Louisville, Colo. — CableLabs, the cable television industry standards setting organization, announced that Samsung Electronics has become the first consumer electronics manufacturer to sign a license to manufacture two-way interactive digital cable-ready products.
CableLabs said Samsung has agreed to implement CableLabs’ OpenCableApplication Platform (OCAP) compliant middleware on its interactive digital TVs and set-top boxes. The agreement, which is available to any interested consumer electronics manufacturer, “grants intellectual property rights required for building interactive devices in compliance with the CableLabs OpenCable hardware and software specifications,” CableLabs said.
“Samsung has previously certified one-way digital cable-ready DTVs, but the transition to the more advanced two-way products is really a big step forward for everybody,” said Dick Green, CableLabs’ CEO. “We’re really excited that Samsung has taken the initiative to advance their DTVs to the next level so quickly.”
CableLabs made the announcement after an executive signing ceremony at Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul this week. On hand was Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, who said, “Comcast is committed to OCAP and to bringing interactive cable devices to retail. We’re honored to be working closely with Samsung to make this happen.”
“Samsung is committed to lead this transition to advance interactive digital cable products,” said M.Y. Shin, Samsung Electronics’ executive VP. “We believe that this is a major step forward in the U.S. digital transition strategy.”
The new interactive devices will include an OCAP implementation, the middleware specification created by CableLabs. OCAP allows retail devices to run any OCAP application or service being delivered by a cable operator. With OCAP middleware, CE manufacturers can build digital cable products capable of running interactive program guides delivered by cable operators, as well as premium services like video-on-demand (VOD). The new devices will also include an interface for the CableCARD removable security module. The CableCARD encapsulates the MSO-specific conditional access technology, thus enabling nationwide portability with the advanced devices.
CableLabs expects to fully test the entire two-way end-to-end solution within the next year.