What is OpenCable™?
OpenCable™ is a concerted effort by the North American cable operators (MSOs) to accomplish three goals: 1) provide the next generation digital consumer device, 2) encourage supplier competition and 3) create a retail hardware platform. For more information, please see the OpenCable™ primer.
What is OCAP™?
Where can I obtain a copy of the OCAP Reference Implementation?
OCAP is the middleware software layer of an OpenCable™ Host Device. OCAP middleware is intended to enable the developers of interactive television services and applications to design such products so that they will run successfully on any cable television system in North America, independent of set-top or television receiver hardware or operating system software choices. OCAP enables manufacturers and retail distributors of set-top boxes, television receivers or other devices to build and sell attractive and capable devices to consumers that will support all services delivered by cable operators to devices currently available to consumers via lease from cable operators. A Reference Implementation of the OCAP middleware is publicly available under open sources terms. See OCAP RI
. Please check the OpenCable™ Platform
Primer for more information.
My company wants to participate in OpenCable™. How do we get started?
A Reference Implementation of the OCAP middleware is publicly available under open sources terms. See OCAP RI
What are the benefits of signing the OpenCable™ NDA?
The first step is for the vendor company to sign the OpenCable™ Confidential Information Access
(the “OpenCable™ NDA”). The OpenCable™ NDA provides the vendor with access to ongoing project information. Once the signed OpenCable™ NDA is received by CableLabs, you will be sent information on how to register for a login/password to the restricted NDA portion of the OpenCable™ DocZone Web site
How do I get a login and password to the restricted OpenCable™ DocZone Web site?
What OpenCable™ specifications are publicly available, and where can I find them?
Joining the OpenCable™ community as an NDA vendor provides many benefits and privileges. As a participant, you will be able to:
- Obtain a login/password to the restricted OpenCable™ DocZone Web site.
- Receive e-mail announcements concerning OpenCable™ project activities and events.
- Participate in the OpenCable™ interoperability testing program.
- Participate in the review process for draft OpenCable™ specifications and test plans.
- Participate in the project update meetings.
- Participate in the engineering change process.
What is the OpenCable™ specification development process, and how can I get involved?
OpenCable™ Issued documents are available to the public in the Specifications
area on the OpenCable™ Web site.
What's an OpenCable™ Focus Team? How can I get involved?
When a new technology affecting the cable industry is identified, CableLabs typically utilizes a technique pioneered by systems engineers: it issues a request for information (RFI) and follows up with a request for proposal (RFP). The next task is for CableLabs to clearly refine a technology's potential features into a set of specifications for an idealized approach. These specifications are developed and written by a CableLabs Focus Team, which is formed on an as-needed basis. Participation on these teams may be limited to CableLabs members, or may include a combination of members and vendors (by invitation only). See below for further information on Focus Teams.
The initial versions of the specifications are called "Work In Progress" documents and are not shared outside the Focus Team. When the Focus Team considers the Work in Progress document ready for wider review, the document status is changed to "Draft." A Draft specification is then sent to the OpenCable™ NDA vendor community for review. The Focus Team considers comments made during the review period, and updates the Draft specification as appropriate. The final step is for the Focus Team to change the document status from Draft to "Issued." Changes to the specification after the Issued spec is published are considered via an engineering change process. The process begins with an Engineering Change Request (ECR), which then becomes an Engineering Change Order (ECO). Once the change is finalized and approved, an Engineering Change Notice (ECN) is issued and considered as an official part of the specification and implemented. An explanation of the process is available in DocZone, accessible with your OpenCable™ DocZone login and password. ECRs may be submitted by any OpenCable™ NDA vendor. A list of current ECNs can be found on the OpenCable™ DocZone Web site
. Access to DocZone requires a signed OpenCable™ NDA
. Once the signed OpenCable™ NDA
is received by CableLabs, you must fill out and submit the DocZone registration form
to receive a login and password to the restricted OpenCable™ DocZone Web site
. Your login amd password will be sent to you via e-mail.
CableLabs forms Focus Teams on an as-needed basis when it becomes necessary to write new specifications affecting the cable industry. These teams may be comprised only of CableLabs members, or a combination of members and vendors (by invitation only). CableLabs Focus Teams are comprised of select, highly dedicated representatives from both the MSO and OpenCable™ NDA vendor community. Focus Team members participate in weekly conference calls, attend scheduled face-to-face meetings, and are responsible for actively contributing to the development and review of the current work.
What's an OpenCable™ Working Group? How can I get involved?
I'm interested in helping to develop the OpenCable™ Test Plans. How can I get involved?
CableLabs forms Working Groups, whose function is typically to manage the engineering change process for issued specifications (although Working Groups may be formed for other reasons, such as writing Test Plans). An engineering change begins with an Engineering Change Request (ECR), then it becomes an Engineering Change Order (ECO). Once the change is finalized and approved, an Engineering Change Notice (ECN) is issued.
A Working Group is usually chaired by a CableLabs member representative, with the bulk of the Working Group comprised of vendors. OpenCable™ NDA vendors can either be invited to join a Working Group, or they may request to be included. However, vendors are expected to play an active role, including participating on weekly conference calls, attending scheduled face-to-face meetings, and contributing to the development and review of the current work.
If your company is interested in participating in an OpenCable™ Working Group, the first step is to ensure the OpenCable™ NDA
has been signed. Then, for information on Working Groups devoted to hardware issues, please contact OpenCable™ Vendor Relations
Once an issued specification is complete, the OpenCable™ project team develops an Acceptance Test Plan (ATP) for each.
An OpenCable™ ATP is a compendium of test procedures that may be used to demonstrate that an OpenCable™ device complies with certain specifications. The OpenCable™ project team and OpenCable™ Vendors have developed these procedures to facilitate the product development and certification efforts of OpenCable™ equipment suppliers.
ATPs already have been written for OpenCable™ hardware devices, including the CableCARD™ module and the Host device. The ATPs and PICS (Protocol [or Profile] Implementation Conformance Statement) for both these devices are available in DocZone.
However, a Test Plan is currently needed for the software component of OpenCable™, or OpenCable™ Platform. A Test Plan Working Group to develop the OpenCable™ Platform ATP and PICS has been formed, and is currently active.
In order for a vendor to participate in developing any OpenCable™ ATP, the vendor company must first sign the OpenCable™ NDA