PS2 a set-top in console clothing?

Tue, 12/03/2002 - 7:00pm

The way Advent Networks and BroadQ see it, Sony Corp.'s Playstation 2 can be used for more than just fun and games. In addition to playing the latest gaming titles, the most popular gaming consoles on Earth can also be leveraged by cable operators as media gateways capable of delivering video-on-demand via codecs such as MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and DivX. To make that possible, Advent and BroadQ have collaborated on a system that combines Advent's Ethernet-based Ultraband platform and BroadQ's Qcast Tuner software. Under that scenario, Advent provides a dedicated IP transport link between the cable headend and the Qcast software, which would reside in the gaming console, and sup-ports multiple data video streams.

"Consumers are buying PS2s twice as fast as cable operators are deploying digital set-tops," said Advent President and CEO Geoff Tudor, in a press release. "Why not leverage this huge installed base and let the consumer buy the set-top?"

The Advent-BroadQ solution provides an added level of security because content is streamed from the cable headend rather than downloaded via the Internet, the companies said.

Although Advent and BroadQ are billing the combination as a game console that can also play the role of a high-end digital set-top box, what's not as clear is how the Playstation 2 would handle an important element such as conditional access (CA) before OpenCable-and the removable CA and encryption system that it fosters-becomes a reality and creates a true retail channel for digital cable set-tops.


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