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CableLabs to re-brand OpenCable Platform

Tue, 12/18/2007 - 8:00am
Mike Robuck

CableLabs could be making an announcement later this week about the re-branding of its OpenCable Platform, with the new name expected to be Tru2way.

While there are no specific details yet on the name change, earlier this year CableLabs threw out OCAP (OpenCable Application Platform) in favor of OpenCable Platform because the latter was comprised of both software and hardware. Tru2way seems to be a reflection of OCAP’s two-way capability, which is currently unmatched by telcos and DBS. Next month’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas could be a good venue for the cable industry to beat the drum for Tru2way.

CoxComcastTime Warner Cable and other cable operators are currently in various stages of OpenCable Platform trials and deployments, both of which are expected to pick more steam next year.

OCAP was originally part of the broader OpenCable initiative, which CableLabs launched in 1997 to promote the deployment of interactive services over cable. OCAP consists of a stack of middleware software that resides between applications and the operating system within a consumer electronics device such as a set-top box or OCAP-compliant TV set. JAVA-based OpenCable devices can have new information or applications ported to them because of their two-way capabilities, with ETV being an early forerunner of applications for legacy set-top boxes. 

With OCAP, cable operators can offer a wide range of services and product offerings that will differentiate them from their competitors and hopefully endear them to advertisers and content providers. The OCAP applications will include addressable advertising, electronic program guides, caller ID on a TV, news and sports information on TV screens, VOD, digital video recorders, games, shopping and customer care.

For developers, content providers and broadcasters, OCAP holds the promise of “write once, deploy everywhere,” as opposed to writing to various proprietary platforms. Customers not only benefit from the new services and applications, but will also be able to take their OCAP-devices from one MSO footprint to another when they move.

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