Cablevision Systems has implemented Zodiac Interactive software that supports interactive applications in all of its deployed set-top boxes.

Zodiac's PowerUp platform is not middleware itself, but it's what Zodiac is describing as a middleware framework combined with a presentation engine. The idea is to create a common set of APIs that cable operators can use to deploy a range of user interfaces and advanced Internet-based services and applications across multiple devices.

Part of the value, then, is that it abstracts the middleware from lower-level functions and becomes the common element in the transition from current environments (specifically Cisco's set-top environment) to next-generation cable platforms such as EBIF and tru2way.

The specific interactive applications and services now supported in Cablevision's system include iO TV Shortcuts, search, EPG and dedicated iTV channels, Zodiac said. It could also support interactive ads, games, chat, Web browsing, classifieds, social media integration and t-commerce.

Zodiac said it is also working with Cablevision on the latter's remote-storage DVR. Furthermore, Cablevision is using Zodiac's recently announced PowerUp AMS to enable the ability to run Web and mobile applications with STBs.

Richard Neill, Cablevision's senior vice president of software technology, said: "Through Zodiac Interactive's PowerUp platform, we are able to design and build pioneering interactive applications for TV, as well as guarantee that our millions of subscribers have access to advanced next-generation applications, like mobile integration with home-based services. In addition, Zodiac's unique offering allows us to write once and deploy everywhere, which is crucial in today's hyper-competitive market."

Cablevision and Zodiac have been working together for at least a year, though neither commented on what specifically they were working on; Multichannel News reported they were collaborating on an EBIF agent, possibly in support of the Canoe initiative.

Earlier in 2009, Zodiac agreed to incorporate ActiveVideo's client software in its PowerUp platform, which would make it simpler for an operator to deploy cloud-based applications.