LG, Funai Ride On Cable's Two-Way Street


LG Electronics and Funai Electric are the latest announced consumer-electronics firms to sign a memorandum of understanding with the six biggest MSOs to use CableLab’s tru2way technology for interactive applications.

LG, for one, has been a long-time supporter of the CableLabs-developed two-way technology, previously referred to as the OpenCable Application Platform. Funai trades products in the United States under the brand names Philips, Magnavox, Sylvania, and Emerson.

The MOU guarantees that five of the operators — Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks — will support tru2way in 100% of their systems by July 2009. Charter Communications will do so by July 2010.

CE manufacturers are allowed more flexibility in certifying their products for tru2way, but are restricted in how they use on-screen real-estate under the MOU.

The cable industry has lobbied the Federal Communications Commission to accept the tru2way technology as meeting the government’s requirement for providing open access to interactive video applications, such as video-on-demand and switched digital video.

The six cable companies in May signed a landmark agreement with Sony Electronics, which had previously rejected cable’s two-way technology. Panasonic, Samsung Electronics, Advanced Digital Broadcast, Digeo and Intel followed suit

LG president and chief technology officer Woo Paik said in a statement, "This pro-consumer pact means that LG tru2way HDTVs planned for 2009 and beyond will receive the newest interactive cable services, from video on demand to interactive programming guides, in virtually every media market and without a set-top box. Equally significant, it will facilitate the development of a viable, two-way retail market.”