At the Consumer Electronics Show this week, CableLabs announced that OpenCable has been renamed to tru2way.Why is this important? Well, the name change really isn't a big deal. What's cool about it is what their intent is. Today, many of us have set-top cable boxes that allow us to interact, to a varying degree, with our cable provider for services such as video-on-demand (VOD), pay-per-view (PPV), and so on. You may also have a separate recording device (DVR), such as Tivo. The cable industry has been working to integrate these separate services into one device.
Better yet, many people and cable providers would prefer to use cable cards. Most of the newer televisions being sold today (and over the past couple of years) support this, and in my experience, the picture quality is best as there are no externals cables to patch things together. Unfortunately, with cards you lose services such as PPV and VOD.
In an attempt to fix all of this, CableLabs has been working on multiple fronts. First there is OpenCable (which is now tru2way; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tru2way), and second there is OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCable_Application_Platform. OCAP is anand application platform that is designed to work across devices (regardless of manufacturer) as well as cable cards. The goal is to bring a standard set of integrated services to a range of lower-cost devices and cards with a standard API to make the lives of providers and consumers that much better.
To achieve these ambitious goals, both OCAP and tru2way are based on Java. It seems that many companies are now jumping on the tru2way wagon (see http://www.engadgethd.com/tag/Tru2way/). For instance, some devices that integrate with the standard allow you to view your downloaded and DVR'd content either at home on your big screen, or on the go on a portable device. All of this cool integration is made possible by the standards-based goodness of a Java platform. Or maybe it's because they changed the name to tru2way...