Cable360AM — News briefing for Monday, Jan. 7 »
So far, no CableFAX reporters covering the CES show in Vegas have gotten married unexpectedly. Good morning.
Comcast chairman/ CEO Brian Roberts told the Associated Press that top cable operators this year will be rolling out the “tru2way” industry initiative, which will standardize technology and enable consumer electronics companies to make TVs that are compatible with networks belonging to Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox. Today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, CableLabs, the industry’s research consortium, will formally announce that its OpenCable platform has been renamed tru2way. It is hoped that the two-way digital-cable-ready technology will appease the FCC, which has been pushing for two-way compatibility between TVs and other electronics gear, and the cable operators’ various networks.
Today at CES, Panasonic and Comcast are unveiling a portable DVR/DVD player powered by tru2way. The Comcast/Panasonic co-branded AnyPlay portable DVR (P-DVR) will let Comcast customers record programming at home and hit the road with it. The P-DVR will be available beginning in early 2009.
Brian Roberts will be delivering the keynote address at CES tomorrow morning. [Associated Press]
Microsoft’s Bill Gates announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday that NBC Universal, the Walt Disney Co., MGM and Showtime Networks will provide content to his company’s Xbox Live and MSN online services. Microsoft will also manage a website for NBC during its coverage of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Separately, Microsoft announced at CES that its Mediaroom Internet protocol TV platform will reach 1 million subscriber homes in the first quarter of this year. [Wall Street Journal | Reuters]
Production company United Artists made an interim deal with the striking Writers Guild of America West, enabling it to work with writers while the larger holdout continues, the New York Times reports. Other production companies of a similar size, such as the Weinstein Co., are expected to strike interim deals shortly. [New York Times]
The Directors Guild of America will soon begin contract talks with production and media companies, but it’s expected that the guild would be amenable to striking a temporary deal that would buy both sides more time while they figure out the potential of the digital media market, the Wall Street Journal reports. [Wall Street Journal]
Executives at Discovery Communications are hoping that Bindi Irwin, the 9-year-old daughter of the late Steve Irwin, will bring to Discovery Kids success on the magnitude of High School Musical and SpongeBob SquarePants. [New York Times]
In CableFAX Daily: Ovation’s deal for Universal Music’s International Music Feed. Friday’s 360AM.
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