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Microtune 1 GHz tuners stir in MoCA support

Mon, 03/19/2007 - 7:10am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

Microtune Inc. has introduced a new line of MoCA-enabled 1.1 GHz cable set-top tuners.

The new silicon-based devices – the MT2022 DOCSIS Set-top Gateway (DSG) tuner and the MT2122 Analog/Digital Video Tuner – are designed to work with the Multimedia over Coax Alliance, an advanced coax-based home networking scheme designed to deliver video and other digital content around the home at speeds up to a theoretical 270 Mbps.

Microtune claims its new entrants can support a new breed of cable digital set-tops capable of tuning to the higher frequency range, and do so without interfering with MoCA frequencies and without the need for additional (and expensive) filtering.

MoCA has become a key ingredient for a new set of set-tops and home media centers and applications such as the whole-home digital video recorder. Although the cable industry has much to gain from this technology, Verizon and its FiOS TV service is one of MoCA’s early adopters. Set-top makers, meanwhile, are starting to push boxes out the door that can tune to 1 GHz, compared to earlier models that could tune to just 860 MHz . Some operators are considering plant enhancement/upgrades that will push the available spectrum to 1 GHz, and create headroom for new HDTV tiers, more VOD services and DOCSIS channel bonding.

The MT2122 is a single-chip silicon tuner aimed at analog and digital OpenCable DVR set-tops. It also has integrated support for DSG, an in-band signaling spec that leverages DOCSIS for set-top data and other apps. The MT2022 and MT2122 are presently sampling to “select customers,” and are priced at $5 apiece in volume quantities.

Both tuners receive signals in the range of 48 MHz to 1.1 GHz and are designed to be unaffected by transmissions in the MoCA band. Existing MoCA-based set-tops can require expensive filtering to prevent interference, and are typically limited to tuning up to 860 MHz, Microtune noted.

Microtune said the new duo complements its recently-introduced DOCSIS 3.0 Wideband tuner.

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