The only way to convey what is happening in a tru2way interactive application is to see it. Some of those showed new tru2way hardware - both for cable operators and for consumers. Others showed innovative user interfaces and navigation. Many showed integration with Internet content such as Facebook and Internet databases from companies like Yahoo! and Macrovision.
Tru2way TVs and Set Top Boxes
Panasonic tru2way Plasma TV
Are you ready to buy a new digital TV and don't want a set top box? Would you like to use a single remote to control all the functions of the TV and cable, including interactive TV?
Panasonic has a great solution for you--new plasma TVs with tru2way built in. Ed Kohler, Operations & Integration Specialist, demonstrated Panasonic's tru2way TVs. They're already available wherever Comcast has rolled out tru2way -- four markets now, many more by the middle of the year. Panasonic currently has 42" and 50" models, and is planning more.
ADB tru2way "Set Back" Box
Do you already have a flat-screen TV mounted on a wall? Would like to have tru2way for interactive applications, but don't have shelf space for a normal set top box?
No problem--ADB has a "set back" box for you. Mike Malcy, VP, Marketing & Business Affairs, showed us the ADB box.
Right now the box works only with Sony TVs over 40", and will soon be available at retail along with Sony's TVs. We hope others will be as enthusiastic as we are about this idea--and that boxes like these will become available for other flat-screen TVs.
Panasonic tru2way DVR
Do you already have a flat-screen TV, and have counter space for a tru2way box? Would you like a DVR that looks more like consumer electronics than the typical clunky cable box?
Panasonic would love your cable operator to offer you its new tru2way DVR set top box. Later they might also make it available at retail. Rajesh Khandelwal, Director, Engineering, demonstrated it to us at the show.
User Interface and Service Activation
AMDOCS tru2way Service Activation
Maybe you'd like to add a new cable service, and you don't want to talk with a service rep: you want it now. David Jacobs, VP Product Strategy, OSS Division, AMDOCS demonstrates how an AMDOCS solution can make that feasible.
NDS tru2way Unified User Interface
Would you like your TV to have a single user interface for broadcast TV, cable channels, VOD, DVR recordings, Internet content, VOD and "over the top" Internet video? Take a look at this demo by Dan DeHaan, Principal System Engineer at NDS.
Last year Cox announced it had chosen NDS to implement its next-generation video UI, combining all of Cox's digital video services into one screen and based on middleware over tru2way. Cox recently announced that NDS Professional Services has been selected as the prime integrator for Cox's tru2way system deployment.
Alticast tru2way Electronic Program Guides
As MSOs look for new ways to differentiate themselves, many are seeking better looking, more integrated, easier to use Electronic Program Guides (EPGs). Alticast has firmware to power set tops and DVRs with a variety of EPGs. Jeff Bonin, VP & GM, demonstrated a variety of Alticast-based EPGs on set tops and DVRs. These included a Samsung HD DVR running an EPG from Aptiv Digital which is being run today by Time Warner; a Pace Micro HD DVR running the Guideworks/Comcast EPG; and "Awaken TV"--Alticast's own concepts for an EPG.
Let's Be Social
Integra5 tru2way Media Friends
Social networking applications were high on the hit parade of demonstrations at the Cable Show. Mark Ho, Client Solutions Director, demonstrated how Integra5's Media Friends chat application allows users to invite friends to join them in watching the same program. If friends accept the invitation, they are brought into the same viewing experience and can use their cell phones to chat with one another about the program.
itaas tru2way MPTV Video Sharing
If you're watching TV, itaas has a tru2way social networking application (MPTV) that bridges the gap between your TV set and your friends on Facebook or their cell phones. Reginald Patton, Quality Assurance Manager, demonstrated how video content with a "shareable" indicator is shared with your Facebook friends. You can also send a link in an SMS message to a friend's cell phone by entering their number with the TV remote control.
TAG Networks tru2way Games
Sangita Verma, CEO/Founder of TAG Networks, showed us their games on demand ad-supported channel. It is a tru2way application with an easy to use interface for selecting from a wide variety of games for different demographics. It uses itaas’ Remote Headend Service to avoid the overhead of maintaining their own headend. TAG incorporates community features like high scores and multi-platform interaction across TV, internet and wireless.
Users are encouraged to enter a name, zip and age, and Sangita says 99% of users opt in. Individual users have profiles so that the ads are directed to them, rather than just to their household by zip code. Ad pre and post rolls can't be skipped but are limited to 15 seconds. 42% of players come back every day.
Let's Interact--Responding, Requesting
Zodiac Interactive tru2way Restaurant and Movie Search
Sora Siva, Senior Project Manager, Zodiac Interactive showed off a number of capabilities Zodiac can enable in a tru2way environment. These included searching for restaurants by location, playing games while simultaneously watching a program, and easy ways to find VOD content that matches some criteria like having the same cast members as another movie you liked.
The first video clip includes the restaurant search integrated with Yahoo's Internet database.
The second video shows the movie search integrated with Macrovision's Internet movie database.