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Porting Tru2way

12:45 PM -- Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) is trumpeting its ability to show what tru2way is supposed to do: allow the porting of digital set-tops and removable CableCARD security modules across different MSO network environments without a bunch of extra integration headaches. (See ADB Touts Tru2way Interoperability.)

The concept, which is supposed to help cable and CE manufacturers develop a retail market for digital TVs and boxes, sounds simple enough, but tru2way in action has so far fallen well short of the ideal. Just try taking a tru2way-based box residing on a Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) network and plugging it into a Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) network. Give us a call when it starts working.

Anyway, ADB, the proud owner of the only box to gain tru2way certification, demonstrated at a recent CableLabs interop event how its 4820C HD "set-back" box (with the company's own tru2way middleware stack) could be ported seamlessly from a system operating the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) digital headend and TWC's tru2way guide to another using the Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) headend and Comcast's tru2way guide. Taking it a step further, it did so by swapping the CableCARD in the box. According to ADB, video from Comcast's lineup was flowing through the box "less than five minutes" after the swap. Hooray!

ADB has a video showing a reenactment of the mean feat -- and nothing exploded!

The caveat, of course, is that this was all done in a relatively controlled environment, but it's an accomplishment worth noting.

Of course, we'll be even more impressed when this sort of thing can be done outside The Matrix (in which humans, at least the special ones, can stop bullets), and accomplished in the harsh environs of cable's "real world."

Oh, and we'll be interested to see if this all holds up when ADB's box is loaded up with middleware from Alticast Corp. or some other supplier. Yep, we want the Moon around here...

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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