& cplSiteName &

Comcast Streams Back to School

Mari Silbey
8/21/2014
50%
50%

Comcast has officially taken the wraps off of Xfinity on Campus, a streaming video service for college campuses that delivers approximately 80 live TV channels and thousands of on-demand titles to students' Internet-connected devices -- no set-top required.

The free Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) service initially launched as a trial at Boston's Emerson College in 2013. Starting this fall, Xfinity on Campus will become available at Bridgewater College, Drexel University, Lasell College and the University of Delaware. Comcast notes that several additional schools, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of New Hampshire, will also test the service this year. A spokesperson added that the MSO "can scale the service to hundreds more within our footprint."

Comcast isn't the first US company to target college campuses with a streaming video service. Startup company Philo (formerly Tivli) has already lined up at least nine university customers for its IP-based, multiscreen TV solution, including Fort Hays State, Harvard, Pepperdine, Roanoke, Stanford, University of Washington, Wesleyan, William Patterson, and Yale. Philo's financial backers include Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) and Mark Cuban's Radical Investments fund.

Philo has one key advantage over Comcast in that it's not limited to an existing service footprint. However, Philo's system for aggregating pay-TV content is far more complex.

In some cases, Philo collects over-the-air TV signals from an antenna owned by the host university and retransmits them over IP. (The closed university network keeps Philo from running afoul of copyright laws.) In other cases, Philo partners with a local pay-TV provider that has already paid retransmission fees. And in still other cases, Philo partners with programmers directly. The company signed a deal with HBO for example, to give Harvard students access to HBO Go.

From a features standpoint, the Philo service includes a cloud-based interactive program guide and DVR capabilities. Students can't access video away from school, however, as the service is restricted to campus grounds. (See Tales of Tivli: Taking TVE to School.)

Xfinity on Campus doesn't include DVR service yet, but Comcast says that feature is on the way. The Comcast offering also lets students watch TV off school grounds by signing in to TV Everywhere sites with their university credentials. Subscribers can add paid channels to the service, including HBO, Showtime, Starz and a Sports Entertainment Package that features "popular channels like ESPN Goal Line."


Get the latest updates on new IP video services by visiting Light Reading's IP video content channel.


With younger cohorts gravitating more toward free online entertainment, cable companies are anxious to woo college students with attractive premium television services. The idea is that if the operators can hook students while they're still young, they can set a pattern for television subscription that extends beyond the college years. Even though Comcast's university service is free, the investment in young viewers has the potential to produce lucrative returns over the long term.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(20)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
8/24/2014 | 6:11:55 AM
Re: Driven to distraction
Ariella, 

So then it was sort of a pointless thing? Not necessarily followed up with papers on them, but at least discussions that could lead to something, at least to develop critical thinking. Many things can be done with a film used in a class. 

-Susan 
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
8/24/2014 | 6:03:08 AM
Re: Driven to distraction
mendyk, 

Yes, yes. Now I see. I was in the false expectation that this could be used to take advantage of technological tools available for some educational project. Maybe some teachers will see the potential and do something positive with it. Maybe not.  

Coke machines in dorms? Well, let's see what all this will do to the students. Nothing brilliant, or healthy can come out of this. 

Bugs Bunny is a genius. 

-Susan
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2014 | 9:39:31 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
@Susan yes, and you can have a serious film class, as well. But this teacher knew that this was just a way to keep some very weak students occupied. They seemed to have just watched the films and not to have followed up with serious papers on them. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2014 | 4:47:03 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
Pretty much everything I know about opera I learned from Bugs Bunny. If you look at the details of this initiative, you will see there is absolutely NOTHING here to do with some sort of grand educational plan. Just like there's nothing inherently uplifting about sticking Coke machines in dorms. It's all perfectly fine and legal. And ultimately pointless.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
8/23/2014 | 1:02:03 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
mendyk, 

"There's nothing in the story to suggest that this has anything to do with edumicational programming."

That doesn't mean there is no educational program behind this. This can easily be used as a teaching tool.    

Video, film, music, recorded TV shows have been used for a long time as part of educational programs. There are even specialized courses for teachers about how to use these as teaching tools.   

-Susan
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
8/23/2014 | 12:05:16 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
Ariella, 

"I know of someone who taught a class that consisted of nothing but films."

Do you know what class the teacher was teaching? Or, was it contemporary culture? 

Many films have been used for classes but a class that consisted of nothing but films sounds intriguing, creative, and nice.

-Susan 
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2014 | 12:00:04 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
Yes, it does seem interesting that the colleges would go for this, but on the other hand getting this "extra" feature into their system would probably help recruit and keep students at the school. It certainly is a blantant marketing tool for Comcast no matter that it is free.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 4:34:55 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
The big soft-drink companies and their high-school administration enablers took a lot of justifiable heat for this kind of market seeding (cheap soda in school cafeterias). Given the potential disruption that video services can have on student behavior, I wonder why video providers and their college administration enablers don't come under the same criticisms.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 4:27:31 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
Very true statement... this is an obvious marketing strategy aimed at making sure people need their cable television from an early age. 

I would prefer to read a book or go outside, honestly. But I can't deny that I don't watch video. Of course, I am of the generation that does so via streaming media. 
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 2:19:52 PM
Re: Driven to distraction
@mendyK You can't top truth for strangeness.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
The more things change, the more they stay the same for Juniper's next-gen comms solutions, and that's a good thing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Rogers: Millennials Prefer Mobile Video

7|1|16   |     |   (0) comments


Rogers' Upinder Saini explains how millennial viewers favor mobile devices over big TVs and non-conventional TV content over broadcast and cable networks.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Pre5G & 5G Solutions

6|30|16   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


At 5G World London, ZTE demonstrated two types of equipment, including 128 antenna Pre5G Massive MIMO and 15GHz high-frequency base stations.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Technology Innovation to Fuel Power Efficiency

6|30|16   |   07:21   |   (0) comments


Managing energy costs and consumption as cable operators deploy new services requires new levels of innovation from technology partners. In this video, Dave Fellows, co-founder and CTO of Layer3 TV and chief scientist of the SCTE/ISBE Energy 2020 program, discusses such ambitious objectives as achieving a second 500% increase in efficiency in outside plant ...
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning to Service Agile Networks

6|30|16   |     |   (0) comments


Packet optical networks are transitioning from proprietary converged systems to open disaggregated platforms. This video will describe the Fujitsu 1FINITY disaggregated platform, explore how 1FINITY interoperates with the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE platform and explain how 1FINITY is designed for software control, like with Fujitsu Virtuora NC.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Nokia's Advancement Plan: Bring Old Skills to New Roles

6|29|16   |   7:57   |   (1) comment


Nokia's Sandy Motley advises women to change their mindsets; get aggressive about advancing their careers; develop strong, diverse support networks; and always bring forth learned skills to take on new challenges and different roles.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Cisco's Yvette Kanouff

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Cisco's Yvette Kanouff for an exclusive in-depth interview.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast: Prepping Next-Gen Video Services

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this LRTV interview, Comcast's Elad Nafshi outlines where MSO stands with cloud DVR, OTT video, college and gigabit services.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Creating Unique Standards for Cable's Unique Networks

6|28|16   |   09:30   |   (0) comments


Cable's unique network requirements require a specific set of standards for operators to increase power efficiency, according to Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee, and Ian Oliver, managing director of the Trenchant Group and a member of the ...
LRTV Custom TV
Masergy: 'Now Is the Time for NFV'

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Hear Ray Watson, VP of Global Technology at Masergy, talk about the advantages that enterprises can leverage using Network Function Virtualization (NFV), and how Masergy takes a unique approach to solving customers' problems. For more information on Masergy, please visit www.masergy.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Masergy Leads the Charge With NFV Capabilities

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Hear Tim Naramore, CTO at Masergy, talk about how focusing on solving specific customer challenges, providing self-service automation tools and being laser focused on the customer experience has enabled Masergy to be a leader in the NFV space. For more information on Masergy, please visit www.masergy.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Private Company of the Year - Affirmed Networks

6|27|16   |     |   (0) comments


At BCE 2016, Steve Saunders speaks to Hassan Ahmed about Affirmed's success.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
Brexit: It's Hard to See an Upside
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 6/29/2016
Qualcomm Readies Lower-Band 5G Testbed
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/27/2016
DT Eyes FTTH Solution to German Opex Issue
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/29/2016
Sigfox Said to Face Customer Backlash
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/27/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Cisco's Yvette Kanouff for an exclusive in-depth interview.
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.