Comment of the Day: Death to tru2way?

Dave Zatz —  September 16, 2009 — 11 Comments

death-to-tru2way

I’ve always held a somewhat skeptical view of the industry’s bold OCAP and tru2way proclamations. Which is why I find Glenn’s recent comment notable:

Given how poorly this worked, I’d be starting to tone the death knell for OCAP/tru2way at this point. The cable industry missed the self-imposed July 1 deadline, and by quite a bit at this point. Given that I don’t see any more tru2way ready TVs coming out this Christmas do you? I assume the electronics giants are going to start renegging on their end as well. And with that tru2way will die a well deserved death. The bad news is that this will also mean the rumored Tivo Series 4 won’t be coming to a retailer near you any time soon either, and we’ll all be stuck with these stupid rebooting tuning adapters for the forseeable future. I think the whole cable industry is going to be overwhelmed by the coming “Over the Top” video revolution myself.

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11 responses to Comment of the Day: Death to tru2way?

  1. I don’t think tru2way’s going anywhere. But this promised broad support from all corners (ie: retail consumer electronics) and a truly open platform are unlikely to materialize any time soon. Surely not this year.

  2. Tivo is probably too busy suing other companies to work on a Series 4 anyway.

  3. I with you on this one Dave, but we will know 100% at CES this year. If no manufactures are showing tru2way except Samsung and Panasonic, then we know it is dead.

    Then we get to see what the FCC does about it. With any luck we will get DCR+ but I’m not holding my breath.

  4. Whenever someone mentions the phrase “over the top”, all I can envision is a sleeveless flannel shirt and the slow rotation of a trucker cap to indicate a serious determination.

  5. Cablelabs is where initiatives go to die (remember CableHome anyone?). Whether the doctor’s officially pronounced the patient dead or not doesn’t matter – there’s no pulse left.

  6. Hey it took many years of missed deadlines for the cablecard to come out. If they are true to form you can expect tru2way to arrive in mid 2011 – 2013.

  7. Wow we have a Comcast guy stop by and ask us why we didn’t have cable about 2 months ago. We stated that we had u-verse as our provider. His comback was the Comcast was going to get more applications and content and that they would be better than what AT&T offers with u-verse. I assumed he was talking about tru2way which I had been reading about. I guess Comcast is going to have to change their sales pitch in the field now.

  8. meh – did anyone really expect Tru2way would be out in early 2010. I did not and think it is still on its internal schedule – just like cable cards are.

    Alos the hardware for tru2way is pretty straightforward. No one needs to wait around for the cable company to implement if they want to put hardware out – but for items like TVs that are competing on price it is hard to add hardware with nothing to show for it.

    so it becomes chicken and egg. I am still confident we will see tru2way stuff come out IN 2010 and start being viable in 2011. Now whether it takes hold in the homes of consumers I am not so sure about.

  9. “No one needs to wait around for the cable company to implement if they want to put hardware out”

    I don’t know about that… For the longest time DVR specs for retail tru2way DVRs were not completed or provided. Who knows what the current situation is. And then there’s the whole CableLabs certification – although maybe self cert lowers the price and speeds the process up. I do agree it’s a chicken and egg sort of situation, but the cable company is still the gatekeeper. And we’re waiting on all those headends to be updated. Of course, much of the original pitch was create and install any apps. But you know our providers aren’t going to allow a Windows model, or even a more locked down iPhone app model any time soon.

    “did anyone really expect Tru2way would be out in early 2010.”

    Panasonic released tru2way televisions last fall, and I did assume we’d have made some progress a year later.

  10. tru2way has taken much longer than most had expected/hoped, but it’s far from dead. For one thing, what’s there to replace it? The changeover to support tru2way is massive, given how entrenched the Motorola / SA duopoly has been. Time Warner Cable is now almost 100% tru2way on new deployments (approaching 3M total). Comcast and the others are well behind, but continue to move in that direction. As far as new retail tru2way devices, I don’t expect to see many for another year, as the cable operators simply haven’t put enough of them out and it’s a chicken/egg situation.

    Regarding “CableLabs being where projects go to die”, it seems to me that DOCSIS has been pretty damn successful. as have many other specs and technologies which may not be sexy or visible but still make the whole system work.

  11. @Bill – DOCSIS worked because at the time it was originated, we needed a national broadband standard for cable while at the cable MSOs were willing to invest. However, the same model that worked for DOCSIS hasn’t worked for CableHome (which has essentially failed).

    As for OpenCable/Tru2way- we’ve been hearing about OpenCable for a decade (http://www.opencable.com/downloads/clips-CCity.txt ) and look where we are. Sure there will be lots of Tru2Way boxes out there (and even more EBIF boxes), but how many non-set top CE devices? The big push at CES 2008 was around Panasonic and Sony adopting Tru2way, not about another Motorola set top.

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