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Comcast Closing Tru2way Gap

5:30 PM -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) still doesn't have all its headends wired up for tru2way, but it's getting mighty close.

Its recent comments on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) notice of proposed rulemaking on the CableCARD regime reveals that the operator now supports tru2way in "almost 90% of its headends," and again references its support for Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC)'s tru2way-certified HD sets in Chicago, Denver, and Atlanta. (See FCC Floats 'Simple' Gateway, CableCARD Rules , Denver, Chicago First to Get Tru2way TVs, and Tru2Way in Atlanta.)

And Comcast has reportedly made some tru2way-related decisions on the set-top box front. Multichannel News says the MSO has picked UK-based Pace plc to make a next-gen box powered by Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s Media Processor CE3100. (See Will Intel Go Inside Cable Multimedia Gateways? )

Comcast is the world's largest MSO, so it's got lots of headends to upgrade, but it may surprise some that it hasn't completed those upgrades yet. Recall that the cable industry's initial, self-imposed deadline per the tru2way memorandum of understanding (MOU) negotiated with Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) was to have tru2way support in headends serving all digital cable systems by July 1, 2009. (See Revealed: The Tru2way MOU, MSOs to Miss Tru2way Date , and No Penalties for Missing Tru2way Date.)

Then again, it's not clear if all the other cable tru2way MOU signatories are done yet, either. Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) and Cox Communications Inc. have all of their headends upgraded, with two others -- Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) -- claiming to be making progress the last time we checked in with them all. (See Cable's Tru2way Build Continues and Cox Guides Tru2way Forward.)

Charter Communications Inc. 's original obligation was to complete the job by July 2010, and it's previously indicated that it will hit that deadline.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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