Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Comcast moves one step closer to 'content-everywhere'

Comcast announced today that it is making "nearly 150,000 video choices online, including hit shows, blockbuster movies, kids’ content, independent films, ethnic programming, clips and movie trailers" available to its digital customers through its Xfinity product.
“Bolstered by the best content from top programmers and rich tools to help personalize your TV viewing experience, we’ve created a destination that enables customers to watch, find and manage their favorite shows and movies anytime, anywhere,” Matt Strauss, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Comcast Interactive Media said in the announcement. “But we’re not stopping there – in the coming weeks, Comcast will bring even more content, functionality and ease-of-use into Xfinity TV.”

Comcast digital customers can visit the Xfinity TV website, sign in and then watch network programming and other entertainment through their web browser. Customers can also now share the video content they are watching via popular social media networks.
The video player is Flash based meaning iPhone and iPad users ar shut out for now. It is possible that rather than creating a browser based alternative that Comcast could decide to go the app direction -- if so, they will still have to convert the content to an HTML5 player. (They could, of course, use a 'sniffer' to detect browsers on iOS devices.)

Comcast announced back in May plans to develop an iPad app that could manage programming and offer provide subscribers with other functions including social networking of programming. Though that app has yet to appear Multichannel News (subscription required) is reporting that the app will launch in mid-November.