Panasonic, CableLabs Sign Two-Way Deal


Panasonic Consumer Electronics became the third consumer-electronics company to sign an OpenCable Application Platform middleware deal with Cable Television Laboratories Inc. for cable-ready digital TVs, set-top boxes and other products that will support two-way, interactive cable services.

The company joins Samsung Electronics America Inc. and LG Electronics USA Inc. with two-way deals with cable.

Panasonic was the first company to sign a deal covering one-way applications that have spawned the initial CableCARD market. The two-way agreements are called CableCARD Host Interface Licensing Agreements (CHILA).

"Panasonic believes the OCAP approach provides the unique degree of flexibility and performance that is necessary to delight consumers with an increasing number of exciting new cable services," chief technology officer Paul Liao said in a prepared statement.

"The North American cable industry is very strong in its commitment to OCAP and to deploying interactive services through both retail and leased digital devices,” Comcast Corp. chairman and CEO and CableLabs chairman Brian Roberts added. “Consumer-electronics companies such as Panasonic can create innovative products that access advanced cable services, thereby benefiting their companies, retailers, cable operators and our mutual customers."