Saturday, June 18, 2011

Comcast's next TV interface gets help from Facebook friends

Comcast Corp.a


By Todd BishopGeekwirea

The rise of free online alternatives to traditional cable television means the big cable operators will need to roll out user-experience innovations to keep those users in the fold. Cable giant Comcast this week showed where it’s headed — demonstrating a next-generation Xfinity TV interface that incorporates and tries to improve upon approaches from the traditional online world.a

One of them: Facebook integration, including a feature called "Friend Trends," showing the content most popular among the viewer's Facebook friends on Hulu, Netflix, the web and television. It’s part of a broader trend in the tech industry toward using Facebook "likes" to improve search results. (See also Microsoft Bing.)a

"The guide becomes what your friends tell you to watch, not what the linear alphabet tells you your options are,” says Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in the video below, from the National Cable & Telecommunications Show in Chicago yesterday.a

The demo starts at 3:30. Also see notes from presentation below.a

Watch Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, demonstrate our next-gen products and innovations at NCTA.a

Simpler remote uses RF (radio frequency) vs. the traditional infrared to transmit signals, which eliminates the need to be in the direct line of sight of the signal receiver in the cable box.a

Cloud-based model means the interface can be "innovated and changed on the fly, in the cloud, and then it changes all over the country, instantaneously." Also means the system is running on "today’s computer, not yesterday’s box." System includes apps including weather, traffic and Pandora, in addition to Facebook. Search across live television and on-demand content. Search uses letters corresponding to numbers, as on a phone keypad. Searches not only program titles but program details — finding not only Cubs games, for example, but also a TV program in which the Cubs management was featured. Best line from the chief of the Philadelphia-based cable giant, as he’s conducting a hypothetical search: “We’re sitting here in Chicago. Gee, I’m interested in the Cubs. By the way, not really.”

The system is currently in testing in Augusta, Ga. We checked with the company, but there's no official word yet on when it will be rolled out nationally.a

Todd Bishop of GeekWire can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.a

Also on GeekWirea

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1 komentar:

When it's a raise of FREE online options to that they are trying to compete with, why not lower their extremely high prices? Working for DISH Network, who has the lowest everyday pricing in the industry, I know that nobody can compete with their prices. Their services isn't lacking either, most HD channels nationally and award winning DVR receivers. I cam across a very good blog that described the difference between the biggest service providers

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