Rumors have been swirling at The Cable Show about Brian Roberts’ keynote and the new initiative Comcast would be rolling out. Roberts had several announcements to make and didn’t disappoint.
First, Roberts announced that the next step in Project Infinity is to take the information out of the set top box and put it in the cloud.
The traditional EPG is being replaced with a cloud based guide and an RF remote that no longer requires line of sight. The new guide will allow you to use the numerical keys on your remote like a keyboard, so typing 426 will find HBO, so the user no longer needs to remember the channel number. Searching 282 could yield search results for QVC, the movie Avatar, the Chicago Cubs, etc.
The guide also features a recommendation engine that will suggest programming across a variety of viewing options.
Comcast has also integrated Facebook into their guide allowing you to see shows that your friends like as a search for television. It also allows you to Like programs from within the guide to share that information with your friends.
Saving the best for last, Roberts demonstrated the next stage in the evolution of the cable’s high-speed network. Over 11 miles of cable plant in Chicago, Comcast is testing, over a fiber/coax hybrid network, speeds in excess of 1gbps.
To demonstrate that speed, Roberts downloaded an entire season of 30 Rock in HD in roughly a minute and a half.
Michael Turk is a Partner in CRAFT | Media / Digital, a full-spectrum communications agency. Learn more about CRAFT at www.craftdc.com.