Tru2way Screwed2way?

For cable aficionados following the development of tru2way, it’s been a hectic week. On Tuesday, IP Democracy broke a story that the first certification test of the technology was “a disaster of spectacular proportions.”

Tru2way is a Java-based open platform for developing interactive applications for cable TV. One of its big selling points is that it will be baked right into TV sets and other CE devices, eliminating the need for a set-top box. Sony recently signed on to adopt the technology, and it was subsequently given official endorsements from licensees including Panasonic, Samsung and others.

But according to IP Democracy, Panasonic’s tru2way TV sets flunked the certification test. Like, really flunked. Like, may-not-be-ready-for-the-holiday-season flunked.

CNET followed up on the story, but got a “no comment” from Panasonic and as well as a statement from CableLabs, the R&D consortium for the cable industry, basically saying it doesn’t comment on test results and people shouldn’t panic. The full statement also appears as a comment on the original IP Democracy story; here’s an excerpt:

CableLabs conducts multiple test waves throughout the year in order to accommodate additional testing. Panasonic has entered an upcoming certification wave, which provides ample time for products to reach the marketplace to meet the company’s rollout schedule. Other tru2way products, including products from Samsung and ADB have already been Certified by CableLabs.

Someone claiming to be Alana from Comcast added a statement in the IP Democracy comments as well, expressing confidence (ostensibly on behalf of the company) that tru2way is still on track to be in retail stores later this year. And Multichannel News cites a Panasonic rep as saying that it still expects to have tru2way sets available in time for the holiday season.

With everyone keeping mum on the details, all we can do is speculate. As with so many things, the answer probably lies somewhere in between “disaster” and “everything’s fine.” But if Panasonic’s tru2way TV sets flunked that badly and they’re still committed to getting them to stores shelves by the time the holidays roll around, I think I’ll pass on the first generation of their device.