Video services

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

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 3:08:27 PM
re: Cable Developing Two-Way PCTV Play But at least you're optimistic....only a prototype was shown at the cable confab....no official spec yet from CableLabs, so this one has a way to go still.
geckoid 12/5/2012 | 3:08:27 PM
re: Cable Developing Two-Way PCTV Play Given how well the CableCard 1.0 integration with Vista is going (multi-day installs WITH reps from the cable company, PC vendor, Microsoft and others in the room), this should be really good.

These guys can't design a workable interoperable scheme to save their lives. Course they don't really want to either, which might have something to do with it... Hey, remember that guy that loved Java and wanted to rewrite all the software in the world from scratch, is he doing anything now?
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