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The Transport Gateway – IP and QAM in One Box

The Motorola transport gateway has been floating around for several months, but there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it. Until recently, interest in cable IPTV has been muted, but more and more cable operators are exploring IP video options. And that makes this a good time to look closely at the transport gateway. (Check out the video recorded at IBC above)

In brief, the transport gateway is an modem/router for the home that also includes QAM tuners. Whether or not cablecos ultimately decide to broadcast video over one big IP pipe (which may happen some day), they can still network video over IP in the home and allow users to connect to other IP devices. The four QAM tuners in the gateway receive MPEG video and convert the signals to IP. Meanwhile, the gateway also receives DOCSIS data streams, and includes voice ports to boot. Here are some of the specs:

  • 4 Ethernet ports
  • 2 telephony ports
  • DOCSIS 3.0 support
  • 802.11n access point
  • 4 narrowband tuners for QAM video service
  • Support for a user-provided external hard drive with DLNA for networking

Sounds like home networking heaven. Some day there may be one big, fat cable IP pipe leading into the home, but given the advantages of the existing MPEG infrastructure, it’s good to have other options for converging video and data within the home.

UPDATE: Motorolan Malcolm Latham had this anecdote on the transport gateway from the IBC show floor.

The gateway can work with any standard IP set-top and Motorola’s Chris Kohler was challenged by a customer to prove it, so after the end of the show they came with a set-top from another vendor to try… Showing no sign of fear, Chris plugged it in and it worked perfectly!!