Donald Dulchinos, a key manager in the cable industry's
OpenCable initiative, has been promoted to head the project following the departure of
former director Lisa Lee.
Cable Television Laboratories Inc. said Lee, who took the
job in April, left to become a telecommunications consultant in the Denver office of
global firm KPMG International. She will continue consulting OpenCable on issues
surrounding the required retail availability of cable set-top boxes by July 2000.
OpenCable is the industry initiative to develop standards
for advanced digital devices such as set-top boxes that are interoperable with system
hardware and software made by different vendors.
Dulchinos -- who, as director of business development, was
working on the business aspects of the initiative -- is a five-year CableLabs veteran who
has been involved with OpenCable since its inception.
Dulchinos, who takes the title of senior director of
OpenCable, coordinated business and technical-advisory teams that designed an industry
specification for open-system set-top boxes.
He was also instrumental in developing the recently issued
request for proposals on a standard for set-top middleware, which will result in a single
application-program interface enabling software developers to run applications on any
set-top conforming to the OpenCable platform.
The changeover takes place at a time when OpenCable is
running at full bore, fielding 16 responses to the middleware RFP and conducting
interoperability tests on various elements of the OpenCable equipment specifications.
Coming up Dec. 6 is a test of point-of-deployment security
modules with various set-tops and set-top-integrated television sets.
"We're making every effort to maintain the flow of
these projects by using the bench strength we have here at CableLabs," spokesman
Michael Schwartz said.
Dulchinos came to CableLabs after working as director of
research for the National Cable Television Association. He has a bachelor's degree in
economics from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and a master's in public administration
from the University of Denver.
Middleware responses generated by the RFP will be examined
by a technical team that will winnow the number before continuing an evaluation process
intended to reach a decision by early next year.
As expected, the RFP generated responses from the world's
largest software developers, most of which are already moving aggressively to capture
operating-system or middleware space on the millions of advanced digital set-tops MSOs are
poised to deploy.
The only noncommercial respondent was the Advanced
Television Systems Committee, the international organization of manufacturers and service
providers 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, Microsoft
Corp., MoreCom Inc., NDS Ltd. OpenTV Inc., PowerTV Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Virtual
Modem and The VXM Network.