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MoCA, Verizon Enlist Custom Installation Pros for Whole-House Installs

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) touts the use of existing coaxial cables as a "no-new wires" solution for audio/video distribution; Verizon says pros need to be involved in MoCA solutions for FiOS

HPNA Network Adaptor
Products like this Ethernet over Coax HPNA Network Adapter from Actiontec support the Multimedia over Coax Alliance spec for distributed A/V. The technology wants CE pros to know it is a viable “no-new wires” option for existing homes.

By Jason Knott
March 23, 2010

MoCA and Verizon need some help gaining traction for whole-house A/V distribution over existing coax cables.

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance is a group that espouses sending audio, video and data signals over existing coaxial cable in homes. The biggest backer of the technology has been Verizon, which converts most of its fiber-optic FiOS subscribers to MoCA once the signals get inside the home. It’s a quick and easy installation that requires little work for the installation crew.

Back at EHX Fall 2008, Verizon had already come to the conclusion that CE pros could adopt the technology. Tushar Saxena, director of home networks, told attendees at the event that structured wiring penetration in existing homes was a paltry 3 percent, so it made no sense for the phone giant to try to offer FiOS exclusively over Cat 5 Ethernet cable. At that time, Verizon and other telecoms were seeking alliances with CE pros to sell and install Verizon FiOS.

More recently, MoCA got a big boost when DirecTV announced it would be adopting the technology for its multi-room DVR and home networking offerings. The technology also has lots of momentum in Europe.

So how is it possible that most CE pros have never heard of it? That is about to change.

Down at the recent CEDIA Management Conference in New Orleans, MoCA was the Platinum sponsor of the event. Two other MoCA proponents, chipmaker Entropic Communications and router manufacturer Actiontec, were also prominent sponsors.

So What's Changed?
So why all of a sudden such a strong presence and interest in the custom installation market? It’s simple. The market has swung away from new homes to existing homes.

According to Roberta Silverstein, director of marketing communications, MoCA sees strong potential for CE pros to start using the technology as an installation option inside homes now that the market has decidedly turned its focus to existing homes. The alliance has a separate Web site blog called aimed telling success stories from homeowners and offering in-the-field advice.

The current MoCA specification can support multiple streams of HD video and deliver content at speeds up to 175 Mbps.The alliance has more than 60 certified products and more than 50 members worldwide consisting of service providers, OEMs, consumer electronics companies and chip vendors.

As further evidence of the technology's inroads into the custom space, Actiontec recently established a distribution deal with Capitol Sales, one of the custom industry's leading distributors, according to Michael Ehlenberger, vice president of channel sales at Actiontec.

Also, its Ethernet over Coax HPNA Network Adapter was recently a CE Pro BEST Award finalist in the multi-room A/V category at the CEDIA Expo in Atlanta.

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