Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), in timing with The Cable Show in Boston this week, has made two major announcements on efforts that could radically change how cable TV subscribers access information updates and content through their cable TV services.
Comcast's Neil Smit demos the X1 app at The Cable Show, Monday, May 21.
First off, Comcast announced that it is developing a new advanced user interface, currently codenamed Project Dayview, to be used across TVs, laptops, tablets and smartphones to help subscribers manage applications, media, news sources, personal calendars and other information. The company will be demonstrating Dayview at the show.
Described as a personal dashboard, the UI pulls and aggregates information from Comcast Xfinity TV, voice, Internet and home management services, providing up-to-date alerts, appointments, texts, e-mails, voicemails, DVR data, home alarm system status, home energy information, and security video feed, to be accessed on any device screen.
Project Dayview also allows users to put their personal media and photos on their TVs by synching with a variety of third-party media sources. It offers an easy way to track a variety of daily information from any integrated social media, news, and local information sources for updates on traffic, weather and other breaking items.
DayView can be used as a TV ‘screensaver' when the TV is not being actively used, and will be capable of presenting content that is most appropriate on a time-of-day basis, for example, showing rush-hour traffic in the morning, or that night's primetime television lineup in the late afternoon. The Dayview experience will be coming to Comcast connected devices later this year.
In the second major announcement, Comcast said it will launch its cloud-based Xfinity TV on the X1 Platform and X1 remote control app in the coming weeks. The update comes a few months after the company said it was targeting a launch of X1 (once known as Xcalibur) for sometime this year.
X1, which has been in customer trials in Augusta, Ga., since last year, will first be rolled out in Boston with several other major markets coming online later this year. It will be free to new subscribers of Xfinity Triple Play with HD/DVR service.
The X1 platform is essentially Comcast's take on a cloud-based IPTV service, bringing interactive, customized apps and social media features to its traditional video services to create a new and different TV experience. X1 features being showcased in Boston this week include a main screen user interface integrates a customer's video experiences and enabling one-click access to entertainment options; a unified search and instant play capability tying together TV listings, DVR recordings and Xfinity On Demand, along with recommendations; and special features for integrating social networking, music, radio, sports, traffic and weather apps
The new offering also is equipped with a new hybrid DVR set-top box with tru2way and IP capabilities, and an enhanced remote control that offers greater responsiveness that does not require a line-of-sight connection to the set-top-box. The X1 Remote Control App is a companion to the X1 platform that allows subscribers to use their iPhones or iPod Touch devices to have motion and gesture control over their TV experiences.
For example, customers can swipe their device to page through the interactive TV guides on the TV screen, or can shake the device to pause On Demand content being played. The mobile device keyboard also can be used to search content listings.
- see these two Comcast releases
Comcast hinted at the X1 launch in February
The X1 launch was expected to be big Cable Show news