Motorola Shows Slimmer HD Set-Tops at SCTE


Motorola showed off an all-digital, non-DVR high-definition cable set-top box designed to be less expensive for operators to deploy en masse by eliminating the analog tuner at SCTE’s Cable-Tec Expo ’09 last week, among other wares.

“Our service-provider customers are feeling the pressure on capex,” said Buddy Snow, senior director of solutions marketing for Broadband Home Solutions in Motorola’s Home and Networks Mobility unit.

Motorola is targeting the first quarter of 2010 to ship the DCX700 to operators, Snow said. He declined to provide pricing information or indicate how much less expensive the unit, which is built on a single 1-Gigahertz tuner, would be relative to other models.

A separate forthcoming set-top model, the DCX3300, has a dual tuner and digital video recorder capabilities, but doesn’t include hard disks. Rather, it connects to an external eSATA storage device. “That’s looking toward giving the operators more options about how and when they spend capital,” Snow said.

Both set-tops support MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 HD, as well as CableLabs’ Tru2way specification. The units also include an option for Multimedia Over Coax Alliance (MoCA) home networking and CableCard support for U.S. operators.

Meanwhile, Motorola is beefing up the data side with a new line of DOCSIS 3.0-based gateways capable of supporting up to 300 Mbps downstream and more than 100 Mbps up, with the ability to bond eight channels down and four up.

The new SurfBoard integrated gateways include a four-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi access point. Snow said the units should be available before the end of 2009, after CableLabs certifies them.

Motorola also demonstrated the RX48 decoupled upstream module for the BSR 64000 integrated cable-modem termination system. The RX48, set to ship to MSO customers by the early third quarter of 2010, offers nearly 1.5 Gbps of upstream capacity per module and is the “sister” card of the TX32 decoupled downstream module.