Comcast Preps 'Next Generation' Set-Tops, Include DVRs

Pace Micro Technology, a digital set-top box maker, and Comcast have signed a multi-year agreement that will provide the cable operator with DVR devices.

In addition to licensing Pace's EngineWareT software platform, Comcast will also work with Pace on the joint development of next-generation set-top boxes and related technologies.

Comcast said it expects to pay between $375 million and $550 million for the set-top boxes over a three-year period.

Comcast also will have the right to sublicense Pace's EngineWare software and specified set-top box designs in the North American cable market. In addition, Comcast and Pace will jointly fund non-exclusive development of next-generation cable set-top boxes and related technologies to be carried out by Pace's engineering team.

In March, Comcast and TiVo signed a similar multi-year agreement to work on creating a version of the TiVo service that will be made available on Comcast's current primary DVR platform. The new software will be developed by TiVo, and will be incorporated into Comcast's existing network platforms. The new service will be marketed with the TiVo brand, and is expected to be available on Comcast's DVR products in a majority of Comcast markets in mid-to-late 2006.

Comcast representatives had no comment as to how the Pace and TiVo technologies would work together.



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