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Digital TV Set-Top Box Decline in Price & Size

Broadcasting & Cable reports that the days of the large, $300-plus standard definition digital set-top box appear to be long gone. Set-top vendors Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta both showed small digital set-top boxes at the NCTA show in Atlanta that will sell to cable operators for less than $100.

The digital-only boxes are targeted at operators deploying �digital simulcast� technology that will convert the existing analog tier to all-digital operations. They are also designed to work in conjunction with high-end �multi-room DVR� set-tops that will record and store programming in the living room and then deliver it over a coax-based home network to multiple televisions in the home.

Motorola�s new Digital Cable Client (DCC) 100 set-top is slightly bigger than a paperback book and was shown at NCTA as part of a Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) network that linked it to a hi-def DVR equipped set-top, as well as a mobile phone, to allow content sharing between devices.

Motorola spokesman Paul Alfieri says that the company plans to deliver another sub-$100 product, a �MoCA Module,� that would have a coax connection on one side and an Ethernet connection on the other to allow PCs to be easily connected to digital cable set-tops as part of a home network.

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