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Comcast Revs Internet Set-Tops, Cloud DVRs, TV Guide

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Comcast Revs Internet Set-Tops, Cloud DVRs In Xfinity Push CMCSA - Investors.com (click for full article)

    by Reinhardt Krause - Nov. 27, 2013

    -- Comcast's rollout of advanced, Internet-ready X1 set-top boxes, along with a new cloud-based movie storage service and Weblike program guide, could shave video subscriber losses and boost cable TV revenue, analysts say.


    More than that, the new set-tops might give Comcast (CMCSA) more strategic options vs. Internet streaming services. Such competition from Intel (INTC), Google (GOOG), Sony (SNE), Apple (AAPL) and others has yet to materialize, though Netflix (NFLX) has made inroads vs. pay-TV firms.


    Comcast has invested heavily in its Xfinity Internet portal, building up a huge video-on-demand library of movies and TV shows. Comcast earlier this year agreed to buy out General Electric 's (GE) remaining stake in media firm NBCUniversal, after buying 51% of the firm in early 2011.


    Google, Intel and others eyeing Internet video delivered over broadband pipes to homes, called over-the-top TV, have been delayed in forging content deals.


    "I would call X1 more of a hedge against OTT than anything else," said Oppenheimer analyst Tim Horan. "If an Intel, Google or anybody gets the rights to sell linear TV over the Web, then the X1 platform would enable Comcast to very quickly offer a similar video product nationwide."


    Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/technolog...nity-internet-set-tops-dvrs.htm#ixzz2lyTmWV6M
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    From the article:

    ** The new guide is a plus, says Craig Moffett, analyst at research firm MoffettNathanson.

    User-Friendly Interface

    "A perennial knock on cable is that the user interface is clunky and unpleasant. As more and more people experienced the user-friendly and graphical experience of Netflix, that became too big a problem to ignore," Moffett said. "Comcast's new guide measures up very well to what you find on the Web. It shares the same DNA as Web-based video services."

    Moffett says the X1's Internet capability shouldn't be overlooked. The set-top delivers video both in standard cable TV format as well as IP (Internet protocol) streams. **

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The way I see it - the better these new Cable boxes such as Comcast's X1 get - it's bad news for GTV. Google has stated that their intended purpose for GTV is to enhance the cable TV experience. Thus the HDMI overlays. But Comcast and the other TV providers wanted no part of opening up full integration to GTV. The new guide on X1 sounds pretty good - which means adding another box such as GTV to run in conjunction with the cable box is becoming rather redundant.

    Now it looks like even Dish Network is dropping support for their GTV "Enhanced Integration" feature (see link below). (Dish Network was the only TV Provider to partner with GTV in offering the enhanced integration feature - Dish was a partner since the original GTV launch in 2010):


    https://plus.google.com/+CraigCormier/posts/JSVVHCzjNk6



    Maybe GTV would be better off marketing itself as a cord-cutting box without HDMI IN? (At least in the USA where all of the TV operators have shunned GTV - that might make sense). Redesign the GTV hardware and make gaming an integral part of the platform, build-in Chromecast, a webcam, make it simpler, emphasize cord-cutting, and they might have a winner.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  3. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Catfish

    It just can't work. A cord cutting device must have content. The GTV approach is flawed in that the user is immersed in a Google environment w/no partners other than the few companies that have manufactured the different GTV units. And that alliance is flimsy at best because all have competing projects in the works. Google TV w/out HDMI, no Hulu, no network TV content & limited Youtube leaves what?

    Just an internet device w/Amazon and Netflix apps that the most basic streaming devices and smart TVs already offer. Heck, even Direct TV offers Netflix and Youtube w/out the restrictions to content. Also, the biggest drawback is our dependence on Google and the cooperation of Sony, Vizio, etc., for updates. Any company can announce that they have rethought their approach to the settop market and we will be stuck w/a device lacking any support. We don't even know which devices will get the dang Jelly Bean update.

    Google must learn to play better w/others before they embark on any new enterprises that require partnerships and compromise. You can't build a device to optimize cable TV viewing and at the same time make statements that your objective is to kill cable.

    Carl
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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  5. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and look at my reply in that thread. I mentioned how different devices should only benefit GTV. But since then it has become apparent that each device has only expanded on the flawed concept of the previous device w/the exception of Chromecast. Now can anyone tell me if Chromecast will continue to behave independently of GTV, even Android once it is pushed to GTV. That is the popularity that makes Chromecast the obvious choice for folks not impressed w/a Google only environment. My PC remains in control. Any and all apps are exclusive of the GTV ecosystem.

    Just some thoughts...

    Carl
     
  6. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I like Comcast, recently the company called and offered a promotion, 50Mbps internet and a basic TV package for $40/month for a year. Heck of a deal but I turned it down although when our current contract is up, I might see if I can still get it. As far as a Cloud DVR, I will pass. I can't see how using internet data for DVR recordings will be a good idea in the long run.

    As far as the Chromecast, I have it and don't use it except to check out the new apps when added for test purposes. It is like a tinker toy compared to Google TV in my opinion, at least if you know how to use Google TV. If you want to dink around with a tablet or smart phone to find something to watch and then prompt playback on your HDTV from that device, Chromecast works pretty well but I will be darned if I can understand why anybody would want to watch TV that way.
     
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I'm an established Comcast customer - so my current service is "Economy Plus" internet for $39.95/mo. I'm able to get basic TV channels in HD through the cable with no cable box. My download speed is 3.5 mbps - which is good enough to stream HD videos in 720P. I don't need 1080P so I'm fine with my current service.
     
  8. chopper

    chopper Active Member

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    The first cable co to offer an X1 Comcast like DVR in Canada will get my subscription. This is what I wanted GTV to be able to do for me even more than have Apps.

    Now if GTV is able to control it, if the Jellybean roll out ends up being all that was hoped for, if we get a web cam for Skype/Hangouts, and if I am able to play any format of file I want my needs in the living room will have been met.

    Right now I have doubts that GTV will continue to be a part of my living room once my Revue dies.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
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  9. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    The $40 promo I was offered would go way up after a year, not sure what the rate would be, probably $80 or so but at that time I would downgrade to something else. Despite all of the complaints I see, Comcast has been fine in my experience.
     
  10. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Hi Chris

    Yes, when Comcast, Direct TV, Verizon, or any media content provide/ISP offers their services at discounted rates, individuals can enjoy the benefits of the service for specific lengths of time. But I remember a time when cable providers were the innovators of a service that was affordable based on its model of reigning in the disparate profit margin expectations of the networks. This model allowed for subscribers to take advantage of access to most services at an affordable annual rate. Yeah, I know the argument about cable not being an essential service. But in a way it has become just that. Just the thought that you will have to lose the service once your discount has expired gets to the root of why the present model is a failure.

    Cable companies rely on longterm subscribers. And I'm not talking about the celebrities and other high-end clients. Cable must reorganize their model to accommodate as best as possible the average user. Otherwise it will become an elitist enterprise only fit for those in the higher tiers of the income bracket.

    You like Comcast but ya can't afford it at the going rate? Dude, ya gotta hate em...

    Too funny!

    Carl
     
  11. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I can't afford a Mercedes but I don't hate Mercedes. I have no problem with the prices Mercedes charges or the prices Comcast charges, there are no excessive profits for either company but if there were, the simple solution as always, just don't buy the product. Competition always solves that problem. Cable TV is absolutely an inessential service, especially now but it has always been that way.
     
  12. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Here we go again

    You fail to see the forest for dem trees blocking yer view. You have no problem w/Comcast charges, yet you posted that you will have to seek other options after the Comcast offer expires? Don't you know why they offered it to ya in the first place? It wasn't for your convenience! It was done to make you dependent on their services. With the dubious hope that after you found what you enjoyed at discount it would encourage you to pay full price.

    Just the fact that you feel that ordering a cable subscription service is comparable to ordering a luxury vehicle, let's me know that both are beyond your economic considerations. And well should they be. A new Mercedes doesn't depend on yer continued monthly payments unless ya bought it based on those terms. Comcast does...

    My electric bill for the most part is non-essential. I can do everything w/the ancient methods that have been passed down through the generations. But why would I in this modern age? Who is cable for? Why are we even having this discussion? Obviously, there is a discrepancy in the supply & demand rules of our current market and how consumers relate to the outdated modus operandi of cable as it exists today. Do you really think your harrowing story about how Comcast afforded you the means of enjoying their service for the short term w/a beggars offer makes for a longterm subscriber base to Comcast?

    Your story is a frightening view of the future... Ya love the service but will never be able to afford it. But, capitalist that you are, you understand why cable won't and refuses to make their subscription affordable to you and others that want to enjoy it at a fair rate of exchange for fees and services acceptable to any free market economy the world over.

    Geeze, ya can't possibly be serious...

    Carl
     
  13. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Ha, I never said any of those things, I think you like to make up things. Cable is in a non essential service is what I stated. I said if I accept the Comcast promotion, I would downgrade the service after the promotion expires, my choice, I stated nothing about having to do so. I never said cable was a luxury service, obviously hundreds of millions of people watch cable TV, a very small percentage of those own a Mercedes, I would guess less than 1/10th of a percent. I choose not to pay for a premium cable or satellite package now after doing so for several decades and I assume everybody choosing a premium cable TV package does so because it offers good value to them since absolutely nobody has to have cable TV and nobody has ever had to have cable TV.

    I am always happy to accept a bargain and that offer from Comcast for a year with no obligation for anything further is what I consider a great bargain and after my current contract runs out in a few months if it is still available, I am sure to accept it and decide what to do next in a year. I doubt if it will be available but I won't know for sure until I get to that point.

    You have all of these ideas about what cable companies do and what Google does and how awful it must be and I just find what I consider a good value and what works for me and I am always happy with the entertainment values I find, delighted in fact. Google TV delivers everything I had hoped for but I have no sense of entitlement to anything, I have looked at the competition in depth and for me, nothing else is close to as good.
     
  14. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Comcast touts its new movie store, says it was the top digital seller of 'Despicable Me 2' | The Verge (click for full article)

    by Nathan Ingraham - Dec. 5, 2013

    -- While Comcast has long offered movie rentals through its various on-demand cable services, we were a little surprised to see the provider start offering the ability to purchase digital movies and keep them forever. But it sounds like the new Xfinity On Demand store is a success so far, at least according to one limited metric.


    Despicable Me 2 became available to purchase across digital retailers like iTunes, Amazon, and Comcast's Xfinity service on November 26th - and Comcast says that it was the number one purchase destination during that first week of availability. Comcast also says that it was the top destination that week (as well as the week prior) for those looking to buy The Hunger Games, a movie obviously buoyed by its recently-released sequel.


    Of course, that's only two movies, so it's impossible to truly say how widespread usage of Comcast's new service is just yet - but being the top retailer for a major new release like Despicable Me 2 certainly is a good start. It does seem that Comcast did some things right with its service, including the ability to download files for offline viewing, mobile support, and - perhaps most importantly - the ability to transfer your purchases away from your Comcast account if you happen to switch cable providers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  15. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    It seems to me that we would be better off if the communications' companies got out of programming and stuck to communications. The faster the cable companies get out of video distribution the better off we will all be.

    Philip
     
  16. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Comcast is bringing experimental labs features to its X1 set-top box ? Tech News and Analysis (click for full article)

    Summary:
    -- Comcast would like its customers to try something new: The cable operator added a new Labs section to its X1 cable boxes over the last couple of days, allowing TV subscribers to test-drive new features before they’re officially integrated into the product. “Gmail has always had the Gmail Labs features,” said Piers Lingle, Comcast’s VP of product development and planning during an interview last week, adding that his company wanted to bring the same approach to cable TV.
     

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