A few months ago on Entertainment 2.0, I jokingly asked the question, “MoCA’s still alive?” Indeed, it’s not just alive, it’s expanding rapidly and evolving into a robust home networking solution.
MoCA, or Multimedia over Coax, is a technology designed to support the growing networking needs of today’s connected homes, recognizing that many houses don’t have the networking infrastructure needed to connect the latest entertainment devices.
The idea behind MoCA is simple: while most houses today don’t have wired network connections in every room, many have Coax infrastructure that reaches most living spaces. MoCA technology uses that Coax infrastructure by piggy-backing network traffic on those wires without impacting the video signals they already carry.
Today’s MoCA carries network signals at about 175 Mbps with nominal signal loss, making it a better solution for home and Internet video streaming than, say, wireless. Plus, it can be set up to complement your existing network—wired or wireless.
Why you may not have heard about it is that consumers with MoCA in their homes don’t need to worry about it; in fact most don’t even know about it. Some cable and satellite providers rely on MoCA when setting up multi-room DVR and entertainment systems in a home. In many cases, the MoCA technology is built right into the boxes installed by your provider.
That’s starting to change with consumer-oriented MoCA bridges and routers starting to make their way into retailers. Devices like [amazon_link id=”B004XOMJ6C” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Channel Master’s Coax Adapter[/amazon_link] let consumers extend their wired networks into bedrooms, dens, and kitchens—locations often inaccessible by wired Ethernet.
MoCA is powered by a chipset created by Entropic Communications. At CES this year, Entropic’s booth showcased a large array of products that currently support or depend upon MoCA for connectivity. As one of the co-founders of the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (also, confusingly, abbreviated MoCA), Entropic continues to improve and expand upon MoCA’s impact in the home. Showcasing MoCA 2.0 at CES, they demonstrated next-generation MoCA networks pushing 400 Mbps over 16 nodes with a mode that supports up to 1Gbps performance under certain conditions.
MoCA’s future certainly seems bright at this point. Every provider of multi-room video solutions we spoke with at CES—TiVo, DISH Network, Arris, Ceton—is building MoCA into their solutions or testing with MoCA adapters. And with MoCA 2.0 rolling out to homes and consumer devices, wireless video stuttering and re-buffering could become a thing of the past.