The process of developing a retail set-top market based on tru2way (aka OCAP) technology has once again devolved into farce as the one consumer electronics manufacturer that has actually integrated tru2way into a TV – Panasonic – acknowledged it will no longer make those models.
"We currently have no tru2way products at retail, and there are no announced release dates for Panasonic tru2way retail products at this time," Panasonic said in a statement to Multichannel News.
While a few headlines have trumpeted the "death" of tru2way, that seems to be a bit of hyperbole. Cox Communications has based its new program guide and its multi-room DVR service on tru2way. NDS, the company that helped Cox accomplish this, was recently hired by Comcast for a tru2way project.
What might be dead is the notion of a retail market for TVs that obviate set-tops. Although several of Panasonic's competitors, including Sony and Samsung, have developed tru2way TV designs, no one other than Panasonic has ever marketed a product, and none are announced to be commercialized.
That said, even Panasonic hasn't given up on tru2way entirely. The company has shown a tru2way set-top box (as a practical matter, it's a set-back box, but still), and it told Multichannel it may yet bring that to market. Other CE makers may do likewise.