Consumers in Chicago and Denver will be the first in the US to experience Comcast’s video-on-demand without a set-top box.

Panasonic and Comcast today unveiled a tru2way digital cable service for the two cities with additional cities expected to go live in the coming months.

To coincide with the platform launch, Panasonic’s new tru2way VIERA HDTVs will be available in certain retails stores in Chicago and Denver.

The Panasonic HDTVs are built with tru2way technology inside, enabling consumers to access two-way digital cable programming, such as video-on-demand, without a cable operator-supplied set-top box.

Mark Hess, Comcast’s senior vice president of Video Product Development, said tru2way technology was a gateway for customers to experience the next generation of interactive television.

"This common platform also will let us develop an exciting array of interactive services and applications that we can deliver on our advanced fiber network to a variety of consumer electronics devices," he said.

Panasonic had announced at the May 2008 Cable Show that the first tru2way HDTVs would be available for consumer purchase at retail by fall 2008.

Dr Paul Liao, Chief Technology Officer, Panasonic Corporation of North America, said the arrival of the first tru2way HDTVs at retail, combined with Comcast’s activation of its first tru2way head ends, were among the most significant milestones in the cable industry.

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