The industry’s OpenCable platform is moving along swimmingly, thank you. That was the message at CableLabs’ media briefing Tues. CEA has expressed doubts about the "cost and uncertainty" associated with OCAP, asking the FCC to allow consumer electronics makers to offer equivalent 2-way products that build on existing digital cable technologies. The FCC is now seeking comment on the progress of 2-way plug and play. CableLabs declined to tackle any public-policy related questions, instead focusing on the status of the platform. MSOs are looking to launch IPG applications via OpenCable initially, said Margit Tritt, dir, APS program mgmt at CableLabs. She pointed to seamless functionality, telling reporters that "you may not even know you have an OpenCable programming guide." After IPGs, it’s an OCAP grab bag with developers frantically working to develop apps that will pique operators’ interest. CableLabs plans to continue to hold developer conferences and forums to encourage innovation. Tritt stressed that the spec has "minimum" requirements, leaving open the door for advancements. NCTA chief Kyle McSlarrow should be beaming. Not once did CableLabs’ staff slip up and refer to the spec by its cumbersome OCAP acronym. "OpenCable by itself is a very effective term," Tritt said of the new industry policy to eliminate the use of the term OCAP. — While CableLabs is staying out of the public policy debate, CEA and NCTA continue to lob barbs. Late Mon, NCTA filed comments at the FCC blasting CEA’s argument that one single solution for downloadable security is the answer. Instead, the FCC’s Media Bureau has indicated multiple downloadable approaches—including the development of separate solutions for IP, ATM and IP/QAM networks—are the answer. The cable group also noted that while CEA is speaking out against the "proprietary" technology, it hasn’t made a peep about the proprietary tech used by DirecTV, EchoStar, AT&T and others. As for CableLabs’ OpenCable-based downloadable security specs known as DCAS, or Downloadable Conditional Access System—it is being made ready for commercial deployment. Phase 1 DCAS chips have been developed and successfully tested on an end-to-end basis across the network, and Phase 2 DCAS ASIC chip development is underway.

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