Dulchinos Named New OpenCable Project Head

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Donald Dulchinos, a key manager in the cable industry'sOpenCable initiative, has been promoted to head the project following the departure offormer director Lisa Lee.

Cable Television Laboratories Inc. said Lee, who took thejob in April, left to become a telecommunications consultant in the Denver office ofglobal firm KPMG International. She will continue consulting OpenCable on issuessurrounding the required retail availability of cable set-top boxes by July 2000.

OpenCable is the industry initiative to develop standardsfor advanced digital devices such as set-top boxes that are interoperable with systemhardware and software made by different vendors.

Dulchinos -- who, as director of business development, wasworking on the business aspects of the initiative -- is a five-year CableLabs veteran whohas been involved with OpenCable since its inception.

Dulchinos, who takes the title of senior director ofOpenCable, coordinated business and technical-advisory teams that designed an industryspecification for open-system set-top boxes.

He was also instrumental in developing the recently issuedrequest for proposals on a standard for set-top middleware, which will result in a singleapplication-program interface enabling software developers to run applications on anyset-top conforming to the OpenCable platform.

The changeover takes place at a time when OpenCable isrunning at full bore, fielding 16 responses to the middleware RFP and conductinginteroperability tests on various elements of the OpenCable equipment specifications.

Coming up Dec. 6 is a test of point-of-deployment securitymodules with various set-tops and set-top-integrated television sets.

"We're making every effort to maintain the flow ofthese projects by using the bench strength we have here at CableLabs," spokesmanMichael Schwartz said.

Dulchinos came to CableLabs after working as director ofresearch for the National Cable Television Association. He has a bachelor's degree ineconomics from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and a master's in public administrationfrom the University of Denver.

Middleware responses generated by the RFP will be examinedby a technical team that will winnow the number before continuing an evaluation processintended to reach a decision by early next year.

As expected, the RFP generated responses from the world'slargest software developers, most of which are already moving aggressively to captureoperating-system or middleware space on the millions of advanced digital set-tops MSOs arepoised to deploy.

The only noncommercial respondent was the AdvancedTelevision Systems Committee, the international organization of manufacturers and serviceproviders that fosters adoption of voluntary standards for advanced TV.

Others were ACTV Inc., Canal Plus S.A., Excite@Home Corp.,General Instrument Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., ICTV Inc., Liberate Technologies, MicrosoftCorp., MoreCom Inc., NDS Ltd. OpenTV Inc., PowerTV Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., VirtualModem and The VXM Network.

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