Fleshing out and beefing up its 2000-class line of digital cable set-tops, Motorola Broadband Communications Sector said it plans to debut two new boxes at next week's Western Cable Show: the DCT-2500 and the DCT-2600.
CED has also learned that Motorola has another set-top, the DCT-4900, on its product roadmap.
Much more powerful than legacy, "thin-client" DCT-2000s, Motorola's much stouter DCT-2500 features a 175 MHz CPU, support for up to 64 megabytes of DRAM and a video decoder capable of handling ATVEF triggers and advanced closed captioning. The DCT-2600 houses those features plus a hard disk for personal video recording capabilities. The set-top's hard drive capacity will range from 30 gigabytes to 60 gigabytes, depending on operator preference, sources familiar with the situation said.
Dubbed "enhanced-interactive" set-tops, the DCT-2500 and DCT-2600 are backwards compatible with middleware and applications (video-on-demand, Internet access, e-mail, chat and impulse pay-per-view) ported to the "core-interactive" DCT-2000, Motorola said. Both models are expected to become available in mid-2002.
Motorola did not disclose price points, but CED has learned that the DCT-2500 goes for less than $300. According to sources familiar with the situation, both new boxes are designed to offer the Vx Works operating system, and middleware options from companies such as Liberate Technologies, OpenTV Corp. and WorldGate Communications Inc.
Motorola's new set-tops also complement the company's line of "thick-client" DCT-5000s, which were announced during June's National Cable Show in Chicago, Ill.
Also on Motorola's cable set-top roadmap is the DCT-4900, CED has learned. That "gateway" box is expected to house a 162 MHz CPU, the VRTX operating system (or Linux as an alternative), a standard 32 MB memory footprint, upgradeable to 128 MB, and home networking support.