The Cable Show 2012 has kicked off in Boston today, and Comcast has already made or has been involved in some key announcements.
As many had expected, Comcast said today it would launch its next generation, cloud-based X1 video platform in Boston in the "coming weeks". It will expand X1 to more markets later in the year. The platform, which had been tested over the past year under the name "Xcalibur" in Augusta, Ga, uses IP technology and cloud servers on Comcast's network to provide interactive, customized apps and social media features to Comcast subscribers. X1's user interface is intended to help users search, navigate and play both linear and on-demand video content. Comcast also emphasizes that X1's cloud-based architecture will enable it to deliver updates for the platform much more frequently than the traditional set-top box allowed. The service, which will be available at first only to Comcast triple play subscribers, also comes with a companion X1 remote control app for iPhones and iPod Touches.
See Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit demo X1:
Comcast also announced that it is developing an "advanced user interface" that provides a personal visual dashboard for Xfinity subscribers, under the name "Project Dayview". It is being demoed at The Cable Show. The idea is for users to see and manage information from all their Xfinity-related apps and devices in one place. Comcast says Dayview will be "integrated into Comcast's next-generation TV and connected TV products, as well as mobile devices and personal computers", beginning later this year.
Here Smit demos Dayview:
Also, five of the major cable operators (including Comcast), four of whom are part of the joint marketing arrangement with Verizon Wireless (do I see some type of connection here?) will provide cross access to each company's subscribers to all of their collective 50,000+ WiFi hotspots under the brand name "Cable WiFi".