According to a new report from ABI Research, half of all cable subscribers will use tru2way technology for their cable connection by 2013. Originally named Open Cable Applications Platform (OCAP), tru2way supports interactive television features for cable services. The technology can be built into traditional set top boxes, or can be incorporated directly in television sets. The tru2way technology lets the consumer decide how they want to connect to cable service, and makes it possible to connect to different services without having to purchase new hardware.
According to ABI, tru2way implementation is still hindered by reluctance on the cable companies to accept this new technology, even though it may reduce the costs for set top boxes.
It may well be that ABI’s forecasts are on the optimistic side. Very few TVs are available with tru2way yet, so we’re still a way off from the time when most sets will include this feature. In addition, the typical replacement cycle for TV sets in U.S. households is about 8 to 12 years, though that has been accelerated in recent years with the advent of HDTV and digital broadcasts. So it’s unreasonable to expect many households to replace their new flat panel screens over the next five years. It’s possible that a lot of the tru2way implementations will be in set top boxes, but the cable companies are facing plenty of challenges as it is, so an expensive build-out of new boxes to replace others that are still working just fine does not make a lot of economic sense.
Tru2way is certainly a good idea, but it may take a bit longer than forecast to be adopted widely.