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Created 12/4/2008

Broadband Library: Two Sides to Every Story: Fall 2008 (September)

Broadband Library is distributed quarterly to all members of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE). Beginning in early 2007, our column "Two Sides to Every Story" has used opposing pages to present contrasting viewpoints on a cable/telecom industry topic.

Our column in the Fall 2008 issue is focused on tru2way--a "virtual cable box" that can be embedded in consumer electronics equipment.

In Make tru2way a Truly Open Platform, Sandy says "tru2way is a great step forward in cable's evolution." It "opens up the set-top business for consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers" and "could be the cable industry's best tool in maintaining its position as the preeminent source for video services." But she feels the cable industry isn't moving fast enough "to open up the tru2way platform to encourage the development of innovative applications." Saying that the industry seems "focused far more on its own traditional services than on innovation," she recommends a stronger focus on third-party applications, "developing a fast path for including them in the tru2way platform."

In Not So Fast, People Want Reliable TV, Dave says "it is hard for the cable industry to move quickly to open up the tru2way environment." He argues that tru2way is a very complex environment "with multiple applications running simultaneously...and competing for processor and memory resources." Because these applications "could interfere with the TV picture," he says "operators will want to test these applications very carefully." He says "'walk before you run' would seem to be a prudent tru2way approach for cable operators. First priority must be given to the 'core' applications that enable the TV viewing experience." Innovative applications will have to wait until later.

Next: Our column in the Summer 2008 issue looks back at the past 25 years and debates how technology advances have made our lives both better and more difficult.