Light Reading

Comcast's TV Everywhere Play Breaks Out of Beta

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
10/26/2010
50%
50%

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s Web-based Xfinity TV service emerged from beta this week touting a hybrid model of subscription streaming and download rental/own from the Xfinity store that shows shades of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX)'s Watch Instantly offering and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iTunes.

The new service, still confined to PCs (the MSO has not disclosed when Xfinity TV will be available on mobile phones and iPads), is starting off with 150,000 video "choices." That figure includes about 50,000 movies and TV shows that are available for streaming, renting, or purchasing, according to a Comcast spokeswoman. About 90 programmers are now on board, including premium networks HBO, Showtime Networks Inc. , and Starz Entertainment LLC . (See Xfinity Offers 150K Video Choices.)

'Xfinity Store' Is Now Open

On a comparative basis, Comcast rival Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) also kicked off its broadband video portal with 150,000 movies, TV shows, clips, and trailers, but of that total just 7,000 are movies and TV shows. (See Dish: TV Everywhere Site Is Portal to Growth .)

The national launch of Xfinity TV arrives about ten months after Comcast introduced the initial beta version of the service, which limited access to customers who subscribed to the MSO's digital video and cable modem services. The new, nationally launched version, as expected, is available to all of Comcast's digital video customers (it has more than 19.2 million of them), as well as to those who subscribe to an outside broadband service provider. (See Comcast's 'Xfinity' Goes Live , Comcast's 'Xfinity' to Go Mobile in 2010 , and Comcast to Expand 'Xfinity' to DSL Subs.)

Comcast is coupling its subscription-based streaming video service with an "Xfinity Store" that offers titles for rent or direct purchase. Newer movies, such as Kick-Ass, sell for $17.99 and rent for $3.99, while older flicks, such as 12 Monkeys, sell for $9.99 and rent for $3.99.

Among other new Xfinity TV features, Comcast has also built in a "My TV" app that lets subs personalize their viewing options, schedule their home-based DVRs remotely, and share some content on social media networks.

Subs can access the service with their Comcast ID and password, but are still required to download and install a 1.71-megabyte player from Move Networks Inc. that handles authentication and content authorization. Comcast has previously said it is considering alternative media players after word spread that Move was seeking a possible sale. [Ed. Note: Regardless, this new client is far easier to install and use than the "Comcast Access" authentication platform that plagued the original beta version.] (See Comcast Moving On Move Networks Alternative.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
mike87d
50%
50%
mike87d,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:15:51 PM
re: Comcast's TV Everywhere Play Breaks Out of Beta


I cannot comment on Xfinity from Comcast or any other MSO, but I can say that as a DBS DISH Network does not have that problem with our TV Everywhere platform.  And DISHOnline.com is only a part of our TV Everywhere platform.  For mobile viewing (laptop, tablet, or smartphone device) of your live TV or DVR content you would just need your remote access app installed on the proper device and you'd have full access to what you would have at home.  And this is all without any extra monthly fees, thanks to the Sling placeshifting technology we are employing.

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:20:19 PM
re: Comcast's TV Everywhere Play Breaks Out of Beta


Ryan Lawler, late of LR and now at Newteevee, has also struck on the idea that Xfinity TV could portend an OTT video play from Comcast, now that it's starting to allow access from cable TV subs that get broadband from another provider.


One thing I'm curious to know is whether Comcast (or some other MSO) would still have to pay tribute to local franchise authorities if they, for example, penetrated Time Warner Cable market with an OTT service, or if they'd be able to sidestep it because they aren't the entity that originally obtained access, dug up the streets, etc?  Any LFA experts in da house who care to chime in? JB

Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Interviews
In the Cloud With Telecom Italia

3|5|15   |   7:10   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders sits down with Telecom Italia's Simone Battiferri at Mobile World Congress to discuss virtualization, agility and the economic advantages of the cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
New Ways of Working

3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bridging the Digital Gap

3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Making the Internet of Things Affordable

3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Evolution, Not Revolution

3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
LRTV Custom TV
Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
LRTV Interviews
DT's Virtualization Vision for Europe

3|4|15   |   10:23   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks virtualization, cloudification and standards with Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE's Wireline at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks with Jane Chen, ZTE's Senior VP of Wireline Business, about innovations in her product line at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson CEO Talks Telco Data Center Tech

3|4|15   |   05:45   |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg discusses telco data center technology, business models, small cells and more.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.