Light Reading

Comcast's 'X2' to Get Personal With the TV

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
2/26/2013
50%
50%

LAS VEGAS -- NCTC Winter Educational Conference (WEC) -- Comcast Corp. is adding enhancements to its cloud-based guide that will deliver personalized recommendations based on viewing habits and other data. The product under development, internally referred to as "X2," will offer a "stronger editorial voice throughout the guide," said Rachel Lee, Comcast's senior director of product management, here Monday on a panel dedicated to cable's evolving video gateway strategy. The X2 will also use recommendations to assemble "collections" of video content based on customer interests. Lee didn't say when Comcast intends to launch these enhancements, but the operator has dedicated a sizeable engineering team to the latest version of the cloud-based guide. "We're pretty far into development," she said. "It's a … significant effort." It's unlikely that Comcast will use the X2 label to promote the features that will grace the upcoming version of its cloud-based guide. Comcast is already marketing its new IP-capable video product under the X1 banner. Comcast has launched X1 in seven markets: Colorado Springs, Colo.; Atlanta and Augusta, Ga.; Boston; Chattanooga, Tenn.; San Francisco; and the Philadelphia area. Comcast is expected to launch X1 to the majority of its footprint this year. (See Comcast's X1 Comes to Colorado.) Lee told Light Reading Cable that the enhanced, more personalized X2 guide is made to run on devices that support the first iteration Comcast's cloud-based guide. For now, that includes the Pace plc-made XG1 HD-DVR and the RNG150N client box. Comcast is also developing an all-IP HD client box called the Xi3 and a "headless" gateway called the XG5. (See Comcast All-Service Gateways Go 'Headless'.) Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit referenced the X2 in an internal video broadcast late last year, noting that it would offer more personalization. At the time, Comcast would only confirm that the X2 represented an "evolution" of the X1 platform. (See Comcast Exec Talks Up X2, Cloud DVR.) Comcast hasn't announced its vendor partners for the X2's recommendation engine, but one candidate is ThinkAnalytics Ltd., a Scotland-based vendor that generates unique preference profiles on set-tops, tablets, smartphones and PCs by mining metadata and tracking usage patterns. (See Brits Rev Up Recommendation Engine.) ThinkAnalytics, by the way, is the first recommendation engine vendor to secure a license for the Comcast Reference Design Kit (RDK), an integrated software bundle for the MSO's hybrid QAM/IP and IP-only set-top boxes. Boxes that run the X1 are the first products to incorporate Comcast's RDK. (See ThinkAnalytics Gets Personal With Comcast's RDK, Who's On Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?) Some of ThinkAnalytics's announced customers include Liberty Global Inc., Cox Communications Inc., Swisscom AG and Virgin Media Inc. . At last check, the vendor had deals with more than 40 customers and 100 million licensed subscribers. (See ThinkAnalytics Touts Video Milestone and Cox Brings OTT-Like Smarts to the Set-top.) — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/4/2013 | 10:19:05 PM
re: Comcast's 'X2' to Get Personal With the TV
A reader brought up another possible option for how Comcast will make the X2 update more personal ---á a good chunk of it-ácould easily emerge from in-house development.-á I was reminded that Comcast bought StreamSage, an audio-video search startup, way back in 2005. http://paidcontent.org/2005/07...
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/27/2013 | 2:32:48 PM
re: Comcast's 'X2' to Get Personal With the TV
Thanks for the enlightenment, Dan.-á We may have to reconfigure that headline yet!
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
2/27/2013 | 2:29:28 PM
re: Comcast's 'X2' to Get Personal With the TV
Hey Jeff, talk about picking a hot issue!

-áThere's plenty of Scots that will bristle -- or worse -- at you calling them British. Technically it is still the case but there's a referendum that will be held on Scottish independence in 2014
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/27/2013 | 11:06:56 AM
re: Comcast's 'X2' to Get Personal With the TV
To be perfectly honest, I wondered the same thing at first, then recalled that Scotland is part of Great Britain, so that's politically accurate.-á And I don't remember ThinkAnalytics having any issues w/the hed. But-áI should perhaps defer to Ray-áLe Maistre on that one. He helped out with the hedline at the time, so I believe we are in good shape there.. JB
jtombes
50%
50%
jtombes,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/26/2013 | 11:12:24 PM
re: Comcast's 'X2' to Get Personal With the TV
Wondering if 'buy' refers to real transactions or just views. (Are we making money on VOD yet?) Also, not to fan nationalist embers into a flame, but maybe the headline for your earlier article on Think Analytics should refer to Scots rather than Brits? Aberdeen and Strathclyde are the university towns I see associated with its leadership. (And I recall a strong Scottish accent from an interview with Docherty.)
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/26/2013 | 6:53:52 PM
re: Comcast's 'X2' to Get Personal With the TV
Personalized recommendations should improve usage rates and help-áusers find something when presented with-áthe paradox of choice that comes with a VoD library that consists of thousands of titles.-á Lee noted on the panel that the jacket art and other graphics-rich features of the current generation of the cloud based guide has helped to improve buy rates of HD VoD content by about 10%. JB
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Intros Smart Device for eLTE

3|30|15   |   05:25   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed a secure, location-aware multimedia smartphone for its eLTE trunked radio solution, says Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Win Video, Win All

3|30|15   |   06:44   |   (0) comments


Video is going to be the next main source of revenue for operators. Operators have big opportunities and advantages to monetize video services. Globally, Huawei has helped more than 70 operators achieve over 30 million video subscribers. Watch this video for more.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
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
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
Just Don't Say IBM Is 'Relaunching' Networking Business
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/26/2015
TV Everywhere Nears Mainstream Adoption
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/27/2015
Carriers Are Bright Spot in BlackBerry Q4
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/27/2015
Comcast Says TWC Deal Will Close Later
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.