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Comcast branches out cloud DVR, live streaming service

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 12:45pm
Mike Robuck

Comcast has launched its cloud DVR and live in-home streaming service in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C.

The live in-home streaming part of the service was rolled out in the San Francisco area in the middle of last month with the network DVR element to follow. Going forward, Comcast will continue to launch live in-home streaming first in other markets this year followed by nDVR in order to speed up deployments.

Comcast originally launched its X1 DVR with cloud technology and live in-home streaming in Boston, its hometown of Philly and Chicago earlier this year. 

During a CTO panel discussion at The Cable Show last week, Comcast Cable CTO and executive vice president Tony Werner singled out the cloud DVR service as one of the company’s top technological priorities for this year.

“The next big one happens to be cloud TV and that really is providing a cloud DVR service,” Werner said, after mentioning that a broader rollout out of X1 and the X2 software update were also on the list of top initiatives this year for Comcast.

The cloud-based DVR recordings are provisioned over Comcast’s managed IP network, and are another element of its IP-based Viper platform, the latter of which emerged from Comcast’s Xcalibur effort several years ago.

According to Comcast’s “X1 DVR with cloud technology” FAQ, up to 40 devices can be registered for in-home live TV or DVR streaming, with up five devices streaming simultaneously. Content-wise, Comcast said all of a subscriber’s linear channels were available on the new app, as well as the use of the X1 guide, on home-bound devices.

With X1 DVR, authenticated Comcast subscribers can “check-out” DVR recordings by downloading them directly to a mobile device to take on-the-go; and access the X1 interface and live stream practically their entire TV channel lineup to IP-connected devices.

Like other video service providers, Comcast is focused on offering live streaming out of the home, but the service also gives them the ability to download their video content to view on-the-go.

To deliver these new streaming and download features to Xfinity TV customers, Comcast launched a new Xfinity TV app for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones and a web portal for viewing on computers. To live stream their TV lineup or download DVR recordings while on tablets or smartphones in the home, customers can download the Xfinity TV app from the App Store, open the app and sign-in with their Xfinity TV credentials.

Once signed-in, customers can start browsing their full channel lineup in the guide or scan available recordings for download in the “Saved” menu. On laptops and computers, customers can sign-in through the Xfinity TV site to access their X1 guide and DVR recordings.

Cloud DVR allows subscribers to store content from their DVRs in the cloud, or more accurately, in data centers. Cable operators can cut costs, such as truck rolls, with cloud-based DVR storage. For subscribers it provides the ability to serve up video to multiple IP-connected devices. 

 

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