Kabel Deutschland licenses Comcast's RDK for next-gen STBs

Michelle Clancy | 12-02-2014

Kabel Deutschland, Germany's largest cable network operator, has licensed the reference design kit (RDK) from RDK Management, aimed at accelerating the development of next-generation in-home devices and video services.

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

The RDK was developed by Comcast to accelerate the deployment of its own next-generation video services, and last year teamed with Time Warner Cable to license the technology to other cable operators. The idea is to prevent software fragmentation by providing speed-to-market, collaboration and standardisation.

"The RDK provides a unified technological foundation for pay-TV operators and our ecosystem of partners," said Lorenz Glatz, CTO at Kabel Deutschland. "Kabel Deutschland licensed the RDK because it is one of the most positive and promising developments in terms of standardisation 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."

The more operator support, the better that process will play out, so the Kabel win is a big one. John Malone's Liberty Global is also an international licensee, and Cox Communications has signed an evaluation license in the US.

"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," said Steve Heeb, president and general manager of RDK Management, the operating company for the technology.