Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) and HomePlug Powerline Alliance have formally partnered to accelerate the market adoption of home networking. The partnership's aim is to promote their standards to pay TV operators and consumers and generally expedite the use of networking in consumer homes. Future revisions of both standards will be compatible with their previous versions but each will remain standalone from the other.
Pay TV operators are looking to generate additional revenue by providing the growing number of TV screens and viewing devices in the home with both traditional TV broadcasts, networked PVRs, and content from the Internet. With customer premises having non-standard cabling, cost efficient access to these screens has proved challenging. Installing new cables is expensive and the wireless networking provided by broadband operators is generally not robust enough for high-quality video. Operators are looking to utilise technologies which use pre-existing coaxial, phone and power cables to network their set-top boxes.
Due to the presence of many different and incompatible technologies this market is currently very fragmented. It has become clear that each household requires a mixture of these technologies to extend the home network to every device in the home and, as such, there will be no single technology to rule them all.
This liaison is a further sign that the industry realises the above. The Consumer Electronics Powerline Communication Alliance (CEPCA), Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) and Universal Powerline Association (UPA) have already teamed up, ceasing further development of their own standards and putting their resources into a new standard: G.hn. It supports home networking over coaxial, phone and power cables, will not be backwards compatible with its constituent standards and will compete with both MoCA and HomePlug. MoCA and HomePlug are well established in the market, have a good head start over G.hn and backwards compatibility in their favour, but have realised that cooperation and cross marketing will be the best way to maintain their positions.