Intel demos 'headless' 6-tuner cable gateway for Comcast

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Richard Lawler
January 10th, 2013

Pre-CES rumors suggested Intel would announce a "virtual cable" service (before being stamped out) but the partnership with Comcast it actually revealed turned out to be far more conventional. Very similar to the tru2way multiroom box Intel demonstrated back at IDF in 2009, the Multi-Screen Video Gateway by Arris capitalizes on DLNA standards -- touted by the alliance earlier today -- to bring video to virtually any device in your home. It's "headless", because it's not built to connect directly to any TV, just shoved somewhere out of sight while you tune in on your various screens. Of course, these demos have been here before and the DTCP-IP technology behind it isn't particularly new either, so why could 2013 finally be the year we see these features roll out from major providers?

Intel demos 'headless' 6tuner cable gateway for Comcast

As cited in the earlier press release, DirecTV has released Genie DVRs loaded with RVU that pushes video directly to TVs and even the PS3 in the past year, providing one example of the tech in action. The updated FCC IP interface requirements and continued work on the DLNA Premium Content guidelines are also forcing progress forward, albeit slowly. Finally, there's some hope that the CE and cable industry can actually work together, as seen in Comcast's RDK program that's pushing the development of this box and others (like that Humax box we spotted floating through the FCC) with similar capabilities. The box was running Comcast's new X1 cloud-based guide which has seen a limited rollout so far, but because of how it works is more easily accessed and updated on connected devices. Of course even with all that, we've been down this road before (again and again and again and again) so despite a slick demo we'll withhold excitement until hardware is actually released.

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