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The Roadmap for Tru2way

comcast-tru2way-2009-applications-cable-show-panel

Interactive TV got a bad name back in the nineties when poor execution (and financial meltdowns) took all of the momentum out of the iTV movement. So some people are quite reasonably skeptical when the topic of interactive television comes up today. Fortunately the environment – from technology standards to market competition – has changed radically. As one of the execs on yesterday’s interactive TV panel put it: It looks “real” this time.

With EBIF and tru2way rollouts happening now, interactive TV is only one part of the enhanced television game. Updated program guides are top of the list on operators’ tru2way agenda (Comcast’s Mark Hess called it “job 1″), and, as we finally confirmed late Tuesday, Time Warner Cable has partnered with Motorola to bring out multiroom or whole-home DVR using the tru2way platform.

In addition, the retail market is poised and ready to bring out new tru2way devices to plug into the cable networks. Comcast’s Hess laid out some of the challenges ahead, including the chicken-and-egg problem of which comes first: the network, the apps, or the hardware? However, he also predicted that more retail tru2way devices will filter out later this year, with CES 2010 set up to be a major showcase for new tru2way product launches.

Perhaps the right term for the industry’s attitude now is cautiously optimistic. Everyone is quick to do a reality check when the hype gets a little too loud, but at the same time, there is real excitement about the potential for enhanced television on this go-around. It really does look “real” this time.

8 Responses

  1. “Updated program guides are top of the list on operators’ tru2way agenda (Comcast’s Mark Hess called it “job 1″)”

    Man I hope Mr. Hess is serious. I’m really really sick of the very limited, very 1990’s iGuide user interface on my Comcast DVR!

  2. Matt,

    I’m glad I’m not the only one! I get jealous when I see the GUI on my little hand held IPhone and how much better that is than the one on the big gigantic cable box.

    Fios, UVerse, Moxi, Tivo, Boxee, Vista Media Center, etc… Everything trumps IGuide 110%.

    Can’t wait till they ditch that junk. These boxes can do much better.

  3. I know the stuff FIOS and U-Verse can do is drool worthy.

    What really ticks me off is that the same vendor that supplies the iGuide (Gemstar/Macrovision) has a much nicer, more modern, replacement environment called Passport that has been available for years! Cox seems to have adopted it back in 2007. So come on Comcast …you’re the largest MSO around!

    http://www.macrovision.com/products/service_providers/ipg_so/passport.htm

    The True2Way version of Passport is even slicker:

    http://www.macrovision.com/products/service_providers/ipg_so/passport_tru2way.htm

  4. Matt- Without a doubt the applications are available. I really do think things will start to change later this year- not with tru2way, but EBIF. And yes, I’ve seen the Macrovision stuff too, and in fact talked to their guys yesterday on the show floor. I’ll try to get a post up on it next week.

  5. cool, thanks Mari!

  6. […] The Roadmap for Tru2way With tru2way rollouts happening now, interactive TV is only one part of the enhanced television game. Updated program guides are top of the list on operators’ tru2way agenda – Comcast’s Mark Hess called it “job 1″. […]

  7. […] as tru2way held the spotlight at The Cable Show this year, EBIF was equally present, and perhaps even more top of mind for MSOs. […]

  8. […] – missed or not – isn’t a huge deal. But look for a big retail tru2way push at CES 2010. Tweet This!Share this on FacebookShare this on LinkedinShare this on del.icio.usShare this on […]

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