Retail tru2way Hits the Marketplace

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Exciting news: Comcast and Panasonic announced today the first retail deployment of tru2way. Specifically, the two companies announced the arrival of the first tru2way VIERA HDTVs at retail outlets in Chicago and Denver and officially declared the tru2way platform active in those two markets.

What this means is that you can buy a tru2way TV set (initially offered in 42-inch class and 50-inch class sizes), get it set up on your Comcast service, and receive  two-way services without a set-top box.

Tru2way technology is being used to create a common software platform that will enable cable companies, consumer electronics companies, content developers, network programmers and others to extend interactivity to the TV set and other kinds of devices. The new Panasonic VIERA HDTVs are built with tru2way technology inside enabling consumers to access two-way digital cable programming, like video on demand, without a cable operator-supplied set-top box. Panasonic and Comcast have worked together to lead the development and deployment of tru2way technology and related products which are based upon specifications developed by CableLabs®, the industry’s research and development arm.

Comcast customers in the Chicago and Denver areas will be the first in the U.S. to have access to tru2way digital cable service with additional cities expected to go live in the coming months. The tru2way VIERA HDTVs will be available in the Chicago area at Abt Electronics in Glenview and at Circuit City locations and at Ultimate Electronics and Circuit City stores in the Denver area.

Let’s step back in time to January. I wrote about the launch of the tru2way brand and Panasonic & Comcast’s announcement of tru2way products. In May, I posted a video introduction to tru2way, shot at the CableNET exhibit during The Cable Show. in June, I posted about CableCARDs and tru2way and how those two technologies differ and overlap.