MoCA – home networking over existing coax cabling

During the last three years 25 million North American homes were equipped with MoCA technology. Why this is not yet happening in Europe? Is there some fundamental difference? A short answer would be “no”, but let us explain why.

Do you still believe that you cannot use MoCA technology because customer wall outlets do not support frequencies above 862 MHz? Do you think that the MoCA shares capacity in the same way as DOCSIS? Do your customers have more than one television?

You should read this article if you answered “yes” even once.

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA®) offers a universal standard for home entertainment networking over coax cables. MoCA technology  is the only home entertainment networking standard in use by all three pay TV segments – cable, satellite and IPTV. At the moment it is the only technology that can guarantee error free HDTV transmission inside homes.

Let us first correct one misunderstanding. MoCA technology is already used in Europe – in fact Teleste has sold more MoCA adapters in Europe than any other company. The next paragraphs will explain why.

The current MoCA specification can support multiple streams of HD video, deliver up to 175 Mbps net throughput and offer an unparalleled user experience via parameterized quality of service (PQoS). All this over the existing coax network. Although your network (meaning mainly wall outlets) would only support frequencies up to 862 MHz, and the MoCA uses frequencies above 1.2 GHz, it does not mean that you cannot use MoCA technology. Old networks were taken into account when MoCA® was designed and this issue was solved with a huge dynamic range of 90 dB. When you use an 862 MHz wall outlet it doesn’t stop frequencies above 862 MHz, it just attenuates more. For example, a typical 862 MHz wall outlet could attenuate 20 dB at 1.2 GHz frequency. So in practice MoCA technology can even be an option for old networks.

A DOCSIS CMTS shares capacity and thus many cable TV operators know the battle against latency. Although MoCA technology may be thought to use similar sharing; it is not in fact doing so. Connections between MoCA® adapters are point-to-point in practice, due to PQoS and multiple channels using different frequencies. Latency is not an issue at all!

Typical homes have several TV sets and all content must be available via all of them and perhaps via some mobile devices as well. Operators normally have a separate cable modem and sometimes one set top box per home. This set top box might contain a cable modem, a large hard disk, and all kinds of bells and whistles. Fun, but expensive. MoCA technology offers an inexpensive way to bring “client” like dummy set-top-boxes into the home. The cost of these boxes is low and their simplified hardware means higher mean-time-between-failures as well. In some cases, operators offer IP based video streaming – but how do you get the stream from the cable modem or from the STB into the IP based video decoder? The decoder is either the already mentioned inexpensive STB or some other device that end customer might have bought. Obviously the MoCA® is also the answer in this case.

Most mobile devices use Wi-Fi – no problem; we have a solution for that as well. Teleste has two MoCA® adapter options: a simple MoCA adapter working as a bridge between twisted pair and coax cabling, and a more sophisticated MoCA adapter containing a four-port Ethernet switch and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. One household can have up to 16 MoCA adapters (should you still want to call it household and not a castle). Adapters do not require any configuration by the end customer and all traffic is encrypted.


The article was previously published on Teleste’s website.


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Arttu Purmonen

I joined Teleste in 1997 and engineered video processing and data transmission products. I have worked as engineer, project manager, product manager and business director but understanding customer perspective has always motivated me. It brought me to be responsible for system and technical marketing where my internal driving force and former experience can party together. See my LinkedIn.

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