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Comcast X1 Set-Top Goes to Canada

11 Jan, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel


U.S. cabler licenses cloud-based technology to Shaw Communications


Comcast Cable has almost 50% domestic penetration for its cloud-based X1 set-top box. Now, the technology is going to Canada — it’s first international deployment.

Pay-TV operator Shaw Communications Jan. 11 unveiled BlueSky TV, a new set-top device using X1 technology, including voice-activated remote and advanced search functionality.

Customers can use the remote to search for content by actor, genre or even movie quote. Viewers looking for recommendations can ask, “What’s trending?” to activate a database of content selections and what’s trending on social media.

BlueSky TV is available for customers in Calgary, and will launch in additional markets within the coming months.

“X1 has given Comcast customers [in the U.S.] a completely different video and entertainment experience,” Tony Werner, president of technology and product for Comcast Cable, said in a statement. “We’ve seen a tremendous response … in the U.S. and we’re excited Shaw’s customers will soon experience the same game-changing TV platform.”

Shaw, along with Rogers Communications, is attempting to bridge the divide with burgeoning online TV platforms by licensing third-party technology, thereby circumventing the expense of creating a proprietary network.

“We are proud to be the first in Canada to pioneer Comcast’s ground-breaking technology and to be their first international partner,” said Shaw CEO Brad Shaw.

Shaw ended its most-recent fiscal period with more than 2.4 million cable/satellite subscribers, which is down from around 2.5 million during the previous-year period.
 


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