In the first speech ever by a cable industry exec at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show), Brian Roberts of Comcast said something few expected to hear: we no longer need cable boxes.
This came as a side effect of Comcast's new open cable services platform called Tru2way which enables cable service to be integrated directly into a variety of consumer electronics devices. Initial partners include Motorola, TiVo, Intel, Samsung Electronics, Microsoft, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Cisco Systems, and Sun Microsystems.
The Java-based platform with open APIs will allow developers to "write applications once that work across nearly every device and any cable system". Ok, that "build once, run everywhere" mantra has been the Java sound-byte for a decade so forgive me if I inject a grain of salt here, but it sounds like a nice plan anyway...
In theory, a consumer that purchases a Tru2way enabled device could bring it home, plug it in and enjoy all the interactive cable services available from a traditional set-top box. For example, Panasonic is introducing a 42-inch and a 52-inch TV branded with Tru2way that will have cable services built right in, so no cable box is needed, and only one remote is required.
I just hope The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is available on-demand.
(Via CNET News.com.)