ABI: Industry-political obstacles, interoperability challenges face tru2way
Cable operators are beginning to deploy tru2way set-top boxes (STBs), and by 2013, about half of all U.S. cable subscribers will have a tru2way STB, according to a new ABI Research Brief, entitled “The Outlook for tru2way.” 
But, according to ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson, many industry-political obstacles and interoperability challenges must be overcome along the way.
“Consumer electronics manufacturers have been at odds with the cable industry over tru2way for a long time,” Wilson said. “It’s been a pretty contentious era. Vendors say the implementation is too expensive and that it’s overkill for basic services. They point out that many cable operators aren’t even deploying these systems. The cable operators themselves won’t provide forecasts for tru2way STB deployments. They’re not willing to tell the market (or developers) how many boxes they expect to ship over time.”
According to ABI, interoperability may prove to be the biggest challenge.
“There’s no real interoperability testing, and no industry group focused on making sure that all the devices brought to market will work in all cable systems,” Wilson said. “If applications and devices aren’t portable across cable systems, a retail market will never appear, and operators will continue to carry the burden of STBs.”
The brief examines the motivation behind tru2way and discusses the basic hardware and software requirements, as well as potential issues and pitfalls. It also looks at the actions of industry leaders and offers a forecast for the growth of tru2way clients in the industry, ABI said.
More Broadband Direct:
• Broadband Briefs for 7/01/08