Here's what's pushing cable's buttons this morning.
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s latest Xfinity TV app release for Android now lets authenticated customers stream on-demand content from the operator's TV Everywhere library, joining a lineup that already includes iOS devices, PCs and the Xbox 360. To run the app's Play Now feature, the target tablet or smartphone must be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and higher.
Cox Communications Inc. has spruced up TV Connect, an app for the iPad that lets digital customers stream a subset of TV channels to tablets within reach of the home's Wi-Fi signal. The 1.1.0 release adds in the ability for customers to view and sort TV listings for all channels offered on the app and a full-screen version of the app's grid guide. (See Cox to Stream Live TV to Tablets .)
Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) and major U.S. broadcasters are battling over the satellite giant's new Auto Hop feature, but Tony Wible at Janney Capital Markets says Dish's ad-zapping technology won't inflict much damage to TV advertising revenues, at least not in the early going. Given current viewing patterns and the low penetration of the Hopper HD-DVR, the only device that supports Auto Hop, he believes that just 1 percent of ad revenues are at risk. He also points out 82 percent of broadcast viewing happens the same day that shows debut on-air; Dish's Auto Hop feature doesn't take effect until 1 a.m. ET after a show has been recorded to the library of PrimeTime Anytime, a service on the Hopper that automatically records the prime-time programming of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC and stores it for eight consecutive days. (See Dish Sticks It to the Broadcasters and Dish, Broadcasters Go to War Over Ad-Zapper .)
Comcast has launched Xfinity Home, its home security and automation service, in California's Sacramento Valley region, which includes cities such as Biggs, Chico, Modesto, Oakdale, Sacramento and Stockton. Comcast expects to have Xfinity Home rolled out to most of its markets by the end of 2012. (See Comcast Goes Big With Xfinity Home .)
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 's Radiocommunication Sector has drafted new technical recommendations for Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV), setting the stage for two "picture levels": eight megapixels (sometimes called "4K") and 32 megapixels (known as the "8K" version). By comparison, today's HDTV images support a range of one to two megapixels. ITU-R Study Group 6 has submitted the draft for approval. This video explains the UHDTV hubbub, and offers a sense on when service providers will need to be prepared for it: