Comcast, the United States' largest cable operator, says the set-top box's days are numbered.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday, CEO Brian Roberts predicted in a keynote address that by the end of the year, "virtually the entire cable industry will support Tru2way," an "open cable" standard that would render the bulky boxes moot by directly integrating any U.S. cable provider's service with a variety of devices. Initial partners in the Tru2way endeavor include Motorola, TiVo
, Intel, Samsung
Electronics, Microsoft, LG Electronics, Cisco Systems, and Sun Microsystems.
Roberts also showed off a device, unveiled on Monday, that Comcast has co-branded with another partner, Matsu************a Electric Industrial unit Panasonic
. The AnyPlay, which has an 8.5-inch display screen, can record up to 60 hours of video, and it plays DVDs and CDs. It is slated to begin selling in the United States later this year.