Comcast-Charter streaming JV tunes in Element Electronics as smart TV partner

Xumo, the new brand for the Comcast-Charter Communications national streaming joint venture (JV), said it has added Element Electronics as its second TV partner. The deal builds on an existing agreement with Hisense, another original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

Under the new deal, Element, a consumer electronics company that also has built TVs in partnership with Roku and Amazon, will build a new lineup of 4K-capable TVs later this year for the US. They will be powered by Comcast's "global" software and services platform.

Xumo and Element did not reveal many details about the TV models that will be produced or disclose anticipated retail pricing, noting only that the coming Element Xumo TVs "will launch in select US retail locations in a range of sizes and price points later in 2023." However, Xumo added that the new lineup of TVs will support the Xumo interface for access to live and on-demand streaming content from "hundreds of apps and services" and will support a voice remote.

Like Hisense's models, initially being sold by Comcast under the XClass TV brand, Element's new Xumo TVs will rely on Comcast's tech platform. The Comcast-Charter JV will also offer a range of other Xumo-branded devices including streaming media players.

"With the addition of Element to the lineup of Xumo-powered streaming devices and smart TVs later this year, we will provide consumers across the country another great, affordable way to enjoy all their favorite entertainment within our award-winning experience," Marcien Jenckes, Xumo's president, said in a statement.

Smart TV action at CES

Xumo announced the Element deal in tandem with CES 2023, a show that has seen lots of action this week from the smart TV platform market.

Roku announced its first family of smart TVs designed and made by the company, while Xperi and partner Vestel said they will start shipping a wave of new smart TVs powered by the TiVo operating system starting this spring.

Meanwhile, Foxxum, a Germany-based company that has built a smart TV operating system based on the Reference Design Kit (RDK), announced it has signed deals with a handful of TV partners focused on several global regions. Partners include El-Araby (Middle East and Africa), Grupo Kayve (the exclusive JVC licensor for Central and South America), TCL MOKA (a distribution focus on Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa), Konka (an original equipment manufacturer with distribution in the MENA region, the Americas and Southeast Asia) and Uruguay-based Punktal.

Update: Elsewhere in Xumo-land, the JV announced this week that the enterprise-focused piece of its business has launched a new suite of tech to help content owners, advertisers and streaming platforms manage and monetize customized streaming offerings.

Xumo said the PGA Tour the first to tap into the unit's "self-service" content management system to manage free, ad-supported television (FAST) channel management.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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