Cable Developing Two-Way PCTV Play
LAS VEGAS – The Cable Show '07 – The cable industry is quietly working on a new initiative that will enable PCs to support interactive applications and services including video-on-demand and premium fare from the likes of HBO, Showtime, and Starz.
That initiative, internally referred to as "BOCR" (for Bidirectional OpenCable Receiver), is being billed as the follow-on to "OCUR," the OpenCable Unidirectional Receiver. OCUR-enabled PCs, not yet available on a commercial basis, can support only one-way broadcast cable digital services.
Both versions will use the removable CableCARD to authorize the cable operator's digital services and applications.
BOCR will enable users to view digital cable content on the PC -- or, in the vein of the Apple TV system, pipe content, including high-definition fare, from the PC to a widescreen television.
In addition to using the Multistream CableCARD (M-Card), BOCR will also support interactivity via the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP), a middleware specified by CableLabs . (See Show Me the M-Card!)
Specifically, people familiar with the project say, BOCR will use a "distributed" version of OCAP, with parts running on the PC and in the BOCR module.
The BOCR spec is still being developed in conjunction with CableLabs, but Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) (AMD) and Vividlogic are showing off a "proof of concept" version in the CableNET exhibit here at The Cable Show. AMD is considered the lead on the early phases of the BOCR project, with the OCAP implementation and other software being supplied by VividLogic.
A more "optimized" version of the BOCR board should come online in June, according to sources involved with the project.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News