In yet another sign of the global cable market converging on common standards, Kabel Deutschland has licensed the Reference Design Kit from RDK Management.

Kabel Deutschland elided any mention of its intentions beyond taking the license, but it signals an interest in the potential use of set-tops similar to those being developed for use in the U.S. by Comcast and Time Warner Cable, in Japan by J:Com, and in a handful of other European markets through the participation in RDK Management of Liberty Global.

Cable companies all over the world are clearly encouraging the cable equipment vendors to expand to global scale, which should have a salubrious effect on equipment costs. Prior to the development of the RDK, cable companies in Asia, Europe, and The Americas agreed to give up regional differences in DOCSIS in favor of the single approach represented by DOCSIS 3.1.

“The RDK provides a unified technological foundation for pay-TV operators and our ecosystem of partners,” said Kabel Deutschland CTO Lorenz Glatz. “Kabel Deutschland licensed the RDK because it is one of the most positive and promising developments in terms of standardization across device platforms. Not only will we benefit from global economies of scale, but it provides the basis necessary for innovation across our products and applications.”

Steve Heeb, president and general manager of RDK Management, said, “It is further testament to the growing interest among global pay TV operators to accelerate new product launch cycles. The RDK provides MVPD’s with the underlying software layer needed to create more nimble and advanced services across STB, gateway, and SoC platforms.” 

The Reference Design Kit (RDK) is an integrated software bundle developed and licensed to create a common framework for powering IP or hybrid set-top boxes and gateway devices for CE manufacturers, system-on-a-chip (SoC) vendors, software developers, system integrators and TV service providers.

The RDK was developed to accelerate the deployment of next-generation video services and prevent software fragmentation by providing speed-to-market, collaboration and standardization.

Kabel Deutschland’s announcement was made today at the RDK User Conference, in progress now in Denver, Colo.