CableLabs Hosts ETV Interop

In its ongoing efforts to support the growth of the enhanced TV (ETV) interactive TV platform, CableLabs hosted another Interoperability Lab Event during the week of May 2-6. Participants were able to run their ETV applications across 12 user agents. A user agen...

In its ongoing efforts to support the growth of the enhanced TV (ETV) interactive TV platform, CableLabs hosted another Interoperability Lab Event during the week of May 2-6. Participants were able to run their ETV applications across 12 user agents. A user agent is effectively a "player" that resides on the set-top box and which graphically presents the interactive application on the TV screen.

The user agents ranged from cable operator to supplier implementations: 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 12 user agents demonstrated return path connectivity functioning across four cable plants that CableLabs hosts in its laboratories.

Representatives from 19 companies contributed their latest development work and collaborated together to validate against CableLabs ETV and OpenCable Content Definition Format (CoDF) Specifications. Companies developing ETV applications that participated in the 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, Comcast, Cox, S&T, S3 Group, Softel-USA, Tektronix, Time Warner Cable, Unisoft and Zodiac Interactive.

The May 5 interop featured several demonstrations of EBIF apps including social media, t-commerce, click-to-call voice apps, second-screen synchronization and VOD telescoping. Several participants partnered to demonstrate dynamic ad and application insertion on the national and local level. Another participant demonstrated extending an ETV application beyond the set-top box to an IP device. In addition, several ETV test and monitoring tools were demonstrated.
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