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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 14, 2010

itaas Works with Comcast on an EBIF Solution for Cisco Set-Top Boxes

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributor

itaas, a provider of software development, integration and testing services to the content and application provider across the broadband network and all the way to the set-top box or consumer device, has finished integration and development work with Comcast (News - Alert) Corporation, a provider of entertainment, information and communication products and services.

The two companies have been working on a user agent built on Enhanced Binary Interface Format, or "EBIF," specification from CableLabs. This user agent for use on Cisco (News - Alert) set-top boxes will allow MSOs, counting Comcast Corporation, to extend their present EBIF-enabled footprints. It will also help speed up the deployment of interactive advertising and other improved application, like widgets for news and weather, caller ID, customer self-service and instant subscription type interactive applications, to set tops that are already in the customers' households.

TVWorks, LLC, a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation, developed the EBIF that the user agent is built on. The user agent builds on the joint efforts of the companies to help cable operators install a standard interactive television platform quickly and reliably. itaas, via a licensing agreement with TVWorks, provides MSOs with an EBIF deployment package to be used with Motorola (News - Alert) set-top boxes including license, maintenance and deployment support services.

The TVWorks EBIF user agents have been installed by Comcast all throughout 12 million homes which represent more than 20 million set-top boxes. Comcast intends to start trialing the newly ported user agent in its Cisco footprint later in 2010.

The service portfolio of itaas consists of a full array of software design, integration, development and support services for MSOs, application developers, technology providers and programmers. Via the istart developer program, itaas also supports the advancement and installation of interactive applications and services. The istart developer program provides SDKs and support for Cisco's SARA/PowerTV and OCAP Axiom, Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable's ODN, MDN and MAS software TVWorks ETV platform and Fourthwall Media's EBIF user agent.

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha's article, please visit her columnist page .

Edited by Kelly McGuire