CableLabs releases set-top standard


Cable Television Laboratories Inc. has released the specification for the
first version of the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP 1.0).

That move should allow consumer-electronics manufacturers to build
plug-and-play set-top boxes and integrated television receivers that consumers
can buy and use with any cable system.

The top six cable operators -- AT&T Broadband, Time Warner Cable, Comcast
Corp., Charter Communications Inc., Cox Communications Inc. and Adelphia
Communications Corp. -- have committed to support the platform, CableLabs

The specification is based on one used in Europe so that set-top boxes and
receivers can be used across both U.S. and European systems.

'This process gives the consumer-electronics community even more incentive to
go full-steam ahead into competitive manufacturing of set-top boxes and
cable-friendly digital-television receivers,' CableLabs president and CEO
Richard Green said in a prepared statement.

CableLabs will hold a conference in February to get manufacturers together
with the variety of technologies, tools and services supporting OCAP. It has
also slated an 'informal' interoperability test in March.

The specification is available at