North America, Europe, Latin  America and Asia are among those licensees.

“2016 is going to be a great year for the RDK community,” said Steve Heeb, president and general manager of RDK Management, said in a statement. “On the video front, more operators across North America and Europe are developing and deploying products using an RDK-based software solution for STB’s, RDK-V (video). On the broadband front, we have recently made a new RDK software solution available for broadband gateways called RDK-B (broadband), which is in use by leading SoC and CPE suppliers, and making its way onto software roadmaps of operators around the globe.”

“It’s well known that our X1 set-tops rely on the RDK-V software solution,” added Sree Kotay, executive vice president and chief software architect, Comcast Cable. “What is less known is just how far we have come with RDK-B over the past year. We already have the RDK-B software solution enabled in broadband gateways in subscribers’ homes today, and RDK-B will serve as the underlying software on our broadband devices going forward.” 

“Liberty Global has deployed an RDK-V solution to power our Horizon service, and those deployments continue to scale across our global footprint,” said Bill Warga, Vice President of Technology at Liberty Global.  “We also recognized that broadband devices, similar to STBs, would greatly benefit from having more software commonality, standardization, and openness. We are very strong proponents of RDK-B, and we look forward to working with the RDK community to drive its adoption even further.”

“Progressive operators are investing in a new class of home networking equipment capable of supporting higher speeds, more end-user devices, and array of new services,” said Keith Wehmeyer, general manager for the cable business Line of Intel’s Connected Home Division. “We look forward to working with operators and equipment manufacturers implementing the RDK and have integrated the RDK-B solution onto Intel  Puma chipsets to address the next generation needs of broadband operators.”

Looking ahead, RDK Management plans to host a Tech Summit for licensees in Louisville, Colo., from July 19-21, a has teed up the RDK European Summit for operators in Amsterdam in tandem with IBC from September 8-12.