Comcast retools guide for SA boxes
Comcast is gearing up to deploy a new interactive program guide for its Cisco/Scientific Atlanta markets.
According to a Tuesday blog by Ted Hodgins, Comcast’s senior director of video product development, the new guide, which is internally known as S25, is currently being tested on Scientific Atlanta set-top boxes by Comcast employees in Connecticut.
This morning, Comcast spokeswoman Ellen Melloday said the guide will be launched in parts of Connecticut in June, and then rolled out market by market to the rest of the Cisco/SA markets this year. The guide will launch via a software download that pushes out the new codes. Roughly 80 percent of Comcast’s markets are Motorola, with the rest Cisco/SA.
GuideWorks, which is a joint venture between Comcast and Rovi, developed the Cisco i-Guide. The new guide will give Comcast customers in the affected markets a new color-coded grid, a new on-demand menu that loads faster and more detailed program information. It will also have an improved search menu and a menu of shortcuts called “Quick Menu.”
Other features include expanded parental control options, multiple favorites lists and additional channel grids.
While Hodgins wrote that the new guide was a significant improvement over the current guide, the initial version doesn’t have all of the functionality that Comcast’s Motorola guide, which is called A28, currently has. Hodgins wrote that functions such as MyDVR, which lets customers schedule their DVR recordings remotely, whole-home DVR, EBIF-based Caller ID on TV and other interactive TV features, such as HSN’s “Shop by Remote,” would be available in later versions of the guide.
“The roadmap for the SA markets includes enhanced iTV applications and Caller ID, and we’re aiming to roll that out sometime in 2011,” Melloday said.
Last week at The Cable Show, Comcast and itaas jointly announced that they’ve wrapped up porting TVWorks’ user agent  for use on the cable operator’s Cisco set-top boxes.
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