The OpenCable™ project is a concerted effort by cable operators to:
- Create a common platform for interactive services, programming, and advertising on cable devices;
- Define next-generation interactive digital cable-ready devices (e.g., televisions, set-top boxes, DVRs);
- Support home networking for cable content and services;
- Encourage supplier competition and innovation.
The OpenCable™ specifications describe an interactive digital cable platform comprising:
- Baseline core functional requirements for digital cable ready “host” devices;
- A “middleware” comprising a set of common application programming interfaces (APIs);
- The hardware interface between the host device and a removable security module (the “CableCARD™”);
- Copy protection and security requirements; and
- Optional extensions for host devices, including Home Networking, and DVR.
OpenCable™ PlatformThe OpenCable Platform defines middleware that provides an interface between applications and the system software a manufacturer chooses for a host device. The platform is based on the widely accepted Java™ technology. By abstracting away the various consumer electronics device operating systems to a common set of middleware APIs, application developers can write an application only once to a common platform.
CableCARD™Another component of the OpenCable™ Platform includes specifications for a removable security module which separates the cable operator's proprietary conditional access system from the host device. This separable security configuration provides secure access to encrypted digital cable programming and enables portability of host devices between cable networks throughout the nation.
For more information, please see the CableCARD primer.
Services and Applications
OpenCable Platform services may include:
- Electronic program guides (EPGs);
- Video-on-demand (VOD);
- Interactive personal video recorders (DVR);
- Interactive sports and game shows;
- Impulse pay-per-view (IPPV);
- Communications utilities such as e-mail, chat, and instant messaging;
- Caller ID presented on the TV;
- Interactive games; and
- Interactive services such as voting and polling within a television show, shopping (television commerce, or “T-Commerce”), and home banking.
- Content Developers: TV writers, directors and producers; ITV application developers; production houses; graphic designers.
- Copyright holders: Studios; producers; programmers sports leagues; music labels; video game companies.
- TV Networks: Cable services and broadcast networks.
- Advertisers: Advertisers, agencies and marketers.
- Cable Operators: MSOs and local cable systems.
- Device makers & retailers: Digital TVs; HDTVs; DVRs; set-top boxes; portable TV players; mobile phones.