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Samsung Electronics said it will incorporate CableLabs-specified OCAP (OpenCable Application Platform) middleware in a line of digital televisions and set-tops even before rules for a two-way version of the Plug & Play agreement are ironed out.

CableLabs said Samsung is the first to sign a license for two-way digital cable products, announcing it following a signing ceremony at Samsung's Seoul-based headquarters this week.

Michael Davis, the project director of business relations at the advanced platforms and services department at CableLabs, said the license pertains to both OCAP and CHILA, an acronym for the CableCARD Host Interface License Agreement.

Those licenses, available to other consumer electronics vendors, give Samsung access to certain intellectual property rights for building two-way devices that comply with OpenCable specs. Samsung has already received CableLabs certification for one-way digital televisions that can house a CableCARD, an operator-supplied security module that authorizes the customer for cable services.

It's expected that CableLabs will begin testing two-way devices within the next year.

The Federal Communications Commission has already approved a one-way version of the CE/cable-sponsored Plug & Play agreement. A two-way version of the agreement, which would handle interactive services such as video-on-demand, is still under discussion. It's expected that the new version will incorporate support for OCAP.

Several top U.S. MSO executives, including Comcast Corp. CEO & President Brian Roberts, and Time Warner Cable Chairman and CEO Glenn Britt, participated in a cable "road trip" this week in Japan and Korea.

"Consumer electronics companies worldwide have more opportunity than ever before to create innovative and commercially viable products that help customers receive advanced cable services," Britt said, in a release. "Our visit is intended to reinforce that message and strengthen the relationships that already exist between the cable and CE industries."

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