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Finally a Tru2Way Installation Report

November 9, 2009

I noticed that Engadget HD recently expressed some skepticism regarding whether anyone has actually used Tru2Way on any of the Panasonic TVs that offer it. I can report that at my suggestion my mother-in-law (who lives in a suburb just outside of Chicago served by Comcast) purchased such a TV (the TH-50PZ80Q – a 50” plasma) and had the Tru2Way cablecard install done two days ago.

Having completed the installation of the related receiver (Onkyo HT-RC160), speakers and Blu-Ray player (LG BD 390) myself a day later, I can report that the Tru2Way feature works well. It saves the hassle of dealing with a cable box and delivers and experience virtually identical to having a cable box. Most importantly, this includes on-demand programming and a nice program guide.

I have used Media Center for our house for the past four years (and had one of the first CableCard Media Center Center PCs in existence) so these features actually seemed novel to me. (Not that I would prefer them to Media Center!)

Two key notes:

First, the install actually took the Comcast technician about five hours for some reason. It was clearly a learning experience for everyone involved on the Comcast side, In fact at one point during the install, I received a report that for some reason on-demand was not working. That evidently got addressed before the tech left.

Second, the big advantage of Tru2Way in her house will come with the next two TVs that will be installed in secondary locations (a study and bedroom) where there will be no equipment besides the TV itself (which will just be hung on the wall). In those locations it will be nice to get the features of a cable box without having to find space for one (especially given that there is no good space for one in these locations—at least none that is consistent with the clean aesthetics of just a wall mounted flat screen TV with no associated equipment. In these locations, the on-demand feature will make up for the fact that there won’t be a DVR attached.


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