While Verizon is balking about using cable’s tru2way technology, EchoStar Technologies recently announced that it has signed the tru2way host device license agreement with CableLabs.
By signing the agreement, EchoStar now has the right to implement OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) middleware and the CableCard interface on devices using tru2way technology. EchoStar said the agreement signaled its intent to build set-top boxes for the cable industry.
Tru2way – the consumer name for the OpenCable Platform, which was incarnated in 1997 as the OpenCable Applications Platform – was designed to allow interactive, two-way applications to be provisioned to customers’ set-top boxes or TVs by using Java APIs. Tru2way also creates a national footprint for the creators of interactive services to develop products that work on cable systems in nearly every U.S. market.
Major cable operators – including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision, Charter and Bright House Networks – have committed to support the tru2way platform on systems covering more than 90 million U.S. homes by the end of this year.
“We are firmly committed to becoming a vendor of choice in the cable industry, leveraging decades of systems and manufacturing excellence, and today’s announcement asserts our commitment,” said EchoStar President Mark Jackson.
EchoStar made its cable debut at The Cable Show in May when it demonstrated its SlingMedia device.
Verizon recently sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that advocated a platform-agnostic approach to interactive video instead of using tru2way. Verizon has said that tru2way doesn’t mesh with its fiber-optic FiOS network, and it has proposed using a universal interface – such as Ethernet – instead of tru2way.
In June, CableLabs CEO Dick Green offered the use of tru2way to telcos during his keynote address at NXTcomm08 (story here).
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