Light Reading
Because TiVo and switched digital video don't mix, the tuning resolver is on its way

CableLabs Issues Tuning Resolver Specs

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
2/8/2008
50%
50%

The cable industry has taken a few steps forward in recent days concerning the “tuning resolver,” a special device that lets unidirectional devices like the TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) digital video recorder tap an operator’s “switched” tier.

Without much fanfare, CableLabs issued the official tuning resolver specs (PDF) on Jan. 30, giving vendors a technical blueprint for the adapter's functions.

Today, Solekai Systems Corp. announced that its Boulder, Colo.-based engineering center delivered the first test tool for the tuning resolver to CableLabs. That tool, dubbed the Tuning Resolver Interface Simulator (TRIS), will conduct the tests in a PC-based environment. (See Solekai Issues SDV Test Tool.)

TiVo originally complained that its one-way CableCARD-based, stand-alone DVR products would not be able to access cable’s full lineup in markets that employed switched digital video (SDV). Cable responded with the tuning resolver, which will enable some TiVo devices and other Unidirectional Digital Cable Products (UDCPs), such as set-tops and digital TVs, to signal commands upstream on the cable plant.

As specified, the tuning resolver will handle firmware modifications via the set-top's or TV’s USB 2.0 port. CableLabs estimates that about two thirds of existing digital TVs with CableCARD slots have the required USB interface. (See 'Tuning Resolver' Faces IP Hurdles , CableLabs Spec Brings SDV to the Masses, and NCTA Sees Solution to Switching Snag.)

CableLabs will use Solekai's testing tool to “validate” the interfaces between UDCPs and tuning resolver modules. Likewise, CableLabs will license TRIS to other parties, but Solekai will remain involved, handling general support and enhancements for the tool and the licensing scheme as needed. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Although CableLabs appears ready to move ahead now with testing, vendors have yet to debut any official tuning resolver products. But the project is on a fast track. It's expected that the adapters could become available by the first half of 2008.

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), one of the project’s contributors, has said it expects the adapter to look much like its all-digital DCT700 set-top.

Last November, CableLabs identified a group comprised of TiVo, Motorola, Scientific Atlanta (a unit of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)) , BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND), and C-COR (now part of Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS)) as participants in the tuning resolver project.

According to the CableLabs tuning resolver specs, the UDCP will handle the initiation and discovery process. In turn, the tuning resolver, or TR, will send the channel table to the UDCP. Whenever the UDCP tunes any channel, it sends the channel number to the TR. From there, the TR, if necessary, will handle all interface operations for channels in the switched tier and return the “tuning parameters” to the UCDP.

Cable industry sources have linked Solekai to another CableLabs project in development, possibly under the "CablePC" name. It involves enabling PCs equipped with CableCARD slots to access interactive cable services, such as video-on-demand. Presently, the OpenCable Unidirectional Receiver (OCUR) is capable of accessing only one-way digital cable services, and some of its early reviews have been less than complimentary. (See Cable Developing Two-Way PCTV Play and OCUR Gets Low Marks.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With YuLiao

10|30|14   |   6:27   |   (0) comments


Yu Liao, chairman of the Chinese Association for Renewable Energy in Germany, discusses the role that ICT solutions play in helping to grow renewable energy resources in Germany.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview

10|30|14   |   2:54   |   (0) comments


Sifang has been working with Huawei on several projects. JingTao Wu, Assistant President of Beijing Sifang Automation Co. Ltd., believes that the cooperation with Huawei can facilitate Sifang's process of internationalization.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Better Connected Smart Grid: Powering Laos

10|30|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Electricite Du Laos (EDL), a state-owned corporation, discuss the importance of ICT solutions in serving their country's energy needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Junwei Lu

10|30|14   |   4:50   |   (0) comments


Professor Junwei Lu of Griffith University Australia describes his work with micro grid technology and the future of the power industry.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (2) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed