Liberty Global joins RDK venture

March 13, 2014 08.25 Europe/London By by Robert Briel, Cable Congress 2014, Amsterdam

Balan NairLiberty Global has entered the RDK joint venture as a strategic partner. The Virgin Media and UPC operator joins with Comcast and Time Warner Cable in providing technical, financial, and management oversight resources to support the joint venture.

RDK Management, LLC is responsible for licensing, code management, training and community support for the Reference Design Kit. 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 CE manufacturers, SOC vendors, software developers, system integrators and TV service providers.

The RDK was created to accelerate the deployment of next-generation video services and prevent software fragmentation by providing speed-to-market, collaboration and standardization.

“Liberty Global was an early proponent of the RDK, and today we’re taking a strategic stake in the JV because of the clear technical advantages it provides to us and the industry at large,” said Balan Nair, EVP and CTO for Liberty Global.

“We believe RDK provides a baseline of standardization that will yield faster development and launch cycles of next-generation in-home devices and video services. It’s a key part of our product roadmap. The combination of leading North American and European operators will enable RDK to build global scale and accelerate benefits to all RDK licensees.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Liberty Global to the RDK Management, LLC,” said Steve Heeb, president and general manager of RDK Management.

“Our goal has always been to design a solution that would help operators around the world. We are confident that Liberty Global will provide invaluable knowledge and leadership as we continue to expand our licensee base and provide MVPD’s with an underlying software bundle that can enable cloud-based services, modern UI’s, and faster development cycles of IP-connected devices.”

The RDK has been licensed by more than 120 companies, including multiple MVPD’s globally, such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Liberty Global, Kabel Deutschland, and others. The RDK is available at no cost for licensees, and RDK community member companies can contribute software changes and enhancements to the RDK stack.