May 25, 2011

Looking to the "Cloud" to Build a Better TV Experience


At any given time, Comcast video customers have access to an almost infinite number of viewing choices — from broadcast network programming to hundreds of cable networks, dozens of premium channels, more than 25,000 On Demand choices, recordings on their DVRs and a growing library of online video at Pretty sweet, huh?

While all of this choice has revolutionized the way people watch TV, it's created a fundamental challenge: how do we make it a more personalized experience? It should be easy to discover just the right content, so you can watch what you want, when you want — on your TV, tablet or your computer.

We've made great progress on providing better tools, first on the web, then on tablets and mobile devices, to address this challenge. and our iPad app let you easily search and organize all your entertainment choices in a rich and fun user experience.

Now we want to bring that personalized experience to the television. To make this happen, we've been working on a project we call Xcalibur, where the goal is to take everything we've learned from the web and tablets and bring it right back to your TV screen.

By leveraging IP technology and our own "cloud" servers in our network, we're going to bring you a user experience on television that makes it easier to search and select from tens of thousands of choices and makes the television screen personal, useful and fun. With Xcalibur, your TV will reflect your interests, favorite TV series, sports teams, movies and music.

What's more, because our platform is based on many of the same standards used on the Internet (but travels over our network, not the Internet), we'll be able to bring apps, social media and other popular features to the market faster.

And we're just getting warmed up. As a network-based entertainment experience, the rich TV navigation and services will eventually carry over to many other TV devices including connected TVs and game consoles. That means your preferences, subscriptions, saved programs, parental controls and other personalized selections are always with you, wherever you watch. In January, we demonstrated the first of these partnerships with our announcement of Xfinity on Samsung Connected TV's.

We're beginning to introduce the first product on the Xcalibur platform, starting in Augusta, Georgia with a market trial of Xfinity Spectrum. New customers in Augusta who sign up for our HD DVR service are now getting new, next-gen set top boxes with great new features like:

  • Tens of thousands of video choices available with our Xfinity TV service.

  • An incredibly fast search engine that lets you find anything in our expanded catalog in just seconds — whether it's on TV, On Demand, on your DVR, or in a selection of additional content called "Xfinity Xtras."

  • A more personalized TV experience called MyTV where you can see and access all your recordings, favorites and recommendations in one place.

  • Interactive apps that are easy to access and enhanced for TV, including weather and traffic, Pandora Radio, Facebook photos and your personal feed — specifically designed to allow you to share what you're watching with your social networks.

  • Easy access to other Comcast services like caller ID on the TV.

And this is just the beginning. Xcalibur is a platform for continuous innovation, so we'll keep you updated about how we're using it to revolutionize what it means to watch TV.

Tags : Cloud, DVR, IP technology, Social Media, Strategic Development, Xcalibur, XFINITY TV


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