Comcast finally set to roll out IP-based skinny bundle, Instant TV

Comcast Center headquarters in Philadelphia. Image: Comcast
Comcast is billing Instant TV as a logical extension of its video infrastructure.

After gobs of testing over the last two years, Comcast is finally set to deploy the beta test of its IP-based skinny bundle, Instant TV, over its entire footprint over the coming few weeks. 

The service will deliver the major broadcast networks, as well as PBS and the big Spanish-language over managed network, available only to Comcast broadband customers to use on their mobile devices, laptops and Roku boxes. The service will also include 20 hours of cloud DVR storage. It will run $18 a month. 

The service differs from virtual MVPDs launched by satellite operators DirecTV and Dish Network. It is not nationally distributed. And it is not delivered over-the-top. 

Comcast is hoping that the light video product matches up will with its emergence into the wireless business—much in the same way AT&T is trying to establish synergy between its core wireless operation and DirecTV Now. 

For its part, Comcast is billing Instant TV as not only a means of reaching cord-cutters and cord-nevers, but a logical extension of its video infrastructure, which has become increasingly IP-centric even for supposedly linear services like X1.

Speaking to Light Reading, Comcast residential products chief Matthew Strauss noted that both Instant TV and X1 users deploy the same app to Stream content, Xfinity Stream.

"It's all the same,” he said. “Whether you're an Instant TV customer or an X1 customer, you both download and use the same app. If you decided to use the Xfinity app on Roku, whether you're an X1 customer or Instant TV, it's the same.

Strauss, meanwhile, said the development of Instant TV occurred rather organically.

"While Instant TV is the tip of the spear in how we're planning to go to market, a lot of the development and the infrastructure and the learning that we've been doing over the years was really never under the lens of us only having applications for Instant TV," he added.