Light Reading

Bye Bye OCAP, Hello RDK

Mari Silbey
4/4/2014
50%
50%

Put the final nails in the coffin for OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP), the cable industry's one-time platform for next-gen video services.

Steve Calzone, director of video applications development for Cox Communications Inc. , threw a handful of dirt on OCAP's grave at a recent Light Reading conference. Speaking on one of the day's panels, he declared, "It's time to leave it [OCAP] behind."

Calzone was careful to clarify that Cox won't abandon customers with OCAP equipment, but he did emphasize the need for a new development platform. "That looks like RDK," said Calzone, although Cox is still in the evaluation phase with the Reference Design Kit and hasn't yet signed on to be an official licensee of the technology. (See All the Way With RDK?)

RDK has gained significant momentum over the last year, and Calzone's co-panelists for the RDK Revolution session at the Light Reading Cable Next-Gen Strategies & Technologies event in Denver last week mostly sang its praises. The pre-integrated software bundle provides an open-source code base that allows cable operators to standardize certain elements of the set-top or gateway experience in the home, but also easily customize the applications that ride on top. Cable operators can choose different windowing platforms, user interface frameworks, and more, all implemented on the RDK stack.

Jaison Dolvane, president and CEO of Espial Group Inc. , the on-demand TV software company, called RDK and OCAP "fundamentally different" because RDK doesn't extend to the application layer the way OCAP was designed to do. In fact, said Dolvane, "I think if RDK goes into the application layer… I fear it will break."

Calzone agreed, saying he thinks Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has done a good job of maintaining a bring-your-own-application approach. Nicholas Nielsen, principal architect at Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), said his company is hoping to learn a lot from how Comcast continues to roll out its new HTML5 guide across X1 RDK boxes. Time Warner Cable, which is a partner along with Comcast and Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) in RDK Management LLC , is also developing an HTML5 platform for devices it leases to subscribers. (See Liberty Global Joins Team RDK .)

In addition to flexibility, another important element of RDK is the shared code base and a growing development community. Conrad Clemson, vice president of business development at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), said that his company plans to be a good RDK partner, and that Cisco will have significant RDK code contributions to announce within the next 90 days.

Smaller cable operators will depend on the work that both vendors like Cisco and larger providers do to productize certain RDK offerings. As Espial's Dolvane pointed out, small operators don't have the scale to start major development projects and will look to others in the industry to provide more out-of-the-box solutions that they can innovate on only at the uppermost application level.

Bob Hunt, principal and strategic advisor at BroadbandBuzz, noted that RDK could ultimately lead to application-based buying of content, where service providers have an opportunity to pick up targeted content packages as TV apps. That approach could have implications for à la carte services in the future.

Regardless of where RDK ends up, there seems a great deal of industry enthusiasm for the platform that never existed in quite the same way for OCAP. The consensus is that RDK will lower the friction for development rather than slow it down. Cisco's Clemson may have summed it up best, "RDK is almost like anti-middleware."

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
JonathanT231
50%
50%
JonathanT231,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/6/2014 | 9:35:56 PM
few tears for OCAP
Aptly noted lack of industry enthusiasm for OCAP, which derived from an FCC-mandated effort to enable portability of services - hence removable security - for which where was never much consumer demand. Industry/Comcast-led RDK is something else entirely. Solving actual problems with real openness. 'Anti-middleware' - that's a good one, Conrad.
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Gogo Approved to Speed Up In-Flight WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/24/2015
Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/24/2015
Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about data center, cloud and the impact of virtualization in the coming years.
Cats with Phones
Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?