SCTE Hardens 100th Cable Standard


The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers crossed a standards
milestone this week, approving its 100th cable-telecommunications
standard -- and it deals with the OpenCable specification, no less.

The SCTE's Engineering Committee approved the OpenCable Applications
Platform, a middleware specification developed by Cable Television Laboratories
Inc. that will allow interactive application developers to create software
products that can function on any OpenCable-approved digital set-top box.

"We're thrilled that we've moved from a collection of 12 SCTE standards to
100 in just two years," SCTE vice president of standards Steve Oksala said in a

"We're also pleased that our 100th standard comes from CableLabs,"
he added. "They are a major source of technology and leadership for the cable
industry and a major factor in the success of our standards program."

But the OCAP specification has faced numerous challenges, including the fact
that interactive-television services have fallen out of favor as cable operators
focus on more immediate revenue-generating technologies.

Still, gaining SCTE approval is the first step in a long process of gaining
worldwide standardization recognition.

With 130 members, including vendors and other cable organizations, the SCTE
is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and recognized by the
International Telecommunication Union.