Panasonic Signs CableLabs® Licenses for Two-Way Digital Cable Products
Louisville, Colorado, March 17, 2005—Panasonic has entered into agreements with CableLabs� that allow Panasonic to implement OpenCable™ Application Platform (OCAP™) middleware on its cable-ready digital TVs, set-top boxes, and other products to support two-way, interactive cable services. The agreements, available to any interested consumer electronics manufacturer, grant certain intellectual property rights required for building interactive devices in compliance with the CableLabs OpenCable™ hardware and software specifications.
"Panasonic has a history of innovation with cable digital television, including its decision several years ago to be the first major consumer electronics manufacturer to sign the original POD-Host Interface License Agreement (PHILA) for one-way digital cable-ready products," said CableLabs President and CEO Dr. Richard R. Green. "We're pleased that Panasonic is once again among the leaders in taking the initiative to expand its digital television products to the two-way level so quickly." The two-way agreement is called CableCARD™ Host Interface Licensing Agreement (CHILA).
"We are pleased to be able to enter into these agreements with CableLabs," said Paul Liao, Chief Technology Officer for Panasonic Corporation of North America. "As a worldwide leader in digital television, Panasonic believes the OCAP approach provides the unique degree of flexibility and performance that is necessary to delight consumers with an increasing number of exciting new cable services. We are eagerly looking forward to bringing a full range of Panasonic fully interactive, two-way digital cable products to market."
"The North American cable industry is very strong in its commitment to OCAP, and to deploying interactive services through both retail and leased digital devices. Consumer electronics companies such as Panasonic can create innovative products that access advanced cable services, thereby benefiting their companies, retailers, cable operators and our mutual customers," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corp. and Chairman of the CableLabs Board of Directors.
The new consumer products developed under these agreements will include OCAP, the middleware specification created by CableLabs for interactive applications. OCAP allows retail devices to run OCAP applications or services delivered by cable operators, as well as applications provided by consumer electronics companies, program networks and third-party applications developers. With OCAP middleware, CE manufacturers can build digital cable-ready products capable of using interactive program guides delivered by cable operators, as well as premium services ordered on-screen, such as video-on-demand (VOD). Devices licensed to use OCAP will also include an interface for the CableCARD™ removable security module. The CableCARD encapsulates the local cable system-specific conditional access technology, thus enabling nationwide portability of these two-way devices.
Panasonic is the world's largest consumer electronics company to sign the licensing agreements to build OCAP-equipped devices, joining Samsung and LG Electronics (Zenith).
Panasonic Corporation of North America (Panasonic) is the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Ltd. (NYSE:MC) of Osaka, Japan. Panasonic has been a leader in the digital television transition both in developing and shipping innovative industry-first HDTV and other DTV products. For more information on Panasonic visit our website at www.panasonic.com.
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.
CableLabs® is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. Other CableLabs marks are listed at http://www.cablelabs.com/certqual/trademarks. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.