Thirty-seven participants from 11 companies collaborated at the latest CableLabs interoperability event – held July 19-23 at CableLabs.

The interop demonstrated the sharing of premium DVR content among multiple tru2way set-top boxes and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA)-certified devices – such as connected TVs, game consoles, PCs and mobile devices – over a home network in a secure manner.

Content sharing among set-top boxes is enabled via a MoCA 1.1 network that utilizes in-home coax wiring, alleviating the need to run new wiring within the home, CableLabs said. MoCA can support multiple streams of HD video and offers 175 Mbps of throughput.

Set-top manufacturers included ADB, Cisco, Samsung Electronics and Motorola. They worked with DLNA-certified device manufacturers including Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, as well as with DLNA Technology Component vendors such as Microsoft, Cyberlink, Irdeto, Myriad and NDS.

Program guides with multi-room DVR capability from Cox (Trio) and Time Warner Cable (OCAP Digital Navigator v.4.0) were also used in the interop, CableLabs said.

In June, CableLabs issued the latest revision of the home networking extension specification and associated reference implementation that is part of the tru2way suite of specifications. Integrating home networking into the overall specification enhances the tru2way platform, making premium content sharing possible among multiple set-top boxes and DLNA-certified devices within a home network, according to the organization.

The DLNA Interoperability Guidelines are the foundation of tru2way home networking specifications. The premium cable content is protected using DTCP-IP as it is transmitted over the home network.

MSO executives had the following to say regarding the interop and tru2way:

  • Mike Hayashi, executive vice president of advanced engineering for Time Warner Cable: "By using the tru2way home networking specification, we can now offer pre-recorded premium content from cable set-top boxes to various DLNA-certified devices, enabling consumers to watch cable content anytime using any device in the home."
  • Craig Smithpeters, executive director of interactive services engineering at Cox Communications: "Now a Cox cable consumer can utilize Cox's Trio guide to record an event on the DVR in the family room and access it later from the bedroom television, thus enabling the promise of multi-room DVR capability."
  • Steve Reynolds, senior vice president of premises technology at Comcast: "This interoperability event represents a major step in the maturation of the tru2way home networking platform. Interoperability between set-top vendors to support a multi-room DVR solution is a key part of Comcast's roadmap as we deploy this capability to our subscribers. We are pleased with the progress being made on this standards-based approach to device support."

Last week, the one consumer electronics manufacturer that has actually integrated tru2way into a TV – Panasonic – acknowledged it will no longer make those models. While a few headlines have trumpeted the "death" of tru2way, what might actually be dead is the notion of a retail market for TVs that obviate set-tops.

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