TV Everywhere standards hunt begins

The SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver last week played witness to one of the cable TV industry's initial steps to develop standards for the TV Everywhere online TV initiative. CableLabs, not surprisingly, took the lead role, saying it has issued a request for information for technical requirements, including resource, architectural, interface, and security specs, to help create the standards. The deadline for RFI responses is Dec. 11.

CableLabs has always been pretty quick to drive the development of standards around new technology, but with ultimately varying results. For example, an aggressive pace for cable modem standards several years ago helped cable TV players gain an effective first-mover advantage in the broadband services world, but mainstream commercial adoption of the more recent Tru2way standard has been slower to develop.

Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon Communications and others have begun to roll with TV Everywhere trials and plans. So, will Verizon and other telcos with "cable-like" network approaches who join the TV Everywhere camp be supportive of standards developed by the cable TV industry? And will those with non-cable-like IPTV architectures pursue their own standards path for hybrid broadcast/online TV packages, whether they mimic the TV Everywhere approach or not?

The last time CableLabs tried to welcome telcos to follow its technical standards--with the Tru2way specs--it saw little response (though Verizon was really the only obvious big telco target in mind). The traditional telecom industry also likes to develop its own standards around new concepts, though its standards procedures tend to take longer.

For more:
- Multichannel News has this story

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