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Suppliers Line Up For RDK Rendezvous

About 200 people and a batch of suppliers are expected to descend on Denver next week at the RDK User Conference, an event targeted to vendors and distributors interested in developing products for the Reference Design Kit, a pre-integrated software stack for IP-capable gateways and set-top boxes.

The private event, set for February 11 at the Grand Hyatt, follows the first RDK User Conference in December 2012, and marks the first since the formation of the RDK Development LLC, a joint venture of Comcast and Time Warner Cable that is managing the project.

The RDK has attracted more than 120 licensees made up of operators, chipmakers, set-top suppliers, software firms and companies that provide testing and product integration services. Among MSOs, Comcast is using the RDK to power its X1 platform, TWC plans to use it in next-gen IP video products, and Liberty Global is tapping it to help the MSO migrate its user interface for its Horizon video platform to the cloud.  Cox Communications is among another group of MSOs that are evaluating the RDK but have not made any formal commitments to use it.

In addition to panels and discussions about the RDK and its progress, the Denver event will also feature several RDK product demos. Here’s a glance at what will be on display:

  • Video software and integration firm Alticast will demonstrate a recently announced HDMI-connected set-top “stick” that utilizes the RDK and the company’s HTML5 app framework. When paired with a home gateway, the set-top stick can securely deliver programming to any TV or CE devices in the home, the company said. Alticast will also show off a new app store running on the RDK that could pave the way for curated, operator-branded  offerings.
  • Espial will demonstrate an HTML5 TV user interface running on multiple RDK-based IP and hybrid (QAM/IP) set-tops. The company announced earlier that it had been selected by an unnamed tier one MSO as the integrator for an RDK-based box outfitted with the company’s application framework and HTML5 user experience.
  • S3 Group, an integration and test specialist that also serves as the official code management coordinator for RDK Management LLC, will offer guidance on how to get started with the RDK and review integration and testing procedures required for an RDK-based system. Philip Brennan, VP of TV technology at S3, will also lead a session titled, “How RDK Code Management Works.”