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Cable Television Industry Voices Support for OCAP(TM) and Two-Way Digital Cable-Ready Product Deployments.

LAS VEGAS -- Top executives of the nation's largest cable television operating companies and consumer electronics firms today, for the first time, discussed elements of their pending plans for system preparation and early trials of advanced-interactive digital video technologies.

The discussions took place during a news conference organized by CableLabs(R), a non-profit research and development consortium for cable television system operators, and held here in conjunction with the International Consumer Electronics Show. The discussion focused on the OpenCable(TM) Application Platform (OCAP(TM)) and two-way OpenCable(TM) (Digital Cable-Ready) devices. OCAP is the middleware software specification that CableLabs has established to enable application writers to create new interactive services that will run on a broad range of advanced digital set tops and cable-ready TVs.

Glenn A. Britt, Time Warner Cable Chairman and CEO, who also serves as Chairman of the CableLabs Board of Directors, said that beginning in 2006 his company would deploy OCAP capabilities in headends of cable systems serving five markets with a combined customer base of about 2.5 million consumers. These markets are New York City; Milwaukee; Green Bay, Wis.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Waco, Texas. Time Warner Cable also demonstrated its OCAP Digital Navigator interactive program guide during the news conference.

Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said that his company would deploy OCAP in 2006 in Philadelphia; Denver; Union, N.J.; and Boston. Advance/Newhouse Chairman and CEO Robert J. Miron announced that his company would enable OCAP devices in Indianapolis. Charter Communications, Inc. President and CEO Neil Smit said OCAP will be deployed in select Charter markets beginning in 2006. The industry's overall commitment is for trials and roll-outs that span a number of years.

Other cable companies making similar announcements included Cox Communications, Inc. and Cablevision Systems Corporation. Consumer electronics manufacturers LG Electronics, Panasonic and Samsung also were present. LG, Panasonic and Samsung, as well as Digeo, and other consumer electronics companies, have signed the CableLabs CableCARD(TM) Host Interface Licensing Agreement (CHILA), which defines the two-way host profiles that use OCAP, so that they can build two-way digital cable-ready products.

In late November, the cable and consumer electronics industries filed a number of proposals with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to a request that the industries make recommendations on rules that the FCC could adopt to bring two-way digital cable-ready products to market as soon as possible. In its filing, the cable television industry provided the FCC with a package of voluntary commitments and proposed regulations that would enable manufacturers to build and to bring to market two-way, interactive cable-ready devices.

The proposed rules included provisions dealing with content protection as well as consumer education requirements. Also in late November, leading cable operators reported on significant progress made to that point on a new downloadable conditional access system (DCAS(TM)) that would ultimately replace the conditional access system based on removable security cards called CableCARD(TM).

About CableLabs

Founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry, Cable Television Laboratories is a non-profit research and development consortium that is dedicated to pursuing new cable telecommunications technologies and to helping its cable operator members integrate those advancements into their business objectives. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org; and www.opencable.com.

CableLabs(R), DOCSIS(R), CableHome(R), PacketCable(TM), OpenCable(TM), OCAP(TM), CableCARD(TM), DCAS(TM), Go2Broadband(SM) and CableNET(R) are marks of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 6, 2006
Words:599
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