Comcast, Panasonic Offer Tru2Way Sets
Though is the death of the cable box a little premature?
Back in January, the cable industry announced Tru2way
, a re-imagining of OCAP technology that's intended to integrate set-top box functionality into TVs and other devices. Users would be able to use these devices with any
cable operator, eliminating the need for the set top box. Last summer a huge deal
was made about Sony joining the consortium and killing off the cable box, but this week finds Panasonic announcing that they'll be the first to offer the new HDTV sets. The company says that in concert with Comcast, they'll be offering the new technology in Chicago and Denver
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 as well as at Ultimate Electronics and Circuit City stores in the Denver area.
We'd heard that initial tests weren't going as smoothly as hoped, so it will be interesting to see customer reaction. Panasonic's 42-inch Viera TH-42PZ80Q retails for $1,599.95, while the 50" Viera TH-50PZ80Q retails for $2,299.95. Between Tru2Way and the development of network DVRs (RS-DVRs), there's been a lot of talk about the death of the cable box -- but one gets the sneaking suspicion they'll be sticking around for some time as the kinks get worked out.