MOCA + BOXEE = Home Networked Entertainment
Author: Entropic Communications
As consumers are equipping their homes with multiple HD TVs and OTT services such as Boxee and VUDU, the need for increased bandwidth and a reliable connection becomes a top priority. The overwhelming broadband traffic produced by these content-heavy devices and services raise concerns of how home networks are going to handle the growing number of connected devices and multimedia services. The MoCA Ethernet-to-Coax adapter is a single-unit solution that enhances the entertainment value of all connected electronics in the network and the overall viewing experience of the consumer.
What is MoCA?
MoCA is an international technology standard body promoting the networking of multiple streams of high definition video around the home using existing coaxial cabling. MoCA stands for the Multimedia over Coax Alliance and was founded in 2004 by eight leading consumer electronics, cable and satellite service providers and retailers. MoCA’s founding members include Entropic Communications, Motorola, Cisco Systems, Comcast, RadioShack Corporation, EchoStar, Matsushita (Panasonic), and Toshiba. MoCA creates a high-speed and robust home networking backbone for the seamless delivery of high definition (HD) video and other multimedia content throughout the home network. MoCA networking is widely adopted by top-tier cable TV and satellite service providers for next-generation services such as multi-room DVR. It is also a solution for those consumers who want a wired home network for over-the-top (OTT) services, gaming consoles, and Blu-ray Players without having to install new and expensive Ethernet cabling.
What is Boxee?
Boxee is a home theater social media center. Once installed on a home theater computer, Boxee allows users to watch Internet movies and TV shows, listen to online radio and music, play local digital music and movies, and much more from their living room couch. Boxee is diverse in its functionality, and continues to evolve as developers create new applications to explore the expanse of media on the World Wide Web.
Recently, Boxee introduced the Boxee Box by D-Link. The Boxee Box features a useful QWERTY remote, eliminating the need to use a computer to run Boxee with a TV. Once plugged into the TV, users can connect to the Internet via a wireless connection or MoCA adapter for an Ethernet connection. The Boxee Box allows consumers to watch online television programming from services such as Hulu directly on their TV.
How does MoCA work with an over-the-top (OTT) service like Boxee?
As consumers are equipping their homes with multiple HD TVs and OTT services such as Boxee and VUDU, the need for increased bandwidth and a reliable connection becomes a top priority. The overwhelming broadband traffic produced by these content-heavy devices and services raise concerns of how home networks are going to handle the growing number of connected devices and multimedia services. The MoCA Ethernet-to-Coax adapter is a single-unit solution that enhances the entertainment value of all connected electronics in the network and the overall viewing experience of the consumer. Whether it is a multi-room DVR, Blu-ray player, HD TV, game console or PC, the easy-to-install MoCA adapter eliminates buffering and bandwidth concerns, welcoming a new level of confidence in home networking and entertainment for the end-user.
This summer, Boxee and Entropic Communications offered 50 free MoCA adapters for a select group of Boxee users to install and critique. What were some of the survey findings?
The call for Boxee participants went out on Twitter and on the Boxee Forum, “Cable in your wall but Boxee in areas where net is problematic? Signup for @boxee moca trial and test a solution for free!” and 50 lucky Boxee users were given free Ethernet-to-Coax Adapters to install and critique… and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
With 92% of trial users viewing Boxee on their TV – the importance for a strong viewing quality of experience was high – especially when 60% of trial users experienced connectivity issues when using the Boxee service. The trial showed MoCA’s ability to deliver a high-speed, reliable, robust in-home network to support Boxee’s OTT services, and also proved MoCA as a complementary service to extending a Wi-Fi network, even when wireless connectivity was blocked by cinderblock home construction.
For what other applications and services can I use MoCA?
As a home networking backbone solution, MoCA supports a range of content-related devices such as multi-room DVR, 3D-TV, online and multi-room game consoles (Microsoft XBOX, Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii), PCs for TV content sharing, and Blu-ray Players. MoCA also enhances the viewing experiences of IPTV and over-the-top services including Boxee, VUDU, Netflix, Apple TV, and Google TV. For all these services and products, MoCA offers a fast and reliable wired home networking solution without the hassle of having to install Ethernet cable.
What are the advantages of MoCA?
MoCA is currently the fastest growing home networking technology in the US, adopted by cable MSOs and DBS providers including Comcast, Verizon FiOS, DIRECTV, Time Warner, and Cox Communications. One of the key underlying factors to MoCA’s popularity is how the technology leverages the abundance of existing coaxial cables in homes. In doing so, MoCA creates a wired home network, one that is associated with fast speeds and high reliability. Additionally, MoCA devices form full-mesh/peer-to-peer networks that allows for any device to communicate with every other device.
Complementary to Wi-Fi, MoCA is capable of extending a traditional Wi-Fi signal, amplifying old “hot spots” to new depths of coverage. According to one Boxee-MoCA trial user, he plans on installing additional MoCA Adapters to his home network stating that “because of the cinderblock construction of my house, Wi-Fi doesn’t penetrate”. Furthermore, unlike MoCA, Wi-Fi operates in an unlicensed spectrum, so sources of interference cannot be controlled. These interferences can be caused by microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth, baby monitors and neighboring Wi-Fi networks.
Through its line of Ethernet-to-Coax adapters, MoCA offers the benefit of self-installation, providing consumers a do-it-yourself approach to a next-generation home network without costly installation expenses. Furthermore, MoCA has built backwards compatibility built into their chipsets, bringing flexibility and assurance to forward-looking service providers.
How can I install MoCA?
Perfect for single family homes and other residential buildings, MoCA adapters offer a simple and seamless integration solution for adding high-speed Internet access anywhere without the hassle and high cost of complex modifications to the network’s infrastructure. These bridges are mostly sold in pairs since most households will need 1 adapter by a router and 1 adapter to connect to another room i.e. Living Room. Up to 16 MoCA devices can be connected to a single MoCA network.
For example, here are the steps for setting up an Xbox 360with MoCA
Step 1: Connect the first Ethernet-to-Coax adapter to Router or Gateway
Step 2: Connect the second Ethernet-to-Coax adapter to Xbox 360
Step 3: Configure Xbox to use a Wired Connection
Video and detailed steps: http://mocablog.net/tag/install/
Where can one find MoCA home networking products?
The current retail brands that offer MoCA home networking products are NETGEAR, D-LINK, Cisco, and ACTIONTEC, and are primarily Ethernet-To-Coax Adapter kits. These products all interoperate with each other via the MoCA standard, and up to 16 MoCA devices can be connected to a single network. MoCA ECBs are currently available online and at retail stores like Best Buy, Fry’s, and Wal-Mart.
In addition to the retail channel, North American cable and satellite service providers that currently deploy Entropic’s MoCA silicon include Verizon FiOS, DIRECTV, Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Rogers Communications.
To learn more about MoCA, visit www.mocablog.net