updated 04:15 pm EDT, Wed July 1, 2009
Operators delay Tru2Way
While today, July 1st, was the agreed-upon deadline between cable operators and consumer electronics companies to support the new Tru2Way interactive digital cable standard, it's now learned today that none of the cable operators will meet or come close to this date. The new standard is due to replace CableCARD, and does not require a standalone set-top box, instead being integrated into devices such as TVs, DVD or Blu-ray players from existing electronics manufacturers. While cable companies such as Comcast, Time Warner and Cox Communications will not have the necessary support for the interactive service, execs from Samsung and Panasonic said good-faith effort has been made to deliver on the promises.
"This is difficult technology. It's not for lack of trying," noted Samsung's Stephen Goldstein. "I think things are going as well as they could be with OCAP [the OpenCable Application Platform] and tru2way."
Tru2Way is based on Java and brings interactive TV applications and video programming to compatible devices by the cable operators. Five of the biggest US cable operators last summer committed to a July 1st deadline of implementing the service, with the sixth largest, Charter, signing on by July of 2010.
Comcast senior vice president of strategic planning, Mark Coblitz, says a definitive date is not set for its Tru2Way readiness, but did say it will not be in the "too-distant future." A Time Warner Cable spokesperson said they are close to the trials, and has already deployed more than 2-million Tru2Way-based set top boxes for testing purposes. Cox representatives said it is involved in readiness testing in all of its locations, with the same level of support for Tru2Way devices as currently leased set-top boxes beginning today and will also start purchasing Tru2Way STBs by July 1st. The cable provider hopes to be ready for launch by the end of the year.
Panasonic already offers Tru2Way-enabled HDTVs in Comcast's Chicago, Denver and Atlanta markets. Samsung's Tru2Way set-tops were purchased by Time Warner Cable and Bright House, and the hardware maker has contracts with Comcast as well. [via Multichannel]