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Entropic connects MoCA to Wi-Fi with ECAs

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 2:31pm
Brian Santo

Entropic is introducing a line of products connecting MoCA to Wi-Fi, which the company is calling Ethernet-to-coax adapters (ECAs).

MVPDs are introducing schemes for distributing video to multiple screens within their subscribers' homes. The method that currently seems to be prevailing is directing signals from the set-top/gateway to a Wi-Fi router. Comcast's announcement that it will be commercializing its AnyPlay service is but one high-profile instance of that.

Consumers increasingly use their tablets and smartphones in the home to view video. That means service providers need to be able to deliver simultaneous streams of high-definition (HD) multimedia content, and Wi-Fi is the commonly available means.

Many current solutions, including AnyPlay (based on Motorola's Televation), rely on a single Wi-Fi router. MoCA ECAs can establish multiple Wi-Fi access points in the home.

Wi-Fi can be subject to unpredictable coverage patterns due to potential obstacles, however. To overcome these potential in-home network challenges, MoCA-to-Wi-Fi ECAs can support QoS for the network. Instead of having a single Wi-Fi router, consumers can take advantage of the wired MoCA backbone in their home (with speeds up to 400 Mbps on MoCA 2.0), the company explained.

By connecting a MoCA-to-Wi-Fi ECA to the existing in-home MoCA network, consumers can add multiple Wi-Fi access points in locations where Wi-Fi connectivity is intermittent, low or non-existent, or where there is a desire to improve Wi-Fi connectivity for high-bandwidth applications such as video streaming.

The silicon is already designed into several products, including the Actiontec Multi-LAN Network Adapter, the Wi3 WiPNET and the ACEEX MoCA-to-Wi-Fi Adapter. These are all based on the MoCA 1.1 standard. The first of these MoCA-to-Wi-Fi products are expected to launch later in the first half of this year.

On a related topic, Entropic said it is working with Qualcomm Atheros to deliver home networking solutions and products based on the recently approved IEEE P1905.1 Draft Standard for Convergent Digital Home Networks.

P1905.1 provides a single protocol for unifying networks based on Ethernet, MoCA, Wi-Fi and HomePlug Powerline. The goal of the standard is to create an architecture that simplifies the configuration of home networks when using multiple types of network technologies in a single home.

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