As content owners brace for a more interactive and robust platforms on cable systems based on the industry’s “tru2way” spec, ABI Research today predicted that half of U.S. cable subs will have tru2way-enabled set tops by 2013. But that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing on the road to content Nirvana. After all, tru2way won out after a contentious fight with the consumer electronics industry, which had been pushing for its own DCR-plus platform. The 2 sides have largely reconciled, with Sony, Panasonic and several other big players already agreeing to build tru2way boxes. However, ABI’s prediction of 50% penetration hinges largely on how well the cable industry and CE makers can work together—all while content producers try to make plans for what to do with the platform, and when. And despite efforts by CableLabs to certify tru2way boxes, ABI principal analyst Steve Wilson argues that interoperability testing is still inadequate, noting that “if applications and devices aren’t portable across cable systems, a retail market will never appear.” For content owners anxious to offer interactive advertising, polling via the remote control and other cool features, that interoperability will be key. After all, networks certainly don’t want viewers in certain cable systems (or using certain set tops) to face glitches while trying to vote for the next reality-TV winner. At the same time, the creative minds at the nets want to stay focused on making great shows—not worrying about technology hazards.

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Cable TV Pioneers Induction Friday

Set your alarm for 9pm ET Friday. That’s when C-SPAN 3 and C-SPAN.org will televise the induction of the 54th annual Cable TV Pioneers Gala.

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