Comcast App Now Allows Video Downloads to Mobile Devices for On-The-Go ViewingThursday, December 13, 2012, 6:28 PM ET|
Comcast has announced that Xfinity TV subscribers who use the Xfinity TV Player app on their Android and iOS mobile devices can now download certain TV shows and movies, so they can watch when they're not connected to a broadband network. The download option closely mirrors TiVo's recently announced "Stream" device, which also allows downloading.
As I wrote in my review of TiVo Stream, I think the offline viewing use case is a killer app. Despite the proliferation of 4G services, the reality is there are still plenty of times when connectivity is sub-par or non-existent, particularly in transit situations (e.g. airplanes, cars, trains, etc.). Further, the elimination of unlimited data plans by wireless carriers makes streaming long-form content prohibitively expensive. As a result, the download option is very attractive, especially for travelers.
Categories: Cable TV Operators, Devices
Topics: Comcast, TiVo, Xfinity
Comcast SVP Matt Strauss Explains X1: "We Believe in Unification of Experiences Across Devices" [VIDEO]Thursday, May 24, 2012, 9:26 AM ET|
Comcast made a very big splash at the Cable Show this week, officially announcing "X1" a new web-like TV platform and user experience it has been developing for the past 2 years, along with "Dayview" a console for customers to manage all of their Comcast services.
In this video interview, Matt Strauss, Comcast's SVP, Digital and Emerging Platforms, explains the company's strategy behind these initiatives and why it believes in unification of experiences across devices (TV, online, mobile) is so important. X1 is a major step forward for Comcast as it provides a platform where product/feature cycles are dramatically accelerated from the traditionally cumbersome process of dealing with set-top boxes. X1 is scheduled for release in the Boston area shortly, with a nationwide rollout to follow. As you'll see in the demos, the experience is quite slick and sets a new standard for pay-TV operators.
In the wide-ranging interview, we also discuss how TV Everywhere rollouts are progressing (and the key challenges that persist), Comcast's new C3 measurement project for tablets with Nielsen, how Comcast views the role of programmers' own apps (e.g. HBO GO, WatchESPN) vs. its own XfinityTV app and how it decides which connected devices to support, among other topics. Watch the interview and demo (17 minutes, 22 seconds).
Categories: Cable TV Operators, Devices, Technology
Comcast Rolls Out 105 Mbps Tier; Is This a Glimpse of the Future?Thursday, April 14, 2011, 10:44 AM ET|Comcast is officially rolling out 105 Mbps residential broadband Internet service this morning, dubbed "Extreme 105 Xfinity Internet." The service is available to more than 40 million homes in the U.S. and also features 10 Mbps upstream speed. Initial promotional pricing is $105/mo when bundled with triple play (voice, video, Internet) or $200/mo standalone. Comcast told me that post-promotion pricing hasn't been determined yet, with various price points being tested.
With Extreme 105, Comcast becomes the latest broadband ISP to introduce speedier tiers for higher monthly fees. Although I haven't seen any research yet that breaks down how many broadband subscribers have migrated to these premium tiers, for now the amount is probably relatively small. However, that could change fast, as an extremely interesting substitution dynamic between video service and broadband service starts to take hold.
Categories: Broadband ISPs
Rovi Unveils TotalGuide xD Guide for Mobile DevicesWednesday, March 2, 2011, 9:58 AM ET|Rovi is unveiling TotalGuide xD this morning, a white label solution for cable operators to deliver interactive program guides to mobile devices. I got a demo of the new service last week from Sharon Metz, Rovi's VP of Vertical Markets and Chris Lee, TotalGuide xD's product manager.
With TotalGuide xD, Rovi recognizes that cable operators will need to offer guidance to their wealth of programming choices on mobile devices that consumers increasingly rely upon to manage their busy lives. TotalGuide xD allows users to search for programs or browse a grid directory, discover programs using recommendations from a "six-degrees" feature reminiscent of sites like IMDb, share and receive recommendations from friends via Facebook, Twitter and email, schedule DVR recordings and manage their user profiles across devices.
Categories: Cable TV Operators, Video Search
Topics: Comcast, Rovi, Xfinity
Comcast To Offer Live, VOD Access on TabletsWednesday, January 5, 2011, 12:41 PM ET|Comcast is announcing this morning that it will allow subscribers to stream live programs to their iPads or Android tablets later this year (no definite time disclosed). While the caveat is that only in-home usage will only be permitted, the benefits are still meaningful. For instance, subscribers who were paying for (or considering paying for) additional outlets in 2nd and 3rd rooms, which are only casually used, could now save money by not taking service in those rooms and using their iPads instead.
Further, subscribers can now watch in rooms that possibly didn't even have a TV. I'm familiar with this example, as I've used my iPad to watch Netflix content in various areas of my house that don't have TVs or cable service. Presumably the roadmap calls for out-of-home viewing as well, giving it full Sling-like benefits (at no additional cost). That would provide even more value to tablet owners.
Categories: Cable TV Operators, Devices, Mobile Video, Video On Demand
Topics: Android, Comcast, iPad, Xfinity
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