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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 25, 2010

MoCA Approves Stronger Standard for Home Entertainment as Providers Add Higher Bandwidth Apps

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance, or MoCA, has ratified its next-generation specification, MoCA 2.0, as a new standard for home entertainment networking.
The new specification doubles transfers speeds and has other improvements over MoCA 1.0 and 1.1 – as service providers offer increasingly richer content.

MoCA 1.0 and 1.1 are already deployed in millions of households.

MoCA is an international technology standard body promoting networking of multiple streams of high definition video around the home using the existing coaxial cabling.

Sharing of high definition content, received from a typical pay TV service provider, has been difficult to distribute around the home. With MoCA, any user can download high definition programming to their set top box, and through the user interface already resident in their remote control device, send that same content to any other room in the house.

MoCA 2.0 features two performance modes, basic and enhanced, with 400 Mbps and 800 Mbps net throughputs (MAC), using 700 Mbps and 1.4 Gbps PHY rates, respectively.

The new specification also features an expanded operating frequency range to service an even broader array of use cases and two network wide, low power-saving modes.
The new specification has full backward interoperability with MoCA 1.1/1.0.

“MoCA 1.1 meets the bandwidth and reliability requirements of service providers today. MoCA 2.0 addresses the requirements of operators and their subscribers in the future,” said Charles Cerino, president of MoCA.

“Performance becomes ever more critical as service providers add higher-bandwidth applications to their service offerings,” said Anton Monk, vice president of technology at Entropic (News - Alert) Communications and MoCA’s chief technology officer. “MoCA 2.0 will feature unrivalled performance and reliability and MoCA continues to be the networking technology of choice for today’s and tomorrow’s home entertainment network.”

MoCA 2.0 features:

--More than double the performance of MoCA 1.1, with the 400 Mbps baseline achieved through higher levels of modulation and expansion of the operating channel bandwidth to 100 MHz from the current 50 MHz. Enhanced mode performance of 800 Mbps is made possible through channel bonding.
--The addition of sleep and stand-by modes for networked devices helps manufacturers and operators comply with energy reduction initiatives.
--Expanded operating frequency range of 500 MHz to 1650 MHz enables all types of pay-TV providers to provide advanced home entertainment networking simultaneously with devices and services already in use on the same coaxial cable.
--Full backward-interoperability with MoCA 1.0 and 1.1 protects investment in current equipment. MoCA 1.0 and 1.1-based devices continue to operate at full speed even when MoCA 2.0-based devices are on the network.

MoCA is the only home networking technology standard endorsed by all three pay TV segments: cable, satellite and IPTV (News - Alert), the organization said.

The new standard will enable vendors to deliver high-speed, high definition video, multimedia and data services to their customers, according to a recent analysis on TMCnet. Service providers worldwide are beginning to bring to market compelling new services, such as multi-room DVR, broadband extension and PC-to-TV connectivity – which will benefit from the new standard.

Ed Silverstein is a contributing editor for TMCnet's InfoTech Spotlight. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi