Cisco showed new DVR set-tops from its Scientific-Atlanta unit that support MPEG-4 compression, feature greater storage and processing power, and comply with the "Tru2way" (formerly known as OCAP, or OpenCable Application Protocol) software standard for new interactive applications.
The 8500HDC series offer 800 MIPS (million instructions per second) of application processing power; dual 400MHz processors for MPEG-4 advanced video compression decoding, and 1 GHz tuning to keep up with cable operators as they expand their networks. The 8552HDC DVR model set-top also offers a Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) whole-home connection, allowing digital video to be sent over existing coaxial cable in the home to other consumer home network devices to support applications like multi-room DVR functionality or photo sharing.
While a lot of the cable industry's Tru2way initiative is aimed at incorporating many set-top functions directly into HDTV sets, the set-top isn't going away anytime soon, says Dave Clark, director of product strategy and management for Scientific-Atlanta.
"It doesn't mean the death of the set-top—absolutely not," says Clark. "What we see instead are connections to more and more devices in the home."