Tru2way is a brand name for interactive digital cable services delivered over the cable video network, for example interactive program guides, interactive ads, games, chat, web browsing, and t-commerce. The brand also appears as “<tru2way>” and is used to market cable services, applications, and devices that support the tru2way cable architecture. Tru2way is the successor, consumer-focused, name for technology known as OpenCable. Major cable operators committed to deploy support for the tru2way platform in service areas covering more than 90 million U.S. homes by the end of 2008.
In 2010, the FCC issued a notice of inquiry for a successor system to both tru2way and CableCARD, called AllVid, and has stated "We are not convinced that the tru2way solution will assure the development of a commercial retail market as directed by Congress."
A cable television subscriber who has a digital television (DTV) that supports Tru2way and has a CableCard port (for the decryption codes), will be able to enjoy all of the features of the cable provider's leased set-top box (STB), without the STB. The DTV Tru2way compatibility combines the interactive features of the separate STB into the television, eliminating the STB and its remote control.
CableLabs, the industry’s research and development arm, licenses the brand to cable companies and cable programmers that deliver tru2way applications and services, as well as consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers that build devices that support such applications and services. Use of the mark on CE devices requires CableLabs certification testing for conformance to the tru2way specifications (also known as the OpenCable Host 2.1 Specifications).
Tru2way includes a middleware technology that may be built into televisions, set-top boxes, digital video recorders and other devices. Because the middleware is based on Java technology, it enables cable companies and other interactive application developers to “write” applications once and see them run successfully on any device that supports the tru2way architecture. With Tru2way technology, consumers can access interactive digital cable programming, including video-on-demand and pay-per-view content, without the need for a cable operator-supplied set-top box.
The Tru2way technology is capable of supporting all cable services now delivered to consumers via leased set top boxes, as well as future services written to the Tru2way platform.
In 2003, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted unidirectional (from the cable system to the customer device) CableCARD standards based on a MOU between the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The FCC assumed that the NCTA and CES would negotiate another agreement to achieve bidirectional compatibilities, such as interactive programming guides, video-on-demand and pay-per-view, since retail CableCARD-ready devices are unable to access such systems, but after the FCC realized they weren't leading to an agreement, they issued the Two-Way FNPRM in June 2007 seeking comment on competing proposals. In the wake of the Two-Way FNPRM, the six largest cable operators and numerous consumer electronics manufacturers negotiated an agreement based on CableCARD called tru2way in 2008. In the FCC's 2010 AllVid notice of inquiry, the FCC stated "We are not convinced that the tru2way solution will assure the development of a commercial retail market as directed by Congress."
Panasonic and Comcast announced a Tru2way trial to begin 27 October 2008 in greater Chicago, Denver, Northern Colorado and Colorado Springs. Abt Electronics and Ultimate Electronics will offer a choice of 42" and 50" Panasonic Plasma televisions using Tru2way in these Comcast cable systems. These televisions went on sale for consumer purchase on 27 October 2008, but had to be installed professionally by the retailers' installation group.
In June 2008, six major cable companies had signed a "binding" memorandum of understanding (MOU) to have all of their digital cable systems ready for Tru2way by July 1, 2009. However, none of the cable systems that signed the agreement were ready to implement Tru2way.
In October 2009, Rogers, one of Canada's largest cable television providers, stated they were not interested in the Tru2way platform because it is not based on open standards. Rogers stated they are considering a more Internet-oriented interactive platform.
As of July 2010, Panasonic, the sole device manufacturer producing Tru2way compatible televisions, has stated that they will no longer sell Tru2way compatible televisions. Thus at this point there are no television sets with built-in Tru2Way compatibility being sold. The only alternative is to use Set-Back Boxes such as the ADB-4820C.
- AllVid Notice of Inquiry, p.5, 25 FCC Rcd 4279 (adopted April 21, 2010)
- 25 FCC Rcd 14657, 14659 (adopted October 14, 2010)
- 25 FCC Rcd 14661 (adopted October 14, 2010)
- Two-Way FNPRM, 22 FCC Rcd 12024 (adopted June 27, 2007)
- MSOs to Miss Tru2way Date
- Cable-Tec Expo 2009: Rogers Not Sold On Tru2way
- Samsung Introduces Tru2Way Service to Canada
- Panasonic Stops Selling Tru2way HDTVs