CableLabs OpenCable Project on FAQ

Project Introduction and Background

  1. Who is CableLabs?

Founded in 1988 by cable operating companies, Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) 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 technical advancements into their business objectives. Its primary functions include:

A list of CableLabs members is available at, Any requests to join CableLabs can be sent to .

  1. What is OpenCable?

OpenCable™ is an initiative managed by CableLabs with the goal of helping the cable industry deploy interactive services and create competition in the host device marketplace. The consumer-facing brand name for OpenCable is carried under the <tru2way> logo.

OpenCable provides a set of specifications interfacing to divergent cable operator systems. OpenCable specifications help achieve the goal of interactive service delivery by meeting three key objectives:

1. Defining the next-generation digital consumer device.

2. Encouraging supplier competition.

3. Creating a retail hardware and software platform.

The OpenCable specifications include both hardware and software specifications. The hardware specifications describe a baseline host device configuration for accessing interactive services and are interoperable with cable systems throughout the U.S., thus creating a retail solution for consumer electronics products for cable. The software specifications (OCAP), coupled with the hardware specifications, solve the problem of proprietary operating system software, thereby creating a common platform for interactive television applications and services.

  1. What is OCAP?

OCAP is an acronym for OpenCable Application Platform. The platform is designed to enable interactive cable services on televisions, set-top boxes, and other devices. The specifications for this platform are based on Sun Microsystems Java software, allowing companies to run their applications on multiple hardware products. OCAP is based on the same core java specs as Blu Ray Disc and Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) used in Europe.

  1. What is the OpenCable Platform?
    The U.S. cable industry has adopted the “tru2way™” brand to succeed use of the term “OpenCable Platform” as it applies to the marketing and branding of the interactive video platform for consumers and in retail markets.

  1. What is the OCAP Reference Implementation?

The OCAP Reference Implementation (OpenCable RI) is a software example of the CableLabs®’ OpenCable™ OCAP specifications. It is being developed by CableLabs engineers, with the following goals:

The OCAP RI software runs on a Windows-based PC for illustration purposes only. Commercial implementations of the tru2way technology are designed to work on TVs, set top boxes, and other consumer electronic devices.

  1. What is the OpenCable Community on

The OpenCable Community on ( is the community site for the OpenCable™ Platform Developer Community. It is a resource for application developers to understand OpenCable™ specifications, stay updated on events and initiatives, obtain resources and tools, and exchange ideas with other application developers.

  1. What is the OCAP-RI project on

The OCAP-RI project on is focused on developing source code that complies with the OpenCable specifications ( and test plans. CableLabs is the copyright owner and original contributor to this project. The OCAP-RI project is the first project under the OpenCable Community. Other sub-projects may also follow.

  1. Does OpenCable provide more than a written specification?

Yes. In addition to the specifications, CableLabs provides:

  1. What is tru2way™?

“tru2way” is the consumer-facing brand associated with OCAP platform, and applications using the OCAP platform. The brand signals that its device is compatible with advanced, interactive two-way cable services. Branded products have been tested at the CableLabs testing site. The brand is becoming more visible on TVs and DVR recorders out-of-the-box (instead of only on cable company supplied boxes), opening the door to true interactive applications. For more information, visit

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