Tru2way™ Technology A Hit at 2008 CES
Numerous manufacturers and software companies show new integrated equipment and interactive services that will work on all cable systems without a separate set-top box
Louisville, Colorado, January 15, 2008—As the cable industry was rolling out the new tru2way™ brand for consumer and retail marketing of interactive digital video during the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, numerous consumer electronics, software and high-tech companies were showing tru2way-enabled products and services to attendees and the press.
Tru2way technology (formerly called OpenCable™) is built into televisions, set-top boxes, and other devices. The technology enables cable companies and other interactive television service and application developers to "write" interactive applications once and see them run successfully on any device that supports the specification. Existing applications include interactive guides, "start over" applications, and games; future applications might include, for example, interactive ads, chat, web browsing, and t-commerce. With tru2way technology, consumers will be able to access two-way digital cable programming without the need for a cable operator-supplied set-top box.
Tru2way will support all cable services now delivered to set-top boxes and other devices currently leased to consumers as well as future services written for the platform. Major cable operators have committed to support the tru2way platform on systems covering more than 90 million U.S. homes by the end of 2008.
"The 2008 CES was a landmark event for the cable industry," said Dr. Richard R. Green, CableLabs President & CEO. "It permitted us to showcase our partnerships with leading consumer electronics manufacturers to develop TVs and other devices that will free consumers from the set-top box. The deployment of tru2way technology is the next evolution of TV in America."
Four of the world's leading consumer electronics companies, representing more than 28 percent of global television sales (iSuppli Corp., 9/07), demonstrated tru2way-based products at CES 2008:
- Panasonic – Displayed 42" and 50" tru2way plasma televisions, part of their Viera line that will operate without a set-top box from a single remote and that will be in the marketplace by the 2008 holiday season.
- Samsung – Demonstrated a tru2way HD set-top box that was running the Comcast/TV Guide program guide, model DCB-H670C.
- LG Electronics – Showed its Model 42LG51 - LCD television with tru2way functionality.
- Thomson – Exhibited a tru2way set-top box, the "9000 Series – HD MPEG-2/4 Interactive Cable Decoder for the North American market".
Additional companies are developing software, toolkits, chipsets and interfaces to support the cable industry's plans to use tru2way technology to deliver interactive services to consumers. Companies that exhibited specific tru2way innovations at CES included:
- VividLogic – Demonstrated tru2way software. Its customers include Funai, Mitsubishi and Pioneer.
- ViXS and Advanced Micro Devices both showed CableCARD™ chipsets that support tru2way technology.
- Digeo – Demonstrated its Moxi Media Center, which integrates content sources throughout an advanced user interface and centralizes all sources of entertainment on a single TV screen.
An intermediate step toward this goal, called the OpenCable Unidirectional Receiver (OCUR, enabled by a removed CableCARD security device), currently allows some cable content to flow to PCs. Among exhibits at CES indicating a growing level of support for OCUR:
- Dell – Showed an interface to Media Center PCs.
- Hewlett Packard – Demonstrated an interface to Media Center PCs.
- Sony (Vaio) – Exhibited an interface to Media Center PCs.
- Niveus Media – Debuted an interface to Media Center PC integrated into a high-end home media management system.
- Life/Ware (Exceptional Innovations) – Showed an interface to Media Center PCs built into high-end home media management and home automation systems.
OpenCable Developers' conferences are planned for mid-May at the 2008 Cable Show in New Orleans and also at JavaOne developers' conference in early May in San Francisco.
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains additional web sites at www.cablenet.org.
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