& cplSiteName &

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
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
No Stopping Cable's Ethernet Gains

12|9|16   |     |   (0) comments


Vertical Systems' Erin Dunne explains why US cable operators, which now command a record-high 26% of the Ethernet market, will keep boosting their share.
LRTV Interviews
Fixing IoT Security Is an Ecosystem Challenge

12|9|16   |   05:34   |   (1) comment


Level 3 Communications' Chief Security Officer Dale Drew says service providers, manufacturers and even consumers must combine to halt massive DDoS attacks using IoT devices in botnets. The solution he has in mind includes reputation-based routing by the service provider but also more secure endpoint devices and greater consumer awareness.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Clears $2B in Business Revenue

12|8|16   |     |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Breaux discusses how the third-largest US MSO will reach the $2 billion revenue mark this year and plans to hit $3 billion by 2021
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BT’s Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
Upcoming Live Events
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Small Arctic ISP Caches Netflix in New Way
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/7/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
A Mobile Safari Click Here
Literally.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.