CableLabs® Hosts Interoperability Event For OpenCable™ Platform Applications
Louisville, Colorado, November 5, 2007—CableLabs® hosted a successful week-long OpenCable™ interoperability event in early October, highlighted by numerous hardware manufacturers demonstrating interoperability among OpenCable and enhanced TV (eTV) applications.
In addition, CableCARD™ and carousel generator vendors were on site to provide their support to the interoperability event, which rounded out the complete ecosystem of OpenCable vendors. The OpenCable Platform is widely seen as an innovation engine for the cable network that creates an open and ubiquitous middleware layer to enable blended applications, including point-and-click e-commerce and information services, caller ID on the TV, voting and polling.
Interop events provide vendors with an informal, laboratory setting in which they gain the opportunity to test their latest products within CableLabs' headends and testing environment, determine compliance with CableLabs' specifications and the ability of their products to interoperate with other devices in an end-to-end OpenCable system. CableLabs uses these events as an opportunity to improve and validate its test environment and procedures. There is no charge to participate in an OpenCable interoperability event.
Fifteen companies were represented, testing their products and meeting with cable operators who toured through the laboratory and viewed the OpenCable devices and applications. Cable operators are keenly interested in these interoperability events because they have started to deploy OpenCable products. It was recently reported by Time Warner that 150,000 OpenCable Platform compliant set-top boxes have been deployed to date and the numbers are expected to grow into the millions over the coming years. These 2-way set-top boxes allow OpenCable applications such as interactive guides, VOD (video on demand), and advanced advertising services to run in consumers' homes.
“The OpenCable platform provides industry hardware and software vendors the opportunity to develop innovative, new capabilities that can be broadly deployed across all MSOs' plants. Advertisers will gain the opportunity to reach an audience that is interested in their products while providing consumers useful, relevant and helpful advertising messages,”" stated Paul Woidke, Vice President, Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales arm of Comcast.
All of these innovations provide the OpenCable application developer community with more opportunities to market 2-way interactive applications. Participating in interoperability events is a great environment for the application developer community to test their work-in-progress against the infrastructure.
Phil Bender, Project Director of Business Relations, OpenCable, organized this event. “We gained valuable insight from the participants. With the growth of interactive services on the cable TV platform, the community of OpenCable application developers could benefit by participating in future events,” Bender said. CableLabs is planning its next OpenCable interop for the spring of 2008. The RFI will be posted on OpenCable's website in the OpenCable News and Events area.
The CableLabs OpenCable™ Project provides a set of industry hardware and software specifications to achieve three key objectives: (1) define next-generation digital consumer devices, (2) encourage supplier competition and (3) create a retail hardware and software platform. Major consumer electronics manufacturers have announced plans to build products to the OpenCable specifications. Cable operators have also deployed set top devices that run OpenCable applications.
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 web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org, and www.opencable.com.
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