Video services

Xcalibur's Coming-Out Party?

12:30 PM -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) may truly blow the lid off its secretive Xcalibur project next week when The Cable Show blows into the Windy City.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) announced today that Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts will "demonstrate Comcast's next generation video product" during the show's general session on Thursday morning (June 16).

Comcast gave its first public sneak peek at Xcalibur in this recent blog post, noting that it will use the cloud to spruce up its TV navigation systems, accelerate the launch of Web-like apps, and allow it to bring in the kind of personal and more intuitive systems that it's creating for smartphones, tablets and other IP-connected devices to the set-top world. It's been trialing Xcalibur on a new HD-DVR platform -- called Spectrum -- in Augusta, Ga.

Wielding Xcalibur

Next week's show should give us our first official glimpse of Xcalibur in action and clue us in on how it ties into Comcast's over-arching IP video migration strategy.

Need to get caught up on Comcast's big, still-sorta-secret project? Check out our Xcalibur timeline, which starts off with our original report on it in the fall of 2009.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:02:25 PM
re: Xcalibur's Coming-Out Party?

We've only gotten a glimpse of Xcalibur and we'll get a much better sense of its capabilities next week at the cable to-do, but will this be enough to reverse a trend in which cable operators continue to shed video customers?

This would appear to give Comcast a counter to all of the Web-capable boxes that are coming on the market and give it the ability to develop and deploy apps much more rapidly , and the UI can only be an improvement.

But this would look to address the high end of the market. THat coudl help to reduce some churn and keep them from defecting to u-verse and FiOS TV and DirecTV, but if it's true that that cord-cutting crowd is typically one that's a bit more cash-strapped, it don't see how this will help out Comcast with them... but cord-cutters don't appear to be the target here, anyway. JB

comtech3 12/5/2012 | 5:02:19 PM
re: Xcalibur's Coming-Out Party?

Of the many attributes that Comcast has, one of them is that they're scared of competition;churn is momentary concern because they know the ones they lose to the competition would come back.Do you remember when RCN came on the scene? Customer signing up in droves,but within a matter of months,they all came back,sending little RCN into bankrupcy.Fios customers are jumping ship,and it is only a matter of time that we will Verizon on the verge of bankrupcy!Another example of Comcast prowess is seened when AT&T out bid Comcast to acquire MediaOne to become the largest cable company.Comcast stood an watch AT&T ran aground with that.Customers were fleeing like fleas from AT&T broadband that they wind up selling the business to Comcast.Xcalibur is only the tip of the iceberg.Stay tuned.

comtech3 12/5/2012 | 5:02:19 PM
re: Xcalibur's Coming-Out Party?

That should be, not scared of the competiton.

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