Coke added cherry flavor, Burger King added crispy coating to fries, and now WorldGate is adding CableWare2000 to the existing eight million digital set-tops available today, prepping them for a new array of applications. Though not edible, CableWare2000 is a conduit for next-generation TV, allowing interactive game shows and ticker applications into the customer's home. The open-standard middleware platform will deploy enhanced and interactive TV applications like VoD, Internet access and enhanced TV.
"The important thing about the release of CableWare2000 is it now provides a way for content providers to get content to the boxes," Joe Augenbraun, senior vice president of engineering, told CED. "Content can be developed as easily as using Macromedia Flash tools."
There are three levels of access to the box: the lowest is for programmers to manipulate all functions of the box. The middle level is for programmers as well, but this level is less complicated. The highest level is for content providers, or artists, as Augenbraun put it.
"They (artists) have a development kit and a simulator that runs on the PC. The simulator shows what the content will look like on the set-top, and when they are finished, they simply FTP the content to the MSO.
"This is a major step forward, we're very excited about it," Augenbraun said. "This middleware is allowing the existing boxes out there to function like the advanced set-tops would."
Full deployment of CableWare2000 is expected in 1Q 2001.