9:35 AM -- After an apparent false start late last week and an earlier battery of tests involving a controlled pilot group, Comcast Corp.'s initial On Demand Online effort, recently rechristened as "Xfinity," appears to be up and running this morning on a national level... though it still carries the beta label. (See Cable Catchup and Comcast Web TV Trial: 10,000 Being Served .)
Here in the Denver suburbs at least, this customer page is back up with the Xfinity branding, directing Comcast digital TV and high-speed Internet subs to sign in and partake in the Web TV goodness.
Those that do go ahead and sign in are then prompted to authorize PCs by downloading and running "Comcast Access," evidently the company's authentication platform. The 1.0 version is a 17.5 megabyte file.
Comcast then asks users to download the Adobe Systems Inc. Air app and the Move Networks Inc. Media Player. Later users are asked to reenter their user name (their Comcast email address) and password and name the PC. Comcast initially is allowing customers to authorize up to three PCs for Xfinity.
After that process, which took about 10 minutes, I then tested it out by firing up an episode of HBO's The Sopranos, and it appeared to be working just fine, though the video window seemed to be a bit disconnected from the video control console. But we'll keep playing around with it.
We've asked Comcast for more detail on the launch, including how much premium content is gracing the platform now, but we haven't heard word back yet. We'll also have more details about the launch, more screen grabs, and our first impressions of Xfinity, later this morning (gotta split... damn dentist appointment!).
UPDATE:A Comcast official confirmed that Xfinity is available nationally to customers that take the company's digital TV and high-speed Internet services. It's expected that Comcast will provide more detail about the new Xfinity offering during a press call scheduled for later this morning.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News