Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Analyst Report), the largest cable MSO in the U.S., is conducting several test runs on the beta version of its latest user interface called “X2.” Currently, 50% of the company’s subscribers are using the company’s next-generation Web-capable platform – “X1.” This paltform offers a hybrid IP/QAM video gateway with an advanced user interface and the ability to port third-party apps that tie into a cloud-based infrastructure. X1 service will be available nationwide by the end of 2013.
The upcoming X2 service is a software update of X1. This new service is a cloud-based TV guide and also includes recommended web videos and a new mobile application. In the long term, X2 platform will enable Comcast to save money by eliminating hard drive from DVR. The X2 service is expected to be launched by the end of 2013. It will enhance the existing X1 platform with larger print options, more poster art, background image transparency options, a new recommendation engine and cloud DVR support.
Comcast is gradually deploying its next-generation Xfinity TV, an on-demand, Web-based service, for subscribers who will have access to both video programming and the Internet. The new Xfinity TV set-top box has an innovative system to quickly navigate between live and on-demand programming.
A new user interface incorporates content from Facebook Inc. (FB - Analyst Report), Internet Radio of Pandora Media Inc. (P - Snapshot Report), news and weather applications. Comcast also entered into an agreement with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Analyst Report) to enable its subscribers to access Xfinity TV online content from the Microsoft Xbox. Xfinity TV currently covers 95% of the company’s footprint.
Comcast also launched its innovative product Xfinity Streampix, a subscription based on-demand video streaming service. This is an enhancement of the company’s pay-TV offerings, which currently provide traditional TV shows and Xfinity on-demand shows for TV sets and broadband devices.
Xfinity Streampix offers instant movie viewing both in and outside homes on multiple platforms like TV sets, computers, and mobile devices. Comcast currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).