& cplSiteName &

Verizon Stokes a Tru2way Stalemate

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
8/29/2008
50%
50%

Here's a shocker: The cable industry and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) are fighting.

This time, the issue is whether tru2way should be compatible with Verizon's FiOS TV service, which delivers its channels over fiber in a similar way that MSOs do via coaxial cable.

Verizon has previously argued that tru2way, a uniform middleware and headend platform for interactive digital TVs and set-tops, won't work on its video network. The cable industry, through arguments posed by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) , has indicated that DTVs outfitted with tru2way can still run on Verizon's plant just fine -- so long as the set is connected to one of the telco's set-tops. (See Verizon: No Way on tru2way and NCTA Counters Verizon's Tru2way Claims .)

Verizon went on the the offensive again via an ex parte filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday.

"One of the principle benefits to consumers of a two-way plug-and-play solution is precisely that it will facilitate interactive services without the need for a set-top box," Verizon wrote. "So a two-way solution that permits interactivity only in conjunction with a provider's unique set-top box – particularly when the traditional cable incumbents would not need a set-top box for the same level of functionality – is no solution at all."

Verizon said consumers who buy tru2way sets would be "frustrated when they discover that they still need a set-top box for competitive providers using technological approaches that differ from the cable incumbents."

CableLabs , meanwhile, has recently encouraged telcos to adopt the "open" tru2way platform, noting that it's based on an international ITU-T standard, compatible with the Multimedia Home Platform (MHP), and leverages a Java core that's also used for Blu-ray apps and a spate of cellphone environments. (See Telcos: Climb Aboard the Tru2way Train.)

But Verizon isn't buying what CableLabs is selling, calling any offer for cable competitors to use tru2way "an empty gesture," adding that the telco is not permitted to join CableLabs or participate in the development of tru2way. The NCTA and CableLabs declined to comment on the Verizon filing.

Verizon is in favor of an "all-provider" solution already underway at Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) , which, some describe as a CableLabs-like engine for Verizon. Verizon initially ignored the all-provider concept after cable first proposed it, but seems to have gained interest in it only after cable was able to secure significant support for tru2way from the consumer electronics industry. (See Revealed: The Tru2way MOU, Sony Supports tru2way, More Firms Go the Way of Tru2way, and tru2Way Tallies Two More.)

Although Verizon says it's closed off from participating in the development of tru2way, the recently struck tru2way memorandum of understanding does expand the scope of control somewhat via a Founders Advisory Board (FAB). That board extends the level of review and the ability to iron out disputes beyond the realm of CableLabs and the cable operators. It also include participation from the CE, content, and information technology industries.

The FCC's role: nothing
It's still not entirely clear yet what's to be won or lost from this Ping Pong match occurring within the confines of the FCC docket. What is clear is that both sides are motivated to show they are capable of resolving this without government intervention or a formal FCC proceeding that could result in a forced adoption.

The FCC has yet to act on an open rulemaking concerning tru2way and an alternative called DCR+ that's backed by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) . (See Two-Way Battle Reaches FCC.) But, considering the traction tru2way has received from CE parties, including Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE), it appears that this particular matter, practically speaking, has been settled.

As for the debate going on between Verizon and cable, it's quite obvious that the two sides remain far apart on tru2way, but both say they're more than willing now to pursue a solution that can bridge all video platforms.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:33:20 PM
re: Verizon Stokes a Tru2way Stalemate
Verizion likes to make waves. I think it is all misdirection. Look at this while I conceal this. I wonder what they are trying to keep us from noticing?
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives