dslreports logo

    All FAQs Site FAQ DSL FAQ Cable Tech About DSL Distance DSL Hurdles »»


how-to block ads

Over the last few years Comcast has started to label their boxes as different numeric levels of "RNG" (Residential Network Gateway). This is a Comcast designation for cable boxes that meet a certain level of features and performance. RNG labeled cable boxes must decode both MPEG2 and MPEG4/AVC (H.264) [for future uses], have an integrated DOCSIS 2.0 (or better) modem, and be capable of supporting Tru2Way (formerly called OCAP) middleware for future software updates (i.e. X1).

The RNG designation allows Comcast to have a standard grading scheme for boxes from all set-top box vendors (i.e. Motorola, Pace, Cisco, and any other brands that Comcast chooses to buy from in the future). An "N" in the model number tells us that it has MoCA networking for AnyRoom DVR support.

It is expected that boxes compliant with the RNG specifications will eventually get the X1 Guide software (NOTE: That this is a long term goal and unlikely to happen within the next couple of years). Link to initial report from Light Reading. More confirmation from Ted Hodgins, Sr. Director, Video Product Development - Navigation, in Media & Entertainment for Comcast, here:

The X1 Experience is the eventual goal for all of our high-end cable boxes regardless of geography or existing plant infrastructure.

RNG100 -- This designation has only been used for one Cisco box (a relabeled Cisco Explorer 1540C). It is unique in the fact that this is the only standard definition cable box to have meet the requirements for an RNG. All others in the RNG line-up are HD capable.

RNG110 -- This designation has only been used by one Pace box, which Pace actually named the RNG110 on their manufacturer site. It has no AnyRoom client abilities, it is a simple HD capable digital cable box. Commonly deployed to customers who do not wish to have a DVR for their first TV or as a second room TV box. It also comes in a variant with an RF coaxial output (ch. 3/4) for legacy customers who would like a modern cable box and/or have a reason to use both an HDMI connection and an analog RF one (i.e. a VCR, DVD recorder, etc.).

RNG150 -- This has only been used for a single Cisco cable box (a relabeled Cisco Explorer 1640HDC), as the designation implies, it does not support being an AnyRoom client. It appears to be roughly equivalent to the Pace RNG110 used in Motorola areas.

RNG150N -- These boxes are widely used and come from all three main vendors (Cisco, Motorola and Pace). They are made to be used as AnyRoom DVR clients and are also commonly deployed as single HDTV boxes for bedrooms, etc.
In Scientific Atlanta/Cisco areas this is a re-labeled Cisco Explorer 1642HDC
The RNG150N in Motorola areas is a re-labeled Motorola DCX3200/M Phase 2.

New deployments of the X1 DVR use Pace branded RNG150N's (model numbers "PR150BNM X1" and "PR150BNC") in a new custom chassis loaded with the X1 Guide software as their boxes for other rooms. More recenty, this Pace model is also being used for regular installations (non-X1 customers), the box will boot to a diagnostic screen and download the standard i-Guide software, overwriting the X1 version.

RNG200 -- This an HD DVR without AnyRoom abilities. This code has only been used for a relabeled Cisco Explorer 8540HDC/8550HDC.

RNG200N -- This is the top level of features. It is an AnyRoom capable DVR. This generic labeling has been applied to Cisco DVRs and to Motorola DVRs. Pace also has an RNG200N on their products website, but it appears Comcast is not using these yet.

In Motorola systems RNG200N refers to two models: either DCX3400/M or most recently DCX3501/M. The DCX3501/M shows up as code "MOR200BN" in the equipment listing of the Comcast customer website.

Like Pace, Cisco has started to offer up product pages using the Comcast naming scheme in addition to their traditional "Explorer" naming scheme for other cable providers. The newest Cisco DVR that Comcast and Cisco label as RNG200N is basically a Cisco Explorer 8652HDC.

NOTE: If you are in a Motorola area and want to find the actual manufacturer's model number, check the bottom or the backside of the cable box for the FCC label. The front panel was customized by Comcast with an RNG designation, so it is not a reliable way to find the actual model number.

Expand got feedback?

by SpHeRe31459 See Profile
last modified: 2014-01-13 18:13:17