CableLabs® Conducts First Wave of OpenCable™ Interoperability Testing
Louisville, Colorado, August 2, 1999—Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs), along with a number of manufacturers, conducted successful tests during the week of July 26 that focused on removable security cards that allow for retail availability of cable digital set-top boxes.
Manufacturers that successfully demonstrated functionality were General Instrument, Mindport, NDS, Nagra, Philips Electronics, SCM Microsystems, and Scientific-Atlanta. Many of the firms that demonstrated this functionality also partnered with suppliers of headend equipment and set-top boxes, including Divicom, Samsung, and Panasonic.
Approximately 40 representatives from these companies were at CableLabs for the week of testing. CableLabs expects to attract additional supplying companies to future interoperability events.
This event focused on testing the scrambling and de-scrambling functions associated with the removable security cards for compliance with the OpenCable point-of-deployment (POD) module interface specification.
OpenCable is the CableLabs-managed project that seeks to facilitate the development of advanced digital devices from multiple suppliers that will communicate, or interoperate, with one another. The project is working to achieve a retail available set-top box or integrated television set that employs a POD module by the July 1, 2000, deadline established by the FCC. Additional interoperability events are scheduled to help meet FCC deadlines.
In preparation for these future interoperability events, CableLabs issued a request for information (RFI) that seeks to identify companies interested in providing set-top boxes, integrated television sets, or computer cards as part of OpenCable™ interoperability waves starting in September. Responses are due at CableLabs on August 16 to Paul Zimmerman, systems integration manager for CableLabs. The RFI is available on the CableLabs website (www.cablelabs.com).
"These interoperability milestones demonstrate the very real advantages of inter-industry cooperation," said CableLabs President and CEO Dr. Richard R. Green. "We appreciate the great support from cable's traditional suppliers, software companies, consumer electronics suppliers, and Hollywood studios and retailers."
"Last week's interoperability efforts, coupled with issuance of this RFI, are significant steps in the cable industry's efforts to meet the expectations of the FCC and of Congress. The overall cooperation, teamwork, and focus were very encouraging," said Lisa Lee, OpenCable project director. "In fact, one consumer electronics manufacturer said that this phase of interoperability testing was a real project breakthrough."
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains additional web sites at www.cablenet.org and www.ebif.tv.
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