In an effort to spur development of tru2way devices and applications, CableLabs announced that it plans to release a source code reference implementation of its tru2way specification.

CableLabs said the source code reference marks a key milestone in the cable industry’s deployment of a common software platform by giving device manufacturers and application providers a single, compliant software stack for building tru2way-enabled products and services.

With the support of its member cable operators, CableLabs plans to publicly launch the reference implementation later this year under both a free, open source license and a commercial license. CableLabs will make the reference implementation available for use on a PC, making it easier for device manufacturers and application developers to design and test new features and services on the tru2way platform without having to connect to a cable plant.

As new features are added to the tru2way platform and approved for inclusion in the specification, CableLabs said it will issue an updated version of the reference implementation and a new compliance test plan. This will allow device manufacturers and application providers to easily and cost-effectively incorporate these new features into their products and services.

“Comcast is among the leaders in enabling devices with tru2way technology that connect to our cable system, like new tru2way TVs,” said Sree Kotay, senior vice president and chief software architect for Comcast. “As we launch tru2way capability in additional markets and on other devices, including set-top boxes, providing our equipment manufacturing partners with a reference implementation supports our goal of bringing more interactivity to more customers.”

In cooperation with Sun Microsystems, the reference implementation will be hosted, developed and evolved in an open source community within the OpenCable Project located on Sun’s Because the tru2way specifications are based on the Sun PhoneMe Java stack, the same Java core that powers Blu-ray and the DVB Multimedia Home Platform, the release of the reference implementation could enable exciting device convergence possibilities. CableLabs will continue to support tru2way device manufacturers and developers in ongoing events such as developer conferences and interops, as well as access to a development lab.  

Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have deployed several million tru2way set-top boxes in parts of their footprints, while Comcast has said it hopes to have 98 percent of its footprint OCAP-enabled by the end of this year.

Cox Communications said recently that it plans on having tru2way rolled out in part of its footprint by this summer.

The cable operators that have announced support for the tru2way platform on their networks are Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Cablevision, Charter Communications and Bright House Networks, together representing more than 80 percent of all cable subscribers and 105 million homes passed.

“At Cox, we are excited for the customer benefits of the CableLabs reference implementation,” said Craig Smithpeters, director of interactive services engineering.  “Made available under an open source license, the reference implementation will allow the industry to work with a wider community of technology contributors who will be empowered to more rapidly implement additions or updates to the specification modeled after the example implement. This is about more new services more quickly for our customers, and that’s important to us at Cox.”

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