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Comcast Cloud DVR Launches in Philly, Chicago Next

DENVER -- Cable Next-Gen Strategies & Technologies -- Alan Broome, vice president of IP video engineering for Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), confirmed the MSO's next two cloud DVR launch markets at today's Light Reading Cable Next-Gen Strategies & Technologies event. According to Broome, Comcast debuted service in Philadelphia on March 25 and will bring cloud DVR to the Chicago market next week.

A Comcast representative said in a post in the company's user forum that the Philadelphia launch includes market in New Jersey.

When Comcast launched its cloud DVR service in Boston in early February, it said more markets would follow soon after. Beyond Philadelphia and Chicago, there are rumors that Washington, DC is on Comcast's list of near-term launch cities, but that information has not been confirmed. (See Comcast Launches Cloud DVR.)

The new cloud DVR service is part of Comcast's migration to IP video delivery and the X1 video platform. Broome said Comcast is delivering cloud services using an IP unicast model today, but he also said that the company is rolling out an IP multicast infrastructure. Multicast will come in handy as Comcast streams more linear television over IP. Broome said the company will begin testing multicast IP television in the third quarter.

The transition to IP video also has implications for Comcast's set-top strategy. Broome said the company will launch its all-IP video set-top at the end of this month. That box will get video-on-demand programing streamed directly over IP, but linear content will initially have to be converted to IP using a residential gateway device.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

MarkC73 3/30/2014 | 6:11:21 AM
Re: Nice to see. Scary for cable co competitors, cable isn't using the sell it and build it as they come mentality anymore.  Anyone think this will have a positive impact on the network gear equipment manufacturers if Comcast starts rolling more IP video services.
Phil_Britt 3/28/2014 | 11:19:23 AM
Re: Nice to see. It probably made sense for Comcast to roll this out slowly, not only for the first test market, but then take time to open other markets from there. Putting out a subpar service would turn people off, and would likely make it more expensive to recapture them than to wait until many of the bugs have been worked out (assuming that they have).

This could also force competitors in those few markets where Comcast has them to offer similar services.
DOShea 3/27/2014 | 8:51:20 PM
Re: Nice to see. Agree on the long wait. Seems like Comcast has been actively talking about rolling out cloud DVR for more than a year, and it's just getting scheduled for its second and third markets now.
KBode 3/27/2014 | 6:26:05 PM
Nice to see. Such an unnecessarily long trek to get this stuff to market, after Cablevision spent years fighting broadcaster claims that this technology violated copyright.

The one, sole benefit to the Comcast Time Warner Cable merger would be that Time Warner Cable customers would get access to a set top box and DVR GUI that doesn't seem like it was developed in 1999.
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