June 15, 2010
| by Julie Jacobson
If you’re not sold on powerline and RF for wire-free audio/video, then you might take another look at the lowly coax cable.
The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) has announced the next-generation 2.0 specification, featuring two performance modes with minimum throughputs of 400 and 800 Mbps (700 Mbps and 1.4 Gbps PHY rates).
Founded in 2004 by Comcast, EchoStar, Panasonic, Motorola, Toshiba and others, MoCA was established at a time when little else existed for high-throughput distribution with quality of service (QoS).
At the time, MoCA was working towards a 270 Mbps potential throughput.
Now the organization seems to be gaining momentum with even higher data rates, and with cable operators starting to warm up to the spec, which uses the home’s existing coax cables and splitters – even the junky pieces that the cable guys have installed over the years.
Seemingly every entertainment service provider has promised MoCA solutions over the years, but few have delivered. Today, the platform is used for Verizon FiOS multiroom products, but lacks adoption among cable MSOs.
ABI Research reported in February of this year that some 15 million settop boxes will support MoCA by 2014, bolstered by the popularity of multiroom DVRs, and the often-times bum rap given to wireless and powerline solutions.
In addition to its increased data rates, MoCA 2.0 features expanded operating frequency range to “serve an even broader array of use cases and two network-wide, low-power-saving modes,” according to the press release.
The organization claims to have the only home networking technology standard endorsed by all three pay TV segments: cable, satellite and IPTV. MoCA 1.0 and 1.1 are already deployed in “millions of households,” and the latest version will be backward-compatible.
MoCA 2.0 Technical Highlights
- Net throughput (MAC) rates of 400 Mbps (baseline mode) and 800 Mbps (enhanced mode), up from 175 Mbps for MoCA 1.1, with turbo modes at each level. PHY rates are 700 Mbps and 1.4 Gbps, respectively.
- More than doubling the performance of MoCA 1.1 the 400 Mbps baseline level is achieved through higher levels of modulation and expansion of the operating channel bandwidth to 100 MHz from the current 50 MHz. Enhanced mode performance of 800 Mbps is made possible through channel bonding.
- To assure an even more robust and satisfying customer experience, the packet error rate (PER) has been improved to one packet error in 100 million. The PER mode is programmable on a per flow basis and can be assigned depending on the necessity of content. On time delivery is assured with an average latency of less than 3.5ms across all received packets and traffic profiles.
- The addition of sleep and stand-by modes for networked devices helps manufacturers and operators comply with worldwide energy reduction initiatives.
- Expanded operating frequency range of 500 MHz to 1650 MHz enables all types of pay-TV providers to provide advanced home entertainment networking simultaneously with devices and services already in use on the same coaxial cable.
- Full backward-interoperability with MoCA 1.0 and 1.1 protects investment in current equipment. MoCA 1.0 and 1.1-based devices continue to operate at full speed even when MoCA 2.0-based devices are on the network.
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.