CableLabs publishes OCAP, fine-tunes DOCSIS 2.0

Thu, 01/31/2002 - 7:00pm

Polishing up a slate of work being done behind the scenes, CableLabs recently published the middleware specifications for OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) version 1.0, and completed the advanced DOCSIS 2.0 spec.

OCAP 1.0, available to manufacturers and content developers at, represents the software element of OpenCable, an initiative designed to foster the sale of cable set-tops through retail channels. OCAP 1.0 is also tagged for integrated television receivers.

CableLabs said members of its executive committee, including six top MSOs, have pledged to support OCAP and OCAP-enabled devices once equipment becomes commercially available.

In an expected move late last year, CableLabs said OCAP would be largely based on Digital Video Broadcasting's European Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) middleware spec. Both MHP and OCAP have been submitted to the International Telecommunications Union as "a contribution to an international standard," CableLabs said, noting that it has begun defining an OCAP test plan, and expects to begin "informal" OCAP interops in March.

OCAP 1.0's Execution Engine (EE), based on Sun Microsystems' Java technology, will serve as the core for future OCAP products. A Presentation Engine (PE), which handles Web browsing, will be added to a future OCAP 2.0 spec. Originally, OCAP was to include both the EE and the PE.

Moving from middleware to cable modems and cable modem termination systems, CableLabs, having finished DOCSIS 2.0, said it is finalizing plans for interoperability testing by the first quarter of this year, and possibly certification testing by the third quarter.

Building on existing DOCSIS 1.0 and 1.1 specs, DOCSIS 2.0 incorporates advanced PHY to add more bits per hertz in the cable upstream, making it more symmetrical with the downstream, and opening up the door for applications like peer-to-peer networking and videoconferencing. The spec includes support for A-TDMA (advanced frequency agile time division multiple access) and Terayon's proprietary S-CDMA (synchronous code division multiple access).


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