Another successful enhanced TV (ETV) Interoperability Lab Event was concluded at CableLabs during the first week of May. The group notes the highlight was that “participants were able to run their ETV applications across a record number of 12 user agents.”

The user agents ranged from cable operator to supplier implementations as follows: Comcast Legacy, Comcast OCAP, Time Warner Cable ODN, Cox Tahoe, FourthWall Media’s Sara, MOT i-Guide, Passport (Cisco) and OCAP agents, Zodiac Interactive’s Sara and OCAP agents, Ignite Solutions and CableLabs’ user agent. All twelve user agents reportedly were able to demonstrate full return-path connectivity functioning across four cable plants CableLabs hosts in its laboratories.

Participating companies developing ETV applications in the ETV Interop included Alticast, Canoe Ventures, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Fourthwall Media, HSN, icueTV, Ignite Solutions, RCDb and Starz Entertainment. Companies that supported the Interop by providing user agents or other tools included BCM (formerly BackChannel Media), Comcast, Cox Communications, S&T, S3 Group, Softel-USA, Tektronix, Time Warner Cable, Unisoft and Zodiac Interactive.?

In addition, several ETV test-and-monitoring tools were demonstrated. Such devices, says CableLabs, are becoming more important as ETV rolls out. ?

“The focus this time around seemed less about common understanding of the spec and more about end-to-end definition of how EBIF-authored applications are enabled by MSOs on a scalable basis,” commented Don Dulchinos, senior vice president of CableLabs’ Advertising and Interactive Services Program.??“Cox Communications brought the Cox ETV user agent to this event and successfully ran about 20 different applications with no technical issues,” says Craig Smithpeters, executive director/Interactive Services Engineering at Cox.

Added Anand Shah, CEO at Ignite Solutions, “As a first-time participant at a CableLabs event, I found the activity very worthwhile. I had access to many support tools and resources in a single location, which proved out our EBIF-on-HTML-over-IP solution.” ? ?

At the conclusion of the event, some 30 cableco guests were able to view a number of demonstrations. Varieties of EBIF apps included social media, t-commerce, click-to-call voice apps, second-screen synchronization, and VoD telescoping. Several participants partnered to demonstrate a solution for dynamic ad and application insertion on the national and local levels. Another participant demonstrated extending an ETV application beyond the set-top box to an IP device.

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