Louisville, Colo. -- Cable Television Laboratories Inc.
said 14 companies successfully participated in the OpenCable interoperability event it
held in Los Angeles just before last month's Western Show.
The interoperability event, held at MediaOne Group
Inc.'s Los Angeles facilities, conducted testing of removable point-of-deployment
security modules, or PODs, used with various OpenCable-designed host devices such as
digital-cable set-top boxes and set-top-integrated television sets.
"We have used this process successfully in the past
with our DOCSIS [Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification] cable-modem program, and
it has proven to accelerate the development work of the different vendors," CableLabs
president Richard Green said in a prepared statement. "This event proves that we are
on track for cable companies to deliver fully functioning POD modules by the FCC's
[Federal Communications Commission] July 2000 deadline."
The government has mandated that by July, customers must
have the ability to buy at retail cable set-tops with separable security functions, such
as conditional-access software, contained in the POD module that typically plugs into a
slot on the set-top or some other host device.
Some manufacturers -- such as Microsoft Corp., in
conjunction with SCM Microsystems Inc. and Philips Consumer Electronics Co. -- have also
developed a POD for use with PCs, which might receive cable-TV signals via cable modems
and TV-tuner cards.
"It's always been a goal of OpenCable to extend
removable security not just into set-tops, but also into a range of devices that receive
MPEG-2 digital video, related program content and interactive applications,"
CableLabs senior director of advanced platforms and services Don Dulchinos said.
Companies participating in the December interop were
DiviCom Inc., General Instrument Corp., LG Electronics Inc., Microsoft, Mindport,
NagraVision, NDS Ltd., Panasonic Consumer Electronics, Philips, Samsung Telecommunications
America Inc., Scientific-Atlanta Inc., SCM, Thomson Consumer Electronics and Zenith