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Cable Operators, Vendors to Develop Java Standard for Cable Set-Tops

A group of some of the nation's largest cable operators and manufacturers of cable consumer hardware have formed a consortium to develop a new Java technology-based interactive digital television API standard to work on existing cable set-tops.

The Java Community Process Expert Group includes cable operators Cox, Charter and Time Warner Cable systems as well as Motorola, Philips, Sun Microsystems, GoldPocket and Vidiom Systems are working together to define the news specification dubbed "OnRamp to OCAP." OCAP, (OpenCable Applications Platform) was developed by OpenCable, a consortium of cable MSOs to enable the interoperability of interactive television services across multiple cable platforms.

Upon finalization of the OnRamp to OCAP spec, a profile of the Java-based standard will be available to all set-top box vendors, DTV application developers and service providers.

"OnRamp will make the interactive TV environment available on millions of
legacy set-top boxes, allowing our industry to compete with iTV services
deployed by DBS," said Chris Bowick, senior vice president of engineering and
CTO for Cox. "OnRamp is a subset of OCAP and applications written to OnRamp
will be forward compatible with our OCAP enabled devices. Cox wants to thank
the other cable operators and vendors involved in the OnRamp Experts Group and
others in the industry for their past and ongoing support of the OnRamp