Comcast Rolling Out Cloud-Based Xfinity TV22 May, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
New X1 platform and remote control allow cable subscribers to access cloud-based content with social media functionality
Comcast is launching an updated version of its Xfinity TV platform that allows subscribers to access content from a cloud-based platform while at the same time transforming TV viewing into an interactive experience.
Announced at a cable confab in Boston, Comcast is rolling out Xfinity TV on the X1 (formerly Xcalibur) platform in the Boston area, followed by launches in several other major markets this year.
The X1 platform incorporates IP technology, using cloud servers on Comcast’s network that allow Comcast to integrate interactive, customized apps and social media features with its traditional video services. Specifically, the main screen offers a new user interface with virtual keyboard that integrates a customer’s video experiences and enables one-click access to a display of entertainment options.
Users can search for content, including recommendations, with the ability to find entertainment content from TV listings, DVR recordings and on demand. It comes equipped with a new hybrid DVR set-top box with IP capabilities that delivers a personalized TV viewing experience as well as an enhanced remote control that offers greater responsiveness and does not require a line-of-sight connection to the set-top-box.
“X1 … essentially transform[s] our video product from a hardware experience to a software experience, allowing us to innovate faster and more aggressively,” said Marcien Jenckes, SVP and GM of video services for Comcast.
Separately, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Cox Communications announced at the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. confab in Boston they are partnering to launch a nationwide wireless initiative aimed at providing Wi-Fi connectivity to subscribers in public hot spot areas not served by their Internet service provider (ISP).
The cable operators collectively operate more than 50,000 hot spots across the country.