Broadcom debuts new chipset for E-DTAs
Broadcom announced this morning a new chipset for digital terminal adapters (DTAs) that will enable cable operators to deliver encrypted basic video content to retail devices from vendors such as Boxee.
Adding an Ethernet port to a DTA allows live signals to be viewed on IP-connected video devices that are sold in retail stores. Last year Comcast and other cable operators worked with vendors such as Boxee to find a way to send encrypted, live TV streams to smart TVs and other IP-connected video devices without using CableCards. Last fall the Federal Communications Commission moved the ball forward by eliminating the ban that prevented cable operators from encrypting basic service signals in all-digital systems.
Ethernet DTAs (E-DTAs) will allow users to send video content to various devices around the home via Digital Living Technology Alliance (DLNA) technology. E-DTAs, which are the newest implementations of HD DTAs, are expected to hit the market this year.
Broadcom’s system-on-a-chip (SoC) BCM7576 is the company’s fifth-generation chipset. It allows North American cable operators to provide enhanced basic digital HD services, reduce operational support costs and deliver enhanced user features to compete with IP and over-the-top (OTT) video service providers. It also enables enhanced experiences for consumers with fast channel change, advanced user interfaces and IP video streaming.
“Broadcom’s breakthrough E-DTA offering is designed to provide cable operators with a competitive advantage, offering enhanced basic digital cable services to consumers with streaming to a range of in-home IP video consumer electronics devices,” said Dan Marotta, Broadcom’s executive vice president and general manager, Broadband Communications Group. “With the expansion of our product line, North American operators have a compelling new option to reduce costs by digitizing valuable spectrum and providing exciting new services for consumers.”
Broadcom’s BCM7576 devices, which feature integrated full-band capture digital tuner technology deliver up to four simultaneous programs by directly digitizing the entire 1GHz cable spectrum, replacing multiple tuners with a single full-band capture digital tuner. An integrated IP mini server converts linear content to IP and streams it with DLNA over a home network while also providing HD video to a connected TV.
Broadcom said its BCM7576 HD Cable DTA SoCs were currently sampling.
While some cable operators opted for switched digital video, Comcast has been a big proponent of DTAs  for reclaiming bandwidth. Comcast has worked with Motorola, Pace, Evolution Digital and Technicolor on DTAs in the past, most recently on HD DTAs. Comcast started a phased deployment of HD DTAs  late last year.