SAN JOSE, Calif. – Pay TV carriers are accelerating deployments of Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) home networks and exploring Internet-ready gateways, said the chief executive of Entropic Communications in a video interview.
Carriers could buy as many as ten million MoCA chip sets a quarter by the end of next year to support multiroom high definition video services on their high-end systems, said Patrick Henry. For example, DirecTV supports HD video and MoCA on more than 60 percent of its set-tops now, up from about 40 percent less than a year ago. The deployments lay the groundwork for embedding MoCA in products beyond the set-top box in two or three years, he said.
That’s a big shift for the company that helped define the MoCA standard and shipped the first chip sets for it in 2004. Since that time Entropic has sold a total of about 30 million MoCA chip sets.
Others are jumping into the fray. Broadcom has launched set-top chips supporting MoCA and Cisco System's set-top group (formerly Scientific Atlanta) is designing MoCA into its ASICs with help from STMicroelectronics which is expected to roll out its own MoCA chips.
Bigger changes are in the works as set-top makers prepare Internet-enabled boxes that can serve up both premium and Web video. Cable TV operators want to move to IP-based networks, driving a shift from securing signals using conditional access in a set top to digital rights management in the cloud, said Henry.
In April, the Federal Communications Commission floated a plan called AllVid to accelerate the move to generic IP gateways that could bring any pay TV signals to a home network. "Hopefully they get it right by letting consumers have the flexibility to choose the devices they want—there's a risk of over-regulating and getting it wrong," Henry said.
Meanwhile, Entropic is exploring growth markets it could enter to expand beyond MoCA which represents two-thirds of its business. In September Entropic added to its board Theodore Tewksbury, chief executive of Integrated Device Technology, and Robert Bailey, chairman of PMC-Sierra, to help navigate its future.
After a fall off in revenues during last year's recession, Entropic is back on a growth path and headed for its first profitable year. The company reaped $139 million in revenues and $11 million in profits in the nine months which closed at the end of September.