CableLabs announced a series of new initiatives in late December. Cable companies and consumer electronics firms have joined forces to develop guidelines and standards for interactive digital cable television products. The agreement also included joint recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission for rulemaking such as a set of technical standards for cable systems and “cable ready” digital TV products and guidelines for content security and copyright. CableLabs will be responsible for interoperability testing of technology standards. CableLabs also announced that it has certified five companies for the DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem standard: Motorola, Scientific-Atlanta, Terayon, Texas Instruments and Xrosstech were certified for modems and Terayon for its cable modem termination system. In related news, the International Telecommunications Union-Telecommunication Sector has approved the DOCSIS 2.0 standard, which should allow cable operators around the world to provide DOCSIS 2.0-compliant product. The cable research consortium has also certified the first two devices for its CableHome 1.0 home networking standard, LinkSys and NETGEAR.
Oak Technology launches DVD-PC link
Oak Technology plans to introduce its MaestroLink Home Gateway today. The software connects a DVD player to a home computer, allowing users to view PC content on the TV routed through a DVD player. Oak Technology is working with content partners such as Musicmatch.com to provide content for this technology application. Consumer electronics devices with the technology embedded in them should be available by the middle of 2003, said Jim Chase, director of product marketing for the company. The technology adds about $10 to the manufacturing cost of a consumer electronics device, he said.