Comcast Bows Xfinity TV iPad App15 Nov, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Comcast Communications Nov. 15 unveiled an app that allows subscribers to watch repurposed TV shows and movies directly on the Apple iPad.
The app, which doubles as a virtual remote control, will be available this week on the iTunes Store and is free to Comcast subscribers. It enables users to change TV channels from the iPad, program their DVRs and search, categorize and watch movies and premium cable shows on the TV, through VOD, online or on the iPad.
Xfinity TV is Comcast's version of "TV Everywhere," a marketing effort by media companies and multiservice operators to retain monthly subscribers thought to be possibly opting for alternative entertainment options through the Internet.
Indeed, most cable and satellite operators have reported declines in basic video subscribers this year, largely due to the economy.
Initially, the No. 1 cable operator will offer TV shows and movies from pay-TV channels. In the coming weeks, the app will expand its content and functionality through a series of regular development updates.
“The remote control hasn’t changed in years,” said Neil Smit, president of Comcast. “This Xfinity TV app is part of a much larger effort to reinvent the way consumers interact with their televisions by transforming the way they search, navigate, discover and share entertainment.”
The launch on iTunes is the first in a series of scheduled app releases Comcast’s development team will deliver for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Comcast will launch several Android apps this year and also plans to offer apps with similar functionality on as many different devices as possible, including BlackBerry and other smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs.