Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why RDK?

One year after the Comcast Reference Design Kit (RDK) made its public debut at The Cable Show, the platform has more than lived up to its “service velocity” goal. In short, the RDK went from being a PowerPoint presentation at last year’s Cable Show, to a viable platform that is cutting down on development cycle for not only set-top boxes and gateways, but also applications.


The Comcast RDK was developed internally using open-source components and by working with various vendors. The RDK is a community-based ecosystem that allows developers, vendors and cable operators to use a defined stack of software on one layer in order to provision set-top boxes and gateways.

The RDK allows all of the interested parties to develop once and then scale across multiple environments – in the CableCard/ QAM/MPEG-2 environment of today, as well as in the IP environment of tomorrow.

The RDK includes CableLabs’ “Reference Implementation” for AP and tru2way, as well as the Java Virtual Machine (JVM.) Opensource components of the RDK include GStreamer, QT and WebKit, which are execution environments that can be tailored to each MSO. There are also optional plug-ins, such as Adobe Flash and Smooth HD.

The RDK is all about service velocity, which was demonstrated during demos at Imagine Park on the last day of The Cable Show in June. Demonstrations by vendors at Imagine Park showed that the RDK enabled them to develop products and applications in a matter of weeks instead of months.

The Reference Design Kit (RDK) is a pre-integrated software bundle that provides a common framework for powering customer-premises equipment (CPE) from TV service providers, including set-top boxes, gateways, and converged devices. The RDK was created to accelerate the deployment of next-gen video products and services. It enables TV service providers to standardize certain elements of these devices, but also to easily customize the applications and user experiences that ride on top.

The RDK is supported by more than 140 licensees including: CE manufacturers, SOCs vendors, software developers, system integrators, and TV service providers. It is administered by the RDK Management LLC, a joint venture between Comcast Cable, Time Warner Cable, and Liberty Global. The RDK software is available at no cost to RDK licensees in a shared source manner, and RDK community member companies can contribute software changes and enhancements to the RDK stack.

There are many benefits to using the RDK technology, including:
1. Speed to Market
2. Expanded Services
3. Standarization
4. collabration

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