Interactive TV's Present and Future to be Featured at The Cable Show '09

Thursday, March 26th, 2009 
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LOUISVILLE, Colo. — Enhanced TV and tru2way™ interactive TV applications will play a major role at The Cable Show ’09 being held April 1-3 at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center, the annual convention of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

With collaboration from consumer electronics companies, as well as information technology companies and software developers, the CableLabs tru2way specifications define advanced cable devices, including retail and leased devices, for cable operators, programmers, and advertisers to deploy interactive applications nationwide. EBIF (enhanced binary interchange format) defines a simplified data format for interactive applications that can run on legacy leased devices with more limited resources.

The flagship retail brand for the cable industry’s interactive hardware and software, tru2way technology will have a large presence in the Broadband Nation industry exhibit and in more than a dozen demonstrations on the exhibit floor and within the CableNET® pavilion. CableNET is a technology showcase co-sponsored by CableLabs® and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), which sponsors The Cable Show.

“These exhibits feature real-life technologies which demonstrate that interactive TV has moved from the laboratory to the living room,” said Kyle McSlarrow, NCTA President & CEO. “Tru2way is a national, open and interactive platform that is supported and contributed by multiple industries and has the potential to transform the viewing experience.”

“Tru2way will provide a platform for faster and greater innovation,” said Dallas Clement, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Product Management for Cox Communications. “At Cox, we are excited about the prospect of bringing our customers an enhanced, convenient interactive experience at a great value.”

“As Comcast continues to rollout tru2way technology across our footprint, we’re encouraged to see more developers, programmers and manufacturers embracing CableLabs technology,” said Mark Hess, Senior Vice President of Video Product Development for Comcast. “This year’s Cable Show is packed with great examples of how the industry is moving from developing a common platform to being able to deploy applications on it that will continue to change how consumers interact with the programming on their televisions.”

Tru2way technology is an innovative national software platform that enables cable’s interactive services to be delivered to two-way plug and play TVs, set-top boxes and other devices. Tru2way also creates a national footprint for the creators of interactive services to develop products that work on cable systems in nearly every U.S. market. Major cable operators have committed to support the tru2way platform on systems covering more than 90 million U.S. homes by the end of 2009.

The EBIF platform, which is being rolled out by cable operators across the country, complements tru2way technology by enabling the delivery of interactive television features on legacy systems. Written in binary code and executed via a User Agent, EBIF applications bring interactivity to set-top boxes which lack the Java-based tru2way middleware.

Some of the companies planning interactive demonstrations based on these innovative cable technologies, in alphabetical order, include:

  • ActiveVideo Networks (Booth #1423) will demonstrate the ability of consumers to launch Web-based interactive content from EBIF (Enhanced Binary Interchange Format) prompts. ActiveVideo is showing EBIF applications that provide increased viewer engagement, including: a portal-like programming experience with bonus materials that would extend the brand of popular shows; and multi-tiered advertising microsites that showcase videos and products within a specific market.
  • Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) (Booth #525) will be demonstrating Multi-room DVR via home networking, an ETV engine which will demonstrate a variety of ETV applications including multi-player games. Also to be demonstrated is a tru2way-based PC browser which gives your set-top box the ability to access pictures, videos and music over your HN and play them on your entertainment system and much more. Demos will be in the ADB booth (#525), CableNET and Broadband Nation.
  • Alticast (Booth #501) will be showcasing its new developments in tru2way, including its mature middleware solution running various tru2way applications on new platforms, as well as compelling tru2way-based applications that have been deployed by Korean MSOs.
  • Amdocs (Booth #911) will demonstrate how a cable customer can self activate services on a tru2way set-top box.
  • BIAP (Various Locations) will demonstrate the BIAP EBIF platform and user agent currently in market and running on all digital boxes, including low memory legacy boxes. BIAP will also be demonstrating Ad Widgets which are easy to use templates that will enable 30-second spots to become interactive and perform various functions. Thirdly BIAP will demo Emmy nominated applications including Yellow Pages on TV, Fantasy Sports, eBay on TV and PITV, a local information service that can be personalized. All BIAP’s demos may be seen at the BIAP booth and various other demonstrations will be available at CableNET and booths of Concurrent, Macrovision, the Comcast Media Center, itaas and Unisoft.
  • CableLabs (CableNET) will present a group of cable programming networks, including Starz and HSN, which have developed interactive entertainment and shopping applications, running on the ETV/EBIF or tru2way platforms. For example, a Starz EBIF application features a mini-guide that links the Starz linear channel to Starz On Demand content to bring current subscribers more value through an enhanced viewer experience.
  • Cisco Systems (ES #4137 & Broadband Nation) will be demonstrating whole home High Definition DVR and whole home video/media on the tru2way software platform and Cisco’s new next generation tru2way set-tops. The whole home video/media demo also will be in Broadband Nation.
  • Comcast Media Center (Broadband Nation) will demonstrate iTV applications being delivered via its HITS Advanced Interactive Services (AxIS) platform over a live Comcast headend in the Broadband Nation’s “The Lofts on Fast Lane.” HITS AxIS is a centralized suite of services for the development, launch and support of iTV applications, including EBIF/ETV and the emerging tru2way™ platform.
  • enableTV (Booth #807) will be demonstrating a number of EBIF and tru2way solutions including its ETV Widget Dashboard application template running on the live HITS AxIS service, OpenCable™ Application Platform (OCAP™), the technical specs that comprise tru2way’s software element, middleware stack, VISION Workbench tru2way application developer tools, and remote testing services for tru2way devices. enableTV will also be showcasing applications from its partners including Starz Entertainment, Clearleap, and FreedTV running with its DV-TIDE Desktop Headend.
  • Ensequence (Booth #3111) will showcase its latest EBIF interactive TV projects. These real-world iTV experiences include T-commerce with HSN, news and weather with CNN, and movie information for Comcast Media Center HITS AxIS. In addition, Ensequence partners will be showcasing interactive TV experiences at the Turner Networks booth, AETN booth and in Broadband Nation.
  • Harmonic Inc. (ES #56) will demonstrate Gator technology, an EBIF application for video-rich VOD navigation, offering subscribers a breakthrough user experience. Gator is integrated with legacy and new set-top boxes for use in virtually any cable network architecture.
  • HSN (ES #51) Shop by Remote is the only live nationwide shopping service where you can purchase the item you’re watching using just your TV’s interactive remote control. It’s easy, secure and the fastest way to buy HSN products. HSN Shop by Remote platform options range from the ability to purchase just the item airing on the live show at that time to full integration into a library of on demand videos. The demos will be in the CableNET pavilion, and the following booths: Ensequence (#3111), ActiveVideo Networks (#1423) and HSN (ES #51).
  • iCueTV (Broadband Nation) will showcase a fully operational live t-Commerce application with a back-end fulfillment solution that allows viewers to make product purchases using their existing remote control and works on all current digital set-top boxes. The demonstration and technology is based on all cable interface specifications set by CableLabs for enhanced television programming (ETV) and will be showcased at NCTA’s Broadband Nation as well as in iCueTV booth.
  • itaas (Booth #1401) will have live demonstration of Enhanced TV/EBIF-based applications including: Showtime Networks application for marketing/customer provisioning; TVWorks’ Ready, Remind, Record (RRR) application; BIAP’sYellow Pages, eBay, PITV and Ad widgets all running on the EBIF Platform; TAG Games games-on-demand television network with interactive ads; Cisco Web Video on the TV; MPTV Gateway’s cross-platform applications; CGI’s tru2way Caller ID and Conference Call Control on TV; Integra5’s MediaFriends® Chat demo and NDS’s Tru2way guide and multiple applications.
  • Motorola (Booth #2037) is demonstrating a comprehensive suite of tru2way solutions based on its DCX line of set-tops. The solutions include next-generation guide, lifestyle applications, whole-home DVR and media sharing, and a robust developers’ kit to accelerate third party innovation on the Motorola platform.
  • NDS Group (CableNET) plans to show a range of set top box and home networking technologies that are made possible by tru2way technology.
  • Panasonic (Booth #937) will feature exhibits and demos of the Panasonic TZ-PCH2180 High Definition DVR Set top Box, a tru2way-enabled STB shown with a live tru2way signal from Comcast. It also will show a 50″ tru2way-enabled VIERA Plasma HDTV: TH-50PZ80Q, demonstrated with a live headend feed. And, also to be demonstrated is an easy-touch remote controller and next-generation user interface.
  • Samsung (CableNET & Broadband Nation) plans to display tru2way-based set tops, home networking and portability applications. Samsung will be demonstrating a tru2way guide from GuideWorks and a Widget channel application on its Intel-enabled tru2way set top boxes.
  • Sigma Designs (CableNET) will exhibit its tru2way-based 8654 Server/Home-Gateway and Client STBs running (VividLogic) OCAP stack and the Comcast Buckeye EPG. The SMP8654 based whole home server-client Reference Design enables the rapid development of cost-effective DOCSIS 3.0 based home gateways (Servers) and set-top boxes (Clients) for deployment in existing cable-TV and in IP-Cable systems. Its downstream and upstream channels can be bonded to achieve up to 320 Mbps downstream and 120 Mbps upstream data rates. Optional telephony line card enables multiple voice lines communication and 3-way conferencing via RJ-11 VoIP connections.
  • Turner/CNN Interactive (Booth #1637) application allows viewers to browse news headlines from a variety of categories, read text-based news stories, engage in interactive voting/polling relating to the day’s top stories, view a list of upcoming shows with detailed descriptions and the ability set a reminder for a DVR recording, and link to CNN VOD content. The app is driven by the global resources of CNN.com. The stories are dynamically updated continuously throughout the day via RSS feeds from the website to the application.
  • UniSoft Corporation/Strategy & Technology Ltd (S&T) (CableNET) will show its TSBroadcaster 2.0 for tru2way, to create and broadcast multi-service transport streams containing a number of tru2way and ETV applications. ETV demonstrations will include ad insertion and splicing; ETV and tru2way applications validation; tru2way benchmark testing using Sofia’s Benchmark System; and Generation of authenticated tru2way applications using UniSoft’s tru2way Security File Generator.
  • Zodiac Interactive (Various locations) plans to demonstrate its new Interactive Television 2.0™ Movie Guide on top of its PowerUp™ framework software. The iTV Movie Guide will be demonstrated in CableNET® and in Zodiac’s executive suite ES-11 and Partner booths Macrovision and Advanced Digital Broadcast. The Zodiac iTV Movie Guide uses data feeds from AMG/Macrovision to display detailed movie information that cross references movies, cast members, genre, and much more.

Founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry, Cable Television Laboratories is a non-profit research and development consortium that is dedicated to pursuing new cable telecommunications technologies and to helping its cable operator members integrate those advancements into their business objectives. Cable operators from around the world are members.