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OCAP, formally known as the OpenCableTM Application Platform, promises to dramatically increase cable’s capability to create and deploy an array of exciting new interactive services for consumers. OCAP establishes a common software platform that enables cable companies, network programmers, content providers, consumer electronics companies and others to extend interactivity to television and many other devices. With the technology comes an array of new business and revenue opportunities.

Recent Developments

Cable Television Industry Voices Support for OCAP™ and Two-Way Digital Cable-Ready Product Deployments

Top executives of the nation's largest cable and consumer electronics companies have announced their plans for OCAP capabilities this year.

But what exactly is OCAP? How does it work? What does OCAP software enable, and how can cable programmers, MSOs, applications developers, consumer electronics companies, and marketers use it to their advantage?

CTAM and CableLabs created this OCAP Primer, written by veteran cable writers Leslie Ellis and Craig Leddy, to provide answers — in plain English — to key OCAP questions. Through the primer you’ll learn how OCAP is being used to:

  • establish a national (and perhaps international) platform to easily deploy new interactive TV content and features;
  • ensure that a programming network’s interactive content will run on different cable systems, set-top boxes and consumer electronics devices;
  • give content developers a standard, cost-effective way to “write once, run anywhere;”
  • extend copyright-protected content and network brands across more digital devices;
  • support a retail market for digital TVs, set-top boxes and new gadgets;
  • and open new revenue streams for interactive advertising, subscriptions, transactions and other business opportunities.

Learn about OCAP in the following sections. Links will guide you to additional resources, technical specifications and other information.

About the Authors

Craig Leddy, editor of the OCAP Primer, is president of Interactive TV Works, Inc. Based outside of New York City, Interactive TV Works provides professional writing, marketing and sales support, strategic consulting, and industry education in support of advanced cable services. Leddy, who has more than 20 years of cable experience, is a veteran business writer who currently serves as editor of the CTAM Business Services Advisor and lead instructor for How Cable Goes to Market, a training course about the inner workings of cable.

If you have questions or comments about the OCAP Primer, contact Craig Leddy at

Leslie Ellis, lead writer of the OCAP Primer, is senior technology advisor for CTAM, bridging the gap between cable marketing and engineering. An independent technology analyst and author based in Denver, CO, Ellis writes a popular bi-weekly column for Multichannel News called “Translation Please,” aimed at demystifying cable and broadband jargon. Her writing credits include “Definitive Broadband” (2001), “Definitive Broadband: Next Generation” (2005), “The Field Guide to Broadband” (2002), and “Planet Broadband” (2003). She is a regular contributor to CED Magazine and a contributing research analyst for Bear Stearns Inc.

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