Mark Hess, senior VP business and industry affairs, Comcast has said Europe is making its presence felt within the RDK consortium.

Since March, original RDK partners Comcast and Time Warner have been joined by Liberty Global, owners of UPC and Virgin Media. “We don’t want this to be a Comcast thing,” said Hess. “Since Liberty have joined we’ve added DVB components, which makes it right for Europe.”

There are now around 180 members in the RDK grouping, many of them service providers, though few have made their membership public.

Hess described the technology on which vendors can add their own innovation as an “integrated package of components that lets us access the hardware in an intelligent way”.

Speaking to Cisco’s annual IBC media and analyst lunch, he said that the technology had enabled the US MSO to reduce the time to market for set-top box upgrades.

Hess added that RDK had enabled Comcast to increase the pace at which new set-top software was released, bringing it on a par with other fields. “If you’re on a cycle doing a set top once a year you’re going to change the way you think about the business.”

The presence of RDK has for Comcast made it evident that the set-top or a set-top like device will remain, for the time being at least, a view shared by Yvette Kanouff, senior VP & general manager of Cisco’s service provider Video Software & Solutions Group.

“At one time there was a thought that the smart TV might take up the role of the set top box, so we started to need a device So the small IP device that attaches through the RDK.”