Twenty-Four Firms Participate In CableLabs® OCAP™ Interoperability Event
Louisville, Colorado, August 18, 2004—A total of 24 companies participated in a Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®)-hosted landmark OpenCable™ Application Platform (OCAP™) interoperability event during the week of August 2nd. This third in a series of interop events demonstrates once again the wide vendor support for the OCAP™ middleware specification.
Participation from the wide range of companies in the event provided firm evidence for the success of the core premise of OCAP—applications that are written independently by content developers can run successfully on the OCAP stack built into set tops or consumer electronics devices by manufacturers and also can function well on live cable system plant equipment. The event featured successful porting of OCAP to hardware platforms from 11 different manufacturers. Application developers also participated, successfully demonstrating a wide variety of interactive TV applications capable of running on unique OCAP implementations. The event also provided a venue for several companies testing the interoperability of various backend support systems and development and test tools.
OCAP implementers included Aircode, Alticast, Humax, LGE, Motorola, NDS, Osmosys, Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung, and Time Warner Cable. The OCAP Development LLC stack, a joint venture between Time Warner Cable and Comcast, was demonstrated on a Scientific-Atlanta 3250 platform, and the Osmosys middleware stack was demonstrated on a hardware platform from Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB).
All other middleware developers demonstrated OCAP implementations on hardware platforms developed within their own companies. Together, these OCAP implementations showed the maturity of OCAP specifications, and other related specifications, including support for DOCSIS® Set-top Gateway (DSG), in-band and out-of-band communications, signaling for OCAP applications, and OCAP compatibility with the CableCARD™-Host interface.
Twelve application developers also made a successful showing at the CableLabs interoperability event, demonstrating that both �bound� and �unbound� OCAP applications are interoperable across multiple hardware platforms running OCAP middleware. Bound applications are delivered in the MPEG stream of video content and are program related, while unbound applications are delivered in a separate transport stream and are not program related. Participants included Aircode, Alticast, Digisoft, Emuse Technology, Gist, Panasonic, Pioneer, S&T, Time Warner Cable, Unisoft, Vidiom, and The Weather Channel. Some of these companies also are developing OCAP emulators and developer kits for advanced interactive applications.
Application developer participants successfully demonstrated the interoperability of several applications that made extensive use of data transfer and analysis, such as an airline travel reservation system, a medical advisor application, T-commerce applications, and advanced real-time and local weather applications. In addition, S&T, Time Warner Cable, and Vidiom Systems all demonstrated advanced functionality of individual electronic program guides (EPGs) built on OCAP application programming interfaces.
Mike Hayashi, Senior Vice President of Subscriber Technologies and Advanced Engineering, Time Warner Cable, commented that the large number of OCAP implementations �steps up the pace of innovation� for digital television content and interactive applications. �Seeing our EPG, as well as other companies� EPGs, running seamlessly on 11 different hardware platforms on the same network was totally groundbreaking,� said Hayashi, who heads the OpenCable Certification Board.
�The interop event showcased the entire �end-to-end� OCAP network,� said Don Dulchinos, Vice President of Advanced Platforms and Services at CableLabs. Application servers, object carousels, and other headend �playout� equipment and systems are necessary for injecting interactive content and application signaling into the MPEG transport stream so that applications launch and terminate correctly in OCAP set-top boxes and interactive digital televisions connected to the cable network. Aircode, Alticast, Digisoft, Motorola, NDS, Scientific-Atlanta, Softel-USA, S&T, Thales, and Unisoft all demonstrated various headend and support systems critical to OCAP deployment. In addition, Emuse Technology, Digital Keystone, Tektronix, and Vidiom Systems demonstrated various developer, test, and analysis tools.
�We�re very pleased with the progress being made by all OCAP developers and implementers to date,� said Dulchinos. �This interop was extremely successful in that it demonstrated advanced applications and interactive content from various sources correctly executing on more than ten different OCAP implementations.�
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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