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Time Warner Cable to Test Cloud-Based Video Guide

11 Jun, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

No. 2 cable operaor to test Netflix-like video control and user interface

Time Warner Cable reportedly will test a cloud-based video control guide in New York, Los Angeles and Syracuse, N.Y., beginning in September.

TWC will test the video guide with its high-end Signature Home subscribers, who pay $200 a month for premium TV channels, broadband Internet service, multiple DVRs and landline telecommunication functionality, COO Rob Marcus told Bloomberg in an interview.

The No. 2 cable operator with 12 million video subscribers is following multichannel video program distribution leader, Comcast, in rolling out a more intuitive, user-friendly video control — the kind originally introduced by TiVo and made famous by Netflix, HBO Go and Hulu.

For years, a common complaint about cable (and satellite TV) has been the user control, which made locating on-demand programming difficult with no recommendation functionality.

Comcast has been rolling out its Xfinity X1 broadband platform, which includes a search engine, recommendations, viewing history, voice commands and remote access via smartphone, among other features.

In a June 11 presentation at The Cable Show in Washington, D.C., Comcast CEO Brian Roberts unveiled X2, a cloud-based user guide available later this year.

The next generation of the X1 Platform claims to be smarter and faster, providing more personalized recommendations on multiple screens, enabling subscribers to access “customized TV” on a TV, smartphone, tablet or PC. It is designed to integrate live and on-demand programming, Web content, home control and apps in one user interface. Comcast is also adding Web content to the X1 platform.

“The X1 Platform is an incredible example of what’s possible with cloud innovation,” CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. “With the introduction of Web-based content to the platform today, and the promise of a faster and more integrated experience with X2, we’re adding more functionality to each screen in a customer’s home, and transforming our video product into a complete entertainment operating system.”

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