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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 16, 2011

Entropic Communications, Zenverge Form Alliance for Connected Home Solutions

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Entropic (News - Alert) Communications, a provider of silicon and software solutions to enable connected home entertainment, has just formed a partnership with Zenverge, a developer of advanced media integrated circuits (ICs) for the connected home, to develop a Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) based transcoding appliance reference design.

With this design, the company hopes to help service providers maximize subscriber value by giving them the freedom to view personal or Pay-TV content on any consumer electronics (CE) device.

“Consumers are driving content-device convergence quickly, and Pay-TV service providers see this as a significant new revenue stream,” said Amir Mobini, chief executive officer, Zenverge, in a statement. “The proliferation of tablets has created an exciting new TV viewing experience.”

Service providers need to adjust their content distribution strategies to enable seamless HD content sharing across any device type. They need to address key issues like identifying customer’s entertainment viewing preferences, interoperability issues between CE devices, quality of service (QoS) issues with Wi-Fi networks, as well as cost and bandwidth consumption challenges.

Entropic and Zenverge have forged the alliance to develop a transcoding appliance reference design that will enable service providers to optimize digital video recorder (DVR) storage properties and transcode broadcast content in real-time. This allows customers to easily view or transfer content from one CE device to another, over a MoCA or wireless home network.

Zenverge has offered its high-performance, low-latency digital media IC to deliver a video pipeline capable of transcoding and decoding HD content up to four-times faster than real-time, and 30-times faster for lower-resolution content.

Entropic, though its MoCA silicon and software, brings proven speed and performance delivering the most robust, predictable and powerful home networking backbone to reliably distribute bandwidth-intensive content to any CE device.

As MoCA is the de-facto connected home entertainment standard in the U.S., deploying Entropic's proven silicon with its first-to-market MoCA 2.0 roadmap is ideal, especially as service providers evolve to MoCA 2.0 networks, company officials said.

According to Mobini, multi-channel transcoding and having a reliable MoCA network are two critical components to the user experience puzzle. By partnering with Entropic the company provides the best way for operators to ensure subscribers have the same viewing experience across any device.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for service providers to expand the number of screens in which their subscribers can consume their services,” said Vinay Gokhale, senior vice president of marketing and business development at Entropic, in a statement. “With this opportunity comes the challenge of formatting multiple types of content in order to optimize subscribers' viewing experiences.”

Company officials said the Entropic-Zenverge reference design enables faster than real-time transcoding and versatility that will be critical to enabling subscriber content re-purposing.

Entropic is also currently developing an active MoCA 2.0 ecosystem, delivering innovative solutions that enable Pay-TV service providers to optimize subscriber value.

In a related announcement, Entropic said it has formed a strategic collaboration with Intel (News - Alert) to develop a new class of industry first, advanced video gateway and client set-top box reference designs, based on the Intel Atom processor CE4200 and powered by Entropic's MoCA 2.0 solution.

These solutions, according to company officials, will enhance the delivery of broadcast and broadband content to the TV.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein