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Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC - Analyst Report) has decided to develop an innovative IP set-top box based on the RDK Management LLC defined standards. RDK Management is a consortium formed by global cable giants Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Analyst Report), Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global plc (LBTYA - 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. The group also monitors the licensing of the pre-integrated software bundle, RDK support Kit, training, and code management.

Notably, 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.

Time Warner Cable is collaborating with Humax. Co. Ltd. to develop an IP video gateway (set-top box) integrated with the RDK software. The new video gateway will also be integrated into Time Warner Cable’s proprietary cloud-based navigation guide system.

This technology is designed to give viewers a better search experience using TVs, smartphones, and tablets with enhanced features and more program information.

Comcast is extensively rolling out its X1 hybrid IP video gateways incorporated with the RDK-enabled software. Currently these set-top boxes have been deployed across the company’s entire footprint. 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. Time Warner Cable is expected to follow suit in the near future.

In Feb 2014, Comcast had decided to acquire Time Warner Cable for approximately $45.2 billion. The deal is expected to close within a year, subject to regulatory approval and approvals of the shareholders of the both companies.

Earlier, Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR - Analyst Report) also tried to take over Time Warner Cable. However, its $37.3 billion offer package lost to Comcast’s considerably higher bid. Time Warner Cable currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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