Electronics Firms See New Future for Coaxial Cable (Echostar


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Sep 8, 2003
Electronics Firms See New Future for Coaxial Cable

01-05-04 12:50 AM EST

There's A new, or rather old, contender in the race to create the fully digital home -- the venerable cable already plugged into your television set, Monday's Wall Street Journal reported.

A group of industry heavyweights this week is set to announce plans to promote a technology that uses coaxial cable to send high-quality video and other content between TVs, digital video recorders, personal computers and other devices. Coax, as the familiar black or gray wiring is widely known, may seem outdated, but it has one special advantage: it's already connected to TVs in many households, avoiding the need to string new wiring or use wireless connections that are prone to interference.

Companies helping to define a new coax standard, significantly, include both cable giants Comcast Corp.(NASDAQ-NMS:CMCSK) and satellite TV provider EchoStar Communications Corp.(NASDAQ-NMS:DISH) Other backers are networking leader Cisco Systems Inc.(NASDAQ-NMS:CSCO), TV set-top box maker Motorola Inc.(NYSE:MOT), electronics retailer RadioShack Corp.(NYSE:RSH) and Japanese consumer-electronic giants Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.(NYSE:MC) and Toshiba Corp.

The group -- dubbed MoCA, for the Multimedia Over Cable Alliance -- plans to build on technology developed by a start-up, Entropic Communications Inc., which allows coax that was designed to carry standard TV signals to transmit digital data at more than 20 times the speed of many home networks.

Connecting gadgets has emerged as an overarching goal of this year's Consumer Electronics Show, which begins Thursday in Las Vegas. Companies hope networking can spur demand by helping consumers better manage the flood of information and entertainment in the home.

Wall Street Journal Staff Reporter Don Clark contributed to this report.

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