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Time Warner Cable deploys 150k OpenCable STBs, aka CableCARD 2.0

Ben Drawbaugh
10.17.07
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Most of us have been confused about why our CableCARD host devices don't support two-way services, and it's been wildly misunderstood that we were waiting for CableCARD 2.0. The truth is that CableCARDs have been capable of authorizing two-way communications for some time, but there wasn't a way for 3rd party cable devices to be certified by CableLabs -- like the latest cable deployed STBs -- for two-way communication. Cable's solution to this is middleware software originally called OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) and more recently renamed to simply: OpenCable. Until now most of this only existed on paper -- or a in a lab somewhere -- but according to B&C, Time Warner Cable has standardized all the STBs in their markets running the Passport Guide with OpenCable STBs. The reported 150k boxes are mostly made by Samsung, but cable veteran Scientific Atlanta will eventually represent the majority of them. This is an important milestone for big cable, as they want to prove the viability of the OpenCable platform to the FCC. You see the consumer electronics industry (think TiVo and Microsoft) is against the model and is pushing the FCC for what they call Digital Cable Ready Plus (DCR+) instead, because OpenCable would mean that the cable co's would have control of the software running on your TiVo. Either way, we hope that the FCC makes both options the standard, as we can see were TV manufacturers might prefer to cut costs and let the cable co' manage the code, but at the same time leave TiVo to continue to innovate.

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