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MoCA Plugs In To Prepare For Launch

The MultiMedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) expects the first wave MoCA-equipped products to be certified in December, following a successful test of interoperability-certification procedures here during the alliance’s first-ever “plugfest.”

Certified products will be available to retailers and cable operators in 2006, the alliance said.

During the four-day event, eight alliance members each connected one of their products to a MoCA network to simultaneously transport three HD and eight SD video streams.

“MoCA is about to become the first home networking alliance to have logo-certified multi-sourced interoperable products that can deliver multiple streams of HD video and other digital entertainment throughout the home,” the group said. Added MoCA’s president Ladd Wardani, “MoCA members are now the first to plugfest and will be the first to offer certified products that can deliver multiple streams of HD anywhere in the home.”

IP-based MoCA enables PC and A/V networks to coexist on the same coax-cable infrastructure already installed in homes. It’s capable of simultaneously transporting multiple streams of HD video, audio, voice and data among connected devices such as DVRs, PCs, set-top boxes, game consoles and A/V servers. It works with coax cable networks incorporating one or more signal splitters.

Based on field tests, MoCA’s 270Mbps physical-layer speed yields a net usable 100Mbps of bandwidth at more than 97 percent of real-world homes, according to the MoCA Alliance. It’s said to incorporate high quality of service (QoS), the security of a wired connection and state-of-the-art packet-level encryption.

MoCA can also be used to distribute premium cable channels, pay-per-view channels and DVR content over coax to TVs connected to small clients.

In addition, MoCA networks could double as the wired backbone for a wireless UWB (ultrawideband) network, and they could distribute IP-based TV programming streamed from the Internet.

The eight companies participating in the plugfest enhanced their ability to successfully complete certification tests during MoCA’s first wave of interoperability testing in December, the alliance said. The participating companies were Actiontec, Entropic, Linksys, Motorola, Mototech, Panasonic, 2Wire and Westell. Their networked plugfest products consisted of two HD DVRs each transmitting one HD video, an HD PC Media Center PC sending one HD video, an SD video server sending three videos and a second SD server sending five videos, consuming about 94Mbps of bandwidth. The HD streams each streamed at around 20Mbps. Comcast and Verizon observed the results.

MoCA’s founding members include Comcast, EchoStar, Entropic Communications, Motorola, Cisco/Linksys, Panasonic, RadioShack and Toshiba.