Comcast is attempting a few new twists on customer service, including giving customers several options for not just requesting but actually scheduling a call back, rather than hanging on the line waiting for a service rep to pick up the phone.
Comcast has officially dipped its large toe into the 4K waters with today’s announcement that it’s offering a limited slate of programming in Ultra 4K via an on demand app. Authenticated Comcast subscribers can watch 4K programming from NBC and USA Network for free with today’s launch of the Xfinity in UHD app, which currently works on just 2014 Samsung UHD TVs.
BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new phone that features a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones — and most smartphone customers — have embraced touch screens. With the Classic, BlackBerry is courting its core customer, the business user. The physical keyboard is something traditional BlackBerry users prefer because they find it easier than touch screens to type with.
Dish said it is integrating Netflix into its service, available as an app to customers who have a second-generation Hopper DVR. The company plans to also roll out the app out on its Joey, Super Joey and Wireless Joey clients. Dish is still considering integrating Netflix content directly into its search functionality.
Time Warner Cable and Boingo are laying claim to being the first companies in the world to launch a reciprocal Passpoint-based roaming network for their customers. The two companies announced a bilateral Wi-Fi roaming deal back in June and said then that they would complete a Passpoint-enabled integration later this year.
Comcast has hired public affairs veteran Angela Vega as director of government affairs for the Central Valley. Vega, who will be based in Fresno, Calif., will report to Sue Vaccaro, senior director of government Affairs for Comcast California. In her new job, Vega will be responsible for Comcast’s local government affairs and policy issues in Fresno, Madera, Kings, Tulare, and Santa Barbara counties.
Wi-Fi chipset vendor Quantenna Communications has raked in $22 million in its latest investment round and added two members to its board of directors in the process. Leading new investors in the latest round were Centerview Capital Technology, Vivint and NTT Group. In tandem with the financing, founding partner of Centerview Capital Ned Hooper and Harold Hughes were appointed to Quantenna’s board.
The blow that the hacking attack has dealt Sony is spreading beyond the entertainment corporation itself to theater chains and movie goers alike. And the financial toll is adding up too. Threats of violence against movie theaters. The New York premiere of "The Interview" canceled. Leaks of thousands more private emails. Lawsuits by former employees that could cost tens of millions in damages.
CableLabs said six vendors participated in an interoperability test of some DOCSIS 3.1 equipment. CableLabs declined to identify any of the vendors present. A spokesperson for the organization said that the types of devices present included at least one CMTS, one cable modem, and some test equipment.
T-Mobile is going commercial with an idea that undermines one of the fundamental tenets of the broadband industry: data is not a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. From now on, if a T-Mobile customer pays for X amount of a data a month, they get to keep the allotment and roll it over into the next pay period.
Vudu is adding features that other services introduced some time ago, but is going further than many rivals by letting viewers select sub-genres (action comedies, buddy comedies, etc.), or all movies by plot (heros, romance, time travel, etc.), or mood, or years (the ‘30s, the ‘70s, etc.)
After an impasse that stretched back several years, Comcast finally has brokered a deal with Roku that allows its subscribers to access HBO Go and Showtime Anytime streams on their Roku devices. The new deal was announced on Tuesday in a blog posting by Comcast’s Matt Strauss, senior vice president and general manager, video services, and came the day after HBO announced its streaming service was live on the Amazon Fire TV.
Multi-screen vendor Alticast will bring its cloud-based and Internet of Things (IoT) demos and products to next month’s Consumer Electronics Show as well as its CableCard-less security technology offering. With the recent passage of the STELA bill that dropped the mandate for CableCards, Alitcast’s AltiProtect demo at CES is noteworthy as the U.S. cable industry considers other security options that have been deployed abroad for years.
The Internet of Things and connected consumer electronics devices are morphing the technical needs of consumers, according to a recent report. Park Associates' research found that more than 56 percent of smart home device owners were willing to pay extra for monthly tech support services.
In order to forestall any future litigation, Verizon and Google announced today that they have entered into a long-term cross license agreement that covers a wide range of their respective products and technologies. With the agreement in hand, Verizon and Google said they could focus on running their businesses without the risk of future patent litigation between the two.