2007 CES featured cable's two-way future

More than a dozen manufacturers displayed two-way plug-and-play televisions, set-top boxes and other cable-ready devices at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show. The new plug-and-play devices will use the cable industry's OCAP software platform to facilitate the delivery of interactive applications and services. Major cable operators will be rolling out support for the new OCAP platform on their networks in 2007 and 2008.

In addition to the two-way devices, a new technology interface that will allow consumers to view HD and other digital cable content on Microsoft Vista-enabled personal computers was also displayed at CES. The CableCARD interface for personal computers — called OCUR or OpenCable Unidirectional Receiver — will initially support one-way services while a two-way interactive interface is being developed.

Also during CES, CableLabs briefed 10 companies that have signed a license that enables them to build two-way interactive cable-ready products called the CableCARD-Host Interface License Agreement, or CHILA. By signing the CHILA license, a company obtains necessary intellectual property rights and signals its intent to design cable-ready products that can display two-way cable-delivered interactive services without the need for a set-top box.

The briefing also included information about MSO activities now underway to provide support of OCAP on the cable network in coming years.

For more information, visit www.cablelabs.com.