Yesterday, National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) President and CEO Kyle McSlarrow sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in regard to Verizon’s previously stated claim that cable’s tru2way platform was incompatible with its fiber-optic architecture.
On July 31, Verizon sent a letter to the FCC that advocated a platform-agnostic approach to interactive video instead of using tru2way. Verizon has said that tru2way doesn’t mesh with its fiber-optic FiOS network, and it has proposed using a universal interface, such as Ethernet, instead of tru2way.
McSlarrow’s letter yesterday agreed with the use of Ethernet as an interface but also said that tru2way digital TVs (DTVs), which are being developed by Samsung and Panasonic, will still work with other service providers’ platforms.
“Verizon suggests that DTVs that include the tru2way technology will be ‘incompatible’ with competitive alternatives to traditional cable, including IP-delivered video, and that the use of tru2way technology would somehow impede innovation. This is not correct,” McSlarrow’s letter said. “Each of the competing MVPDs (multi-channel video programming distributors) chose and developed their own differentiated technologies for handling services, but tru2way DTVs will work with each of them. Just as DTVs do today, tru2way DTVs will work with a competing provider’s service if the DTV is connected to a provider’s set-top box – that is, a DirecTV set-top for DirecTV service, a Verizon set-top with Verizon service, or an AT&T set-top for AT&T service.
“Consumer electronics manufacturers are also completely free to put connections on their tru2way DTVs and set-top boxes so those devices can access Internet video, and no cable license stands in the way. Tru2way specifically protects innovation in networks, devices, services and other applications.”
As further evidence of tru2way’s abilities, McSlarrow pointed out that the tru2way technology is part of the same Java-based technology used in video systems in Europe and Japan, Blu-Ray Disc, and many cell phones and other devices throughout the world.
In June, CableLabs CEO Dick Green offered the use of tru2way to telcos during his keynote address at NXTcomm08 (story here).
Tru2way – the consumer name for the OpenCable Platform, which was incarnated in 1997 as the OpenCable Applications Platform – was designed to allow interactive, two-way applications to be provisioned to customers’ set-top boxes or TVs by using Java APIs. Tru2way also creates a national footprint for the creators of interactive services to develop products that work on cable systems in nearly every U.S. market.
OCAP was based on the European Globally Executable Multimedia Home Platform, which has been deployed across Europe and other countries.
Major cable operators – including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision, Charter and Bright House Networks – have committed to support the tru2way platform on systems covering more than 90 million U.S. homes by the end of this year.
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