ADB Develops Tru2way 'Set-Back'
Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) has developed the 4820C, a small, TV-mountable set-top that houses a CableCARD slot and a Docsis return path -- making it interactive and able to support video on demand (VOD), on-screen navigation systems, and other "resident" two-way applications supplied by the cable operator. The model uses an OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) stack (the middleware component of tru2way) from ADB corporate cousin Osmosys SA .
The 4820C -- a box with HD and SD capabilities and support for the MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and SMPTE-42 codecs -- became the first set-top to win tru2way certification from CableLabs earlier this year, giving it the green light for retail distribution. (See ADB Scores tru2way Certification.) At the time, ADB didn't share much detail about the device or explain how it would head to market.
The box is designed to be mounted on the back of flat panel digital televisions, and ADB is already shipping in to an undisclosed major digital TV maker. That partner, an ADB spokesman says, plans to sell the 4820C as a retail option to customers who want to couple their flat-screen TVs with an out-of-the-way cable box.
Who's the partner? Likely candidates include Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC), Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE), LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , and Samsung Corp. . They represent the TV makers that have already signed a binding tru2way "memorandum of understanding" originally negotiated by Sony and cable operators. (See Denver, Chicago First to Get Tru2way TVs, tru2Way Tallies Two More, Revealed: The Tru2way MOU, More Firms Go the Way of Tru2way, and Sony Supports tru2way.)
More tru2way for ADB The "set-back" box isn't the only device on ADB's tru2way roadmap. The 6820CDM HD will also cook in DLNA 1.5 and Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) interfaces for high-speed home networking; and the 6880CDMX HD features an on-board digital video recorder (DVR) and an optional embedded MoCA home connectivity interface. Those two models are still in development, and ADB anticipates releasing them in the first half of 2009.
ADB also makes the 7822C-DEV, a box that's designed to help developers load and debug their applications for the tru2way environment. ADB's already selling and shipping that one.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News