Light Reading
MSO's home-grown Trio guide will lead a premium video package featuring more HD, whole-home DVRs, and interactive apps

Cox Guides Tru2way Forward

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
5/10/2010
50%
50%

Cox Communications Inc. has taken the wraps off a tricked-out tru2way-based interactive program guide (IPG) and navigation system, the centerpiece of a supersized premium video package that features a whole-home DVR, a bigger HDTV lineup, and a suite of interactive applications.

Cox plans to introduce the guide, a new line of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) boxes that support it, and the overarching "Plus Package" this quarter in Orange County, Calif., targeting a region where the MSO grapples with both AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) U-verse and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) FiOS.

Cox, which has already completed its network upgrade deployment of tru2way, plans to add "Plus" in all systems by year's end. (See Cable's Tru2way Build Continues.)

Cox won't be swapping out boxes just to get its new tru2way baby out there, but will try to prime the pump by marketing the Plus Package as a premium product, offering it for $5 more per month to subscribers of any "Advanced TV"-level tier (i.e., those with digital video service).

Cox built the long-anticipated tru2way-powered guide, dubbed Trio, from scratch with the help of frog design inc. and NDS Ltd. , which served as the prime implementer on the project. Cox and its partners have been working on it since 2008. (See Cox Puts NDS at Heart of Tru2way Plan .)

"The guide is really the face of Cox to customers, and we really wanted to put our best face forward," says Cox executive director of video product development Lisa Pickelsimer. (Cox is in the processing of standardizing its legacy, non-tru2way boxes on the Rovi Corp. Passport IPG and ShowRunner VoD app.)

The name "Trio" comes from a three-panel navigation scheme that, Cox hopes, makes it easier for customers to discover and browse content than it's been on cable IPGs of yore.

The left panel lists channels vertically in numerical order, with the middle panel showing the selected channel's schedule, and the right pane providing a detailed description of the selected program.

search

Users can also search for TV shows and movies from the linear lineup, from the Cox video-on-demand (VoD) system, and from what's stored on the DVR. Up to eight users in a home can personalize the guide with favorite channels and ITV apps.

vod

Trio also has thematic "Zone Channels," where multiple channels are presented as a mosaic of video thumbnails. At the start, Cox will offer zones for news, sports, and kids programming.

Boxing up Cisco
The related tru2way-based Cisco combo includes the primary HD-DVR; the Explorer 8642; and HD, non-DVR Explorer 1642 multimedia gateways. The central gateway Cox is going with features 500 gigabytes of storage, with whole-home DVR and networking handled by the IP-based Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) platform. (See Cox, Entropic MoCA Deal Not Exclusive .)

Cisco box

In a new twist of sorts, Cox says it intends to deploy those boxes in its Cisco- and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)-based cable footprints. It'll deploy those boxes on Moto systems by overlaying the Motorola conditional access system (CAS) with Cisco's.

Those boxes, which will be paired with CableCARDs powered by Cisco's PowerKEY CAS, will also be the first from Cox to tune to HD channels above the 860MHz threshold, taking advantage of the MSO's recent upgrade to 1GHz. (See Cox Makes 1 GHz Moves .)

Cox currently averages about 80 linear HD channels and more than 1,000 HD "choices," a figure that factors in HD-VoD titles. It will offer more (it's not saying how much more yet) in those Plus Package markets that have been bumped to 1GHz and use switched digital video (SDV) techniques to get the most out of existing bandwidth.

Mobile video on the horizon
Although the new guide and video package will be set-top-based for now, Cox has developed a cross-platform user interface that borrows elements from Trio that will later tie into the MSO's wireless service plans. (See Cox Finds Friends for 3G Wireless Trials in Omaha and Cox: Wireless Coming in March .)

Mobile video and navigation "is solidly in Cox's product plans," Pickelsimer says, noting that the UI for mobile devices "will remind you quite a bit of the Trio guide."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:36:46 PM
re: Cox Guides Tru2way Forward
This announcement doesn't change tru2way's role at retail (still nearly none) , but offers another good indicator that MSOs aren't going to give tru2way the heave-ho once they've made the headend investments.




Getting the guide out there is key, since it will supply the base for everything else. Too early to tell since this is just now getting out into the field, but I think a year from now we will get a better sense if tru2way truly offers developers an "open" platform to write to. But i'm still curious to know how easy it will be for those same developers to get their apps deployed. JB

Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (3) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Subsea Market Lures New Cast of Characters
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 11/14/2014
Pics: Verizon's Chicago Destination Store
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed