Panasonic has released a reference platform designed to help operators verify their headends with OCAP-powered, interactive digital televisions.

The OCAP-compliant PCH1000 reference platform offers "a necessary step for portability of new consumer products that will be OCAP and CableCARD complaint," said Panasonic VP of cable TV Richard Strabel, in a release. "We will provide the PCH1000 reference platform to cable service providers across the country so they can test their systems prior to the introduction of two-way TVs into the consumer market later this year. This is a prelude to the cable companies' systems working with future OCAP-compliant, CableCARD TVs."

Panasonic said it will sell a "limited number" of PCH1000s so operators can begin testing against two-way CableCARDs. The company expects to begin broader distribution of the reference platform in June.

Separately, Panasonic announced the OCAP DVR Application Development Kit for OCAP-compliant Java applications for set-tops and other CE devices. Panasonic said it marks the first ADK for cable set-tops with on-board digital video recording capabilities that run OCAP. It will also become available in June, the company said.