There wasn't a booth on the floor that didn't have something to do with tru2way on display. The Weather Channel had interactive weather information, Panasonic was proudly displaying its new tru2way enabled TVs, HD DVR and a portable DVR, and various software companies had everything from games to home automation applications. The only real question that we left with was when? Time Warner Cable started supporting tru2way almost a year ago and today it's supported in 40% of their markets. Comcast is a little further behind, and has only currently deployed what it calls OnRamp, which is a subset of tru2way and is what the Comcast TiVo experience is deployed with. But Comcast does -- optimistically -- expect to have 95% of its market tru2way ready by the end of 2008.
This should be just in time for manufactures like Samsung, LG, and Panasonic to get their consumer tru2way products to market -- which they say will be available by Christmas '08. All this of this sounds great and all, but we're afraid that the cable industry's desire to control tru2way applications will effectively create a walled garden and will keep anything cool from ever making it to market. And while at the same time we're glad that companies like TiVo and Microsoft will have a way to access our cable company's VOD and other interactive services, we still can't help but wish there was a way for us to use our interface of choice instead of being forced to depend on an oligopoly to choose our software.