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CableLabs Releases Tru2way Reference Code

CableLabs has released a tru2way reference implementation for interactive TV developers, which the consortium is making available under open-source licensing terms.

The software is a source-code implementation of CableLabs' OpenCable Application Platform middleware specification and is intended to provide device manufacturers and application developers a "consistent interpretation" of the specification. The tru2way reference implementation is available through Sun Microsystems' open-source project site.

"Having an open-source reference implementation to help developers interpret the specification will lead to a more consistent and stable television platform across the various retail devices, and set-top boxes provided by each different cable operator," said Comcast senior vice president and chief software architect Sree Kotay, in a statement.

Randall Waynick, Sony Electronics senior vice president of marketing, said the release "marks a great milestone because it will generate more tru2way content for consumers and that will translate into more tru2way presence at retail."

The tru2way reference implementation includes the OCAP DVR extension, and future versions will track with other OCAP extensions such as home networking, according to CableLabs. The code includes a PC Emulator, to let Java developers run precompiled OCAP applications within a Windows-based PC development environment without the need for a cable headend.

The tru2way Reference Implementation can be downloaded under Gnu Public License v2 open-source license terms from the OpenCable Project located at CableLabs said under the open-source release model, developers will also be able to contribute back to the evolving software code and tool base.

CableLabs in April had announced plans to release the code.The consortium also is making a parallel commercial license available.

So Vang, CableLabs' vice president of OpenCable, led the development of the reference implementation. The code itself is based on middleware developed by Vidiom Systems under contract with OCAP Development LLC, which was formed by Comcast and Time Warner Cable in 2004.

Vidiom's founders last fall purchased key assets from Vidiom and its parent company, set-top manufacturer Advanced Digital Broadcast, to form a new company called enableTV

CableLabs last week named former Panasonic chief technology officer Paul Liao as its new president and CEO, replacing the retiring Dick Green.