Here's a glance at what's pushing the buttons of cable and broadband today.
An early review of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s IP-capable, next-gen video service, X1, was less than sterling as the operator prepares to launch it in Boston. Hiawatha Bray of The Boston Globe acknowledges that X1 is a substantial improvement over the company's older video service/navigation system, but calls the X1 a "work in progress." Among his quibbles: the install took two hours, the new navigation system "looks like the old cable system guide, with prettier fonts" and the interactive apps offer a mixed bag. But he does like the X1's search features and considers the X1 remote a "step up from the current model." Comcast intends to use the X1 to reenergize its video service. Following Boston, Comcast is expected to introduce X1 in a handful of markets later this year and into early 2013, including Atlanta; Chatanooga, Tenn.; Denver; and in its Philadelphia-area systems. (See Where Will Comcast's X1 Land Next? and Comcast's X1 Video Platform Lands First in Boston .)
HBO GO has launched on the Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindle Fire, a move that extends support for the premium programmer's TV Everywhere service beyond devices such as PCs, Roku Inc. players, the Xbox 360 and iPads. HBO GO offers access to more than 1,400 titles, including every episode of several original series, including Game of Thrones and True Blood, but requires users to subscribe to a pay-TV service. HBO has resisted the urge to unbundle its service and sell it directly to consumers via broadband (at least "for now," the progammer tweeted on Wednesday), but a recent survey suggests that consumers would be willing to pay about US$12 per month for direct, over-the-top access.
SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) posted non-GAAP operating income of $1.8 million (6 cents per share) on revenues of $36.6 million in results that reflected the recent sale of the company's broadcast server/storage and VoD management businesses. SeaChange said the quarter excluded $9 million in revenues tied to discontinued operations. It reaffirmed guidance that software revenues for the year would be in the range of $150 million to $160 million. (See Is the Worst Over at SeaChange? and SeaChange Unloads VoD Content Unit for $27M.)