Vidiom, Time Warner Cable Thinking Interactive


Anaheim, Calif. -- Vidiom Systems Corp. teamed up with Cable Television Laboratories Inc. and Time Warner Cable to showcase OpenCable-enabled interactive-TV applications on the Western Show exhibit floor here.

Time Warner Cable also said it has contracted with Vidiom to develop and offer interactive-TV applications on its digital platform.

Senior MSO executives said interactivity would be one of several features -- along with HDTV, video-on-demand and digital-video recorders, plus data and voice services -- that MSOs will use to compete against direct-broadcast satellite, and especially against interactive-TV-adherent News Corp. after it absorbs DirecTV Inc. parent Hughes Electronics Corp.

Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts waxed enthusiastic about the OpenCable Applications Platform demonstration on the show floor. The demo included an OCAP programming guide that would work across all cable systems.

"You could buy any box and the guide will work with every cable company," he said. "It is a common language everyone can develop to."

Time Warner Cable chairman and CEO Glenn Britt picked up on that theme. "OCAP is very significant because of the standard [application-program interfaces] that people can write software to in the interim," he said.

On the floor, Vidiom teamed up with Scientific-Atlanta Inc. -- one of the two top cable set-top suppliers -- and Time Warner Cable to showcase OCAP 1.0 applications with digital navigation and other applications on S-A’s "3250 HD" set-top.

Vidiom said it is under contract with Time Warner Cable to provide engineering services, technical documentation, deployment support, application design and development tools for OCAP applications across a variety of set-tops in 2004.