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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 10, 2009

Four Major Cable MSOs Join Time Warner Cable in Supporting OEDN

By Jai C.S., TMCnet Contributor

OCAP/EBIF Developer Network’s (OEDN) charter sponsor – Time Warner Cable is currently joined by four additional cable multiple system operators (MSOs) - Bright House Networks, Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications, and Liberty Global, Inc., to further enhance the interactive television (ITV) application development for digital cable.
This new sponsorship, according to OEDN is believed to both improve and expand the reach of the OEDN.net online developer community, develop an international version of the site, as well as seed key US universities with the tools and test environments necessary to take a student’s concept of an ITV application through the real-world steps necessary for it to become a reality.
Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable claims to have technologically advanced well-clustered systems that are located mainly in five geographic areas - New York State, the Carolinas, Ohio, southern California (including Los Angeles) and Texas which enables it to deliver right from high-definition television to Enhanced TV features to high-speed data and Digital Phone services.
“When we started OEDN in 2007, we recognized the need to build a solid foundation of an ITV developer ecosystem for digital cable – from the bottom-up,” said Will Kreth, senior director of Advanced Video Strategy for Time Warner Cable and founder of OEDN.
“To attract developers to the EBIF & Tru2Way (OCAP) platforms, we needed to build bridges with several key stakeholders in the MSO, vendor, programmer, advertiser and university communities," added Kreth.
Kreth also mentioned that this current support from these four cable MSOs clearly validates the company’s charter and ongoing mission - which is to broadly socialize the advantages of developing ITV apps for digital cable, and to put the tools necessary to build and test those apps in the hands of a new generation of software development talent.
With its new “Academic ITV Software Developer Kit” (AISDK) – OEDN has been working with several key ITV companies & partners to provide a way for students to develop & test ITV applications using industry standard tools.
“Over the long-term, digital cable needs to create a robust ITV developer ecosystem from prototype to testing to deployment,” said Jeff Chen, senior vice president of Advanced Technology at Bright House Networks.
Chen mentioned that through their support of OEDN, his company seeks to accelerate the development cycles and bring new ITV applications that consumers want to the market.
“OEDN represents a collaborative effort to broadly socialize what it takes to build applications for ITV,” said Rich Neill, senior vice president of Software Technology for Cablevision Systems (News - Alert).
“Consumers are becoming more aware of the power and usefulness of interactive apps, whether on a TV, PC or smart phone,” said Doug Ike, vice president of Advanced Video Engineering at Charter Communications (News - Alert).
According to Ike, greater knowledge about development environments for innovative interactive TV applications is the first step towards ubiquity.
“With the global rollout of Interactive TV services, we see the OEDN effort as being key to application developers,” said Bill Warga, vice president of Technology at Liberty Global (News - Alert), Inc.
“As an international MSO, we bring collaboration from Liberty Global’s operations in 15 countries across 3 continents, including Japan’s largest MSO, J:COM, which will participate through the upcoming Japanese language version of the oedn.net website (oedn.net/ja),” added Warga.
Bright House Networks is a multiple cable system operator (MSO) with 2.4 million customers in several large markets including Bakersfield, California; Birmingham, Alabama; Detroit, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; Orlando, Florida (Central Florida Division) and Tampa Bay, Florida along with several other smaller systems in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Cablevision Systems Corporation is an entertainment and telecommunications company with its cable television operations serving around 3 million households in the New York metropolitan area.
Charter Communications, Inc. is a broadband communications company and a provider of full range of advanced broadband services, including Charter Digital video entertainment programming, Charter High-Speed Internet access, and Charter Telephone.
Liberty Global is an international cable operator offering advanced video, voice and broadband internet services to connect its customers to the world of entertainment, communications and information.
OEDN officials also mentioned that the participation of all four companies will further facilitate the efforts for the expansion of ITV application development on digital cable.

Jai C.S. is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jai's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek