Liberty Global plc. (LBTYA - Analyst Report), a leading cable TV operator in Europe and Latin America, has decided to join RDK Management LLC., a joint venture between U.S. cable giants Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Analyst Report) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC - Analyst Report).
RDK Management sets standards and development procedures for Comcast invented Reference Design Kit (RDK) for all-IP and hybrid IP/QAM set-top boxes and gateways. Liberty Global’s inclusion in the consortium is likely to boost RDK’s reach into several European markets.
RDK Management group monitors the licensing of the pre-integrated software bundle, RDK support Kit, training, and code management. Currently, the RDK pre-integrated software bundle has been licensed by over 120 companies, including service providers, hardware manufacturers, software companies, chipset developers and system integrators. Comcast is extensively rolling out its X1 and X2 IP video gateways integrated with the RDK-enabled software.
Last year, Liberty Global acquired license to test RDK standard in its next-generation Horizon IP video gateways. The company launched a hybrid IP video gateway called “Horizon TV” in the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland. At the end of 2013, the company had more than 500,000 Horizon TV subscribers in these four countries. Liberty Global currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
This innovative IP gateway combines cable operators’ video services with web-based content through an integrated cable modem. Horizon runs on Atom CE processor of Intel Corp. (INTC - Analyst Report). The new web-based hybrid modem includes an open software developer platform and application store.
Furthermore, customers can view TV programs on multiple screens such as computers, iPhones and iPads. Horizon TV also features an in-build application store for YouTube, Wikipedia and Facebook (FB - Analyst Report). Within the next two months, the company is likely to expand this cloud-based video guide set top box to other parts of Europe.