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Comcast Enhances X1

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Comcast Corporation (CMCSA - Free Report) , the largest cable MSO (multi service operator) in the U.S., has added a voice control feature for its X1 Remote. The new feature runs on X1’s iPhone application.

Comcast announced that the new voice command feature will enable subscribers to search for various contents, change channels and browse VoD (Video on Demand) categories by simply uttering those names into the iPhone microphone. The new feature will also help subscribers to find content much faster than traditional remote control as programs can be switched by just placing the command into an iPhone.

The cable MSO did not disclose any vendor partner of the new voice control feature. However, apart from Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Free Report) popular iPhone, the company is also working on extending the voice feature to Google Inc.’s Android operating platform.  

The new voice control feature runs on Comcast’s Open Stack Cloud infrastructure, which the company co-developed with network major, Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO - Free Report) . It is an open source cloud computing platform and Comcast is developing numerous video applications on the platform for X1 subscribers.

In the recently concluded quarter, Comcast’s top line failed to meet the Zacks Consensus Estimate due to loss of its video customers. Comcast lost 60,000 video customers during the quarter.

Comcast’s triple-play Xfinity TV service is continuously gaining huge popularity and market traction as the adoption of smartphones and tablets are on the rise. Comcast has launched its X1 platform in ten markets with plans to cover half of its footprint by the end of June and the other half by the end of 2013.

The voice control interface on iPhone will be beneficial for Comcast subscribers based on the ease of its use. We believe that the new features coupled with the popularity of the iPhone in the U.S. and Comcast’s huge content portfolio will interest many video customers.  

Currently, Comcast carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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