Video-on-Demand Capability Demonstrated as Part of Enhanced TV Specification

Kurt Peters

ABC Enhanced TV Group of Walt Disney Internet Group key provider of application and development work

Louisville, Colorado, April 9, 2006-CableLabs`® enhanced television (eTV) specification has reached another milestone by the successful demonstration of “triggering” a Video-On-Demand (VOD) stream from a linear broadcast application.

Proven through the work of cable television operators and key partners at an eTV interoperability event held earlier this year at CableLabs®, the addition of VOD triggering to the national eTV specification means that broadcasters of popular national programming can “embed” a signal in their show that allows viewers to call up an on-demand stream of additional entertainment or advertising content in a standard way supported by the cable operators. The ABC Enhanced TV Group of the Walt Disney Internet Group played a critical role in the interoperability event as the provider and developer of the initial application.

The eTV/VOD demonstration will be part of the CableNET® technology showcase that is held as part of The 2006 National Show, the annual convention and international exhibition of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), April 9–11, at The Georgia World Congress Center, in Atlanta.

Other participants in the VOD demonstration, which operates on current-generation digital set-top boxes, include CableLabs, Motorola, SeaChange, Softel-USA, TVWorks (a joint venture of Comcast and Cox), S&T;, and UniSoft.

“We have made substantial progress on the eTV specifications and adding video-on-demand applications is a major milestone,” said Don Dulchinos, Senior Vice President, Advanced Platforms and Services, CableLabs. “And of course the VOD capability enables on demand advertising as well.”

ETV enables programmer-driven interactivity for the most popular linear broadcasts across all cable systems on existing, deployed digital set-top boxes. It is also supported on new and next-generation digital cable television devices which will be powered by the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP™).

The recent interoperability event was the second in a series of such events and included headend equipment from S&T;, UniSoft, Softel-USA, Scientific Atlanta, Motorola, and SeaChange. In addition to the ABC Enhanced TV Group of the Walt Disney Internet Group, there were applications from Ensequence, Emuse, Time Warner Cable and Zodiac Gaming. TVWorks, Time Warner Cable and Navic Networks provided user agents and Digisoft, OpenTV, and TVWorks participated with some eTV tools.

CableLabs is coordinating the production of the eTV technical specifications. Two of these specifications are already in their third version, with the rest scheduled for initial publication in the second quarter of 2006.

ETV is one element of a next-generation cable media platform now being deployed by cable MSOs, which also includes the OCAP common application platform, the OpenCable interface for retail manufacturers, and the DCAS™ downloadable security technology. For more information, visit:


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. CableLabs maintains web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org; and www.opencable.com.

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