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Comcast Wired for Tru2way by Year's End

Jeff Baumgartner

9:05 AM -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) EVP David Cohen reportedly told reporters Monday that the MSO will have tru2way installed across all its plant by year's end. Comcast and a handful of other MSOs that signed a binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) missed an original deadline to have that done by July 1. (See MSOs to Miss Tru2way Date and No Penalties for Missing Tru2way Date.)

Although Comcast (and presumably the other MSO members of the MoU) intend to use tru2way as a common platform for advanced interactive services, tru2way's use as an ITV engine in set-tops sold at retail has formally been called into question.

Cohen acknowledged that interest in using tru2way in retail devices has cooled, sparking thoughts on alternative ways for the platform to be distributed to retail boxes and TV sets, including downloadable approaches.

Fewer than 10 products so far have been certified for tru2way, a CableLabs platform that uses the OpenCable middleware and the removable CableCARD security module. And only Comcast has even tried to get a tru2way retail effort going, partnering with Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC) to sell tru2way HD sets in Denver, Chicago, and Atlanta in a few stores. (See Tru2way's Retail Forecast: Cloudy , CES: Roberts Declares Open Season, and Tru2Way in Atlanta.)

But timing is everything, and we should know a bit more about tru2way's role at retail (or a possible lack of one) in short order. This morning in Denver at the CTAM Summit, execs from CableLabs, Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Bright House Networks , among others, are scheduled to appear on a panel called "Cable's Consumer Product Agenda."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2009, the telecom industry’s premier event for the exploration of a comprehensive entertainment convergence strategy, to be staged in Orlando, Fla., November 10-12. For more information, or to register, click here.

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