While there were many valuable lessons learned from Time Warner Cable’s first digital simulcast rollout in the Raleigh, N.C, division last month, there was also one minor speed bump. Customers with digital video recorders (DVRs) had to reprogram some of their channels up through channel 98 after digital simulcast was turned on. The problem only affected shows that had been programmed through the “series recording” function on the DVRs, so individually programmed shows were in the clear as were channels above 100. “It happened because we changed the channels’ physical location and
where the channels are mapped,” said Pat Hourigan, the division’s vice
president of engineering and technology. “The way the Scientific-Atlanta
system works is there’s a pin number for a program in its database for
series programming, but now it’s in a different location when we went
to digital simulcast. Lab testing missed it “We missed it, to be honest. It didn’t come up in any of our lab
testing or in any of our prequalification and retesting. We only found
out after we launched that we indeed needed to go back and reprogram
those series.” Hourigan said it was a relatively simple process for customers to go in
and key touch the series they wanted. Letters were sent to all 50,000
of the digital subscribers informing them of the problem, how to fix it
and to call if they needed additional help. “We’re going to look at programmatic ways to fix this so it doesn’t
happen in our other (division) launches,” Hourigan said. “If we can do
that, at the very minimum we’ll be more proactive with our customers to
let them know ahead of time that will occur.” – Mike Robuck OCAP Takes Center Stage at Interop It looks like the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) is catching a major wave towards deployment. On Aug. 8, 28 companies showed up for a interoperability event held by CableLabs for OCAP and for enhanced TV. The companies supported the event with a wide array of hardware
platforms, middleware implementations, interactive TV applications, and
network equipment needed to support the interactive OCAP environment
planned for rollout on North American digital cable networks. OCAP is
the cable industry’s common middleware specification for enabling
interactive applications to run on advanced digital set tops and
integrated DTVs. OCAP boosts digital transition “What we’ve learned this week is that state-of-the-art for OCAP and eTV
application development is keeping pace with advancements in the
network and client pieces of the equation,” said Don Dulchinos, Senior
VP of Advanced Platforms and Services at CableLabs, in a statement.
“The OCAP platform provides a big boost, and a big incentive, for the
digital transition.” Hardware platforms demonstrated at the interop event included both production-intent and software development platforms from: Osmosys Inc.; Panasonic R&D Company of America; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd; NDS; LG Electronics; ADB; Pioneer Research USA, Inc.; Motorola; and Scientific- Atlanta. Vidiom Systems Corporation, Zappware, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, and Time Warner Cable Interactive provided OCAP applications and content. Various eTV applications also were demonstrated for the first time. These new interactive applications were provided by: Ensequence, Inc.; Walt Disney-ABC Enhanced TV; TVWorks (Comcast/Cox); Showtime; Navic Networks; Emuse; GoldPocket Interactive; and BIAP Systems, Inc.

The Daily


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