Motorola Broadband has postponed the development of the DCT-2600, a digital cable set-top that was to feature on-board digital video recorder (DVR) capabilities.
Motorola instead will focus its DVR efforts on the DCT-5200, a thick-client box that will bundle in DVR and high-definition television features, said Bernadette Vernon, the company's director of strategic marketing.
She said recent discussions with operators and consumers indicated to Motorola that an integrated DVR offering would be more compelling if it was married with HD capabilities. Vernon also noted that it also made sense to Motorola to combine those features in one box from a return-on-investment vantage point.
Motorola is already porting Gemstar-TV Guide International 's new DVR software to the DCT-5200, and demonstrated that combo this week at the CTAM Digital Conference in New Orleans.
The DCT-5200 will compliment Motorola's DCT-5100, which will render HDTV signals but won't contain a hard drive or the necessary software for DVR applications.
Vernon said DCT-5200 trials are expected to begin this summer, followed by a commercial release in the fall.
Despite taking the DCT-2600 off its product roadmap, Motorola still plans to complete work on the DCT-2500, a super-charged version of the manufacturer's widely-deployed DCT-2000 set-top. AT&T Broadband (now part of Comcast Corp.) placed an order for 200,000 DCT-2500s back in late 2001. Motorola expects to release the DCT-2500 in the second half of 2003.
Vernon also indicated that Motorola could again pick-up DCT-2600 development if demand for it materialized.
Motorola, Vernon added, will also continue to support the DCT-1700, a low-cost, thin-client digital box.
Though Motorola has removed the 2600 from the roadmap to concentrate on DVR-capable 5000-class boxes, there has been some initial interest among operators for integrated DVR boxes such as Scientific-Atlanta 's Explorer 8000. In January, S-A reported it had a backlog of orders for more than 900,000 Explorer boxes, including 200,000 for the Explorer 8000.