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RDK takes center stage at Denver conference

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 12:37pm
Mike Robuck

Roughly 200 attendees are expected to be on hand at next week’s second RDK User’s Conference in Denver.

The private conference, which is slated for Tuesday, will mark the public debut of sorts for RDK Management, the joint venture between Time Warner Cable and Comcast that was formed last year to help manage the Reference Design Kit (RDK) initiative. 

Initially, the RDK was developed internally by Comcast using best-of-breed open-source components from the Internet. It is now a community-based project that allows developers, vendors and cable operators to use a defined stack of software on one layer in order to provision set-top boxes and gateways.

The RDK allows all of the interested parties to develop once and then scale across multiple environments – in the CableCard/QAM/MEPG-2 world of today, as well as in the IP environment of tomorrow. To date, about 120 companies have signed up to license the RDK. Tuesday’s conference will include speakers from Comcast, RDK Management, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global.

Vendors will also be on hand at the RDK User’s Conference to show their RDK-related wares. Alticast will demonstrate its RDK-based “set-top box on a stick,” which made its debut last month at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.

Alticast’s HDMI stick enables multi-screen IP video delivery, either from a cloud or working as client to a home-based gateway. Working with the gateway, the HTML5-based stick delivers programming to TVs and consumer devices in subscribers’ homes, and can go on the road via cloud-based delivery for VOD and live streaming.

“Our HDMI stick software solution ‘untethers’ the set-top box from the home, enabling cable operators to cost-effectively provide subscribers with a superior TV Everywhere service that is highly customizable, personalized and available on any viewing device,” said John Carlucci, CTO, Alticast U.S.  “The RDK User’s Conference is the ideal location to show many of the world’s largest cable operators and potential manufacturing partners the benefits of our compact, RDK-based HDMI software solution, which can help operators keep their current subscribers and attract new ones.”

Also in Denver, Espial will showcase a “high performance” HTML5 TV user experience demo on multiple RDK (Reference Design Kit) IP and hybrid set-top boxes (STB). The Espial STB Client, which is also HTML5-based, was designed to give operators increased flexibility while bringing new applications to any RDK-based set-top boxes.

S3 Group, which is the official code management coordinator for RDK Management, will also exhibit its products at the conference, and have company officials on hand to provide RDK-related strategies.

"In our capacity as manager of the RDK code repository, we'll be speaking at the RDK Users' Conference about the process and procedures to contribute to the generic RDK code base and get access to the latest code release,” said Philip Brennan, vice president of TV technology at S3 Group. “Separately, S3 Group will also be there to help pay-TV operators chart their own unique course leveraging the RDK, across new service introductions, testing, and optimization."

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