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Tru2way TVs Hit Denver

1:35 PM -- I’ll try to check this out first-hand as soon as I’m able, but full-page ads in today’s Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post indicate the tru2way TV era is indeed underway here in the Mile High City.

I'm checking with Comcast to see if today is the first day the ads are running in Denver, but, for what it's worth, it's the first time I've noticed them.

Update: I've been informed that the ads started running in Denver about three weeks ago, so guess who needs to be paying closer attention when he's reading the local papers in the early hours of the day?

“Get ready for the latest breakthrough in HDTV,” headline the ads, which were coopted by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC), which is selling two tru2way “Viera” models (42-inch and 50-inch screens) that allow buyers to use interactive cable applications, including video-on-demand (VoD), without the need for a separate digital set-top box.

According to the ad, Ultimate Electronics Inc. and Circuit City Stores Inc. , the latter of which filed for bankruptcy last month, are selling the sets in Denver-area stores.

Comcast and Panasonic have already identified Chicago and Denver as the first two markets to offer the CableLabs -certified tru2way sets, but the Windy City got the project off the ground first. (See Denver, Chicago First to Get Tru2way TVs and CableLabs Stamps Panasonic TVs .)

The ads, meanwhile, play up Comcast’s more than 1,000 hi-def “choices” (i.e., HD fare offered in the form of linear TV and VoD), 1080p support, and “one remote, less clutter.”

To help prime the pump, Comcast and Panasonic are also offering a $450 mail-in rebate to customers who buy the tru2way set and “activate an eligible Comcast Triple Play.”

But it’s still too early to say if that will be enough to entice consumers, who are expected to tighten spending on consumer electronics (CE) items this holiday season. Earlier this month, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) said it now expects wholesale CE spending in the fourth quarter to rise just 0.1 percent, slashed from an initial growth forecast of 3.5 percent.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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