SAN JOSE, Calif. DirecTV will use home networking chips from Entropic Communications Inc. The deal adds support from a major satellite TV player for the technology of the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) which to date has mainly been used in set-top boxes for Verizon's Fios IPTV service.
The move comes at a time when many companies are lining up behind the ITU G.hn standard for wired home networking over coax, powerline or phone lines.
DirecTV is already in production of a new generation of set-top boxes using the MoCA chips. They will be available to consumers before April.
The new set-tops use MoCA to enable sharing content to multiple TVs in a home without needing to have full set-tops at each TV. DirecTV's so-called RVU Remote User Interface supports multi-room digital video recording features over MoCA.
The satellite TV service hopes the home networking capability "will set ourselves apart from the competition as a leading provider of connected home technology," said Romulo Pontual, chief technology officer at DirecTV in a press statement from Entropic. "This is part of our overall strategy to simplify the installation process and create a reliable video distribution system for our customers," he added.
DirecTV did not immediately comment on why it chose MoCA or Entropic. AT&T uses HomePNA technology to enable home networking on its IPTV system, and Broadcom Corp. also supports MoCA in its set-top box silicon.
"At the Consumer Electronics Show, a lot of the set-top box makers were saying MoCA is the way to go" in home networking, said Mike Paxton, a principal analyst for In-Stat.
Cable TV providers are expected to adopt MoCA as well as wireless solutions for home networking. But to date few have rolled out the technology. At CES, Pace Americas said it put Entropic's MoCA chips into a networked-attached storage device that is in field trials with Buckeye Cablevision.