Comcast Won't Cap Xbox 360 Streaming

Welcome to Monday's cable news snapshot.

  • Video-on-demand (VoD) content streamed to the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox 360 won't count against Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s monthly 250GB broadband usage caps, the MSO revealed in new FAQ. It is getting ready to launch its Xfinity TV app on the popular gaming console in the next week or so, according to Engadget. Comcast's reasoning: The MSO is piping VoD to the console using its private IP network and not the public Internet. The MSO's XfinityTV.com site and Xfinity TV app for devices such as the iPad are streamed via the public Internet, so usage for those does count toward the bandwidth cap. (See Comcast, Verizon Connect With the Xbox 360 and Comcast Draws the Line at 250GB.)

  • To be eligible for the Xbox 360 app, Comcast customers must subscribe to the MSO's Internet and digital video service, take Microsoft's Xbox Gold Live package and have a cable box or CableCARD-enabled retail device connected to at least one TV in the house. Comcast won't let customers access Xfinity TV on the Xbox 360 from another Internet provider, but says it's working on a way to allow that. Comcast's FAQ adds that it "will evaluate" whether to add linear channels and transactional VoD titles (Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), for example, offers a subset of live channels via the Xbox 360).

  • TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) is cutting $5 from its Premiere DVR monthly service plan and is chopping prices on high-end box models as the company tries to lure consumers away from generic DVRs offered by MSOs, reports Multichannel News. TiVo is trying to undercut MSO DVR pricing even as it continues to partner up with pay-TV providers in box-leasing scenarios as well as retail partnerships that allow TiVo DVRs to support a cable operator's VoD service. (See Comcast Trial Fuses TiVo With VoD.)

  • Buckeye CableSystem is applying more pressure on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) U-verse with the launch of a 110Mbit/s (downstream) Docsis 3.0 tier in some of the MSO's Ohio systems and in pockets of southeast Michigan, says CED. The tier, which is matched with a 5Mbit/s upstream, costs $179.99 per month when bundled with the MSO's video or phone service, or $10 more as a stand-alone. The launch gives Buckeye the fastest downstream D3 tier in the U.S., outpacing Suddenlink Communications 's 107Mbit/s offering. Buckeye currently markets seven speed plans. (See Suddenlink Widens 107-Meg Reach and Buckeye Fights U-verse With IP-Fueled Gateways .)

  • Hillcrest Labs is bringing its gesture-based Freespace motion control software to smartphones and tablets that run Android and Windows 8, marking its expansion beyond fixed devices such as smart TVs, Roku Inc. boxes and PCs. (See Hillcrest CEO: Cable Should Dump Old Set-Tops.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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