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CableLabs Issues OCAP Information Request

CableLabs Inc. is putting out the call to the vendor community for OpenCable
Application Platform (OCAP) software in hopes of speeding its adoption
throughout member cable company's networks.

OCAP is a middleware specification that links a digital set-top box's
operating system with the applications that ride on it. Based on the European
Digital Video Broadcast-Multimedia Home Platform (DVB-MHP) standard, the
specification provides a single framework for box functions, therefore allowing
developers to create applications that can be used on any OpenCable-approved box
in any CableLabs member system.

As part of the request for proposals, cable operators are looking for
information on the costs and development time for OCAP-based products.

CableLabs will then evaluate the responses and distribute the results to its
member MSOs.

The results may help cable operators make hardware purchasing decisions,
either through buying gear directly or supporting retail availability.

'There will be no ranking of responses, and no one is going to create an
`approved vendor' list as a result of this,' said Mike Hayashi, senior vice
president of advanced engineering and subscriber technology at Time Warner
Cable, in a release.

'All of the purchase decisions that result from this effort will be
negotiated directly between the cable operators and the companies that respond.
Individual cable operators will make independent and subjective judgments about
which, if any, vendors to negotiate with.'

All interested vendors must indicate their interest in providing this
information by today, and final responses are due Sept. 12.