Apple’s iPad and Android-powered tablets this year will have a new “play now” feature which will enable customers using Comcast’s Xfinity TV iPad app to stream some 3,000 hours of VOD episodes and movies to subscribers.
Comcast will add live streaming to the Xfinity TV app for in-home live TV watching on the iPad (in-home only live streaming). Customers will be able to watch live news, TV shows and movies. Comcast also plans to bring thousands of additional choices to the iPad in the weeks and months ahead and to add the same functionality and content to Android powered devices later this year.
Comcast’s Xfinity TV app functions as a television guide, remote control and mobile video player all in one. With it, customers can change TV channels, search and browse through their TV and On Demand listings, and program their DVRs. Future releases of the app will include seamless access to social networking sites so customers can share what they’re watching with their friends in real time, as well as a ‘MyTV’ feature that gives customers the ability to send and receive personal recommendations with friends on what to watch.
“Live streaming and the play now feature on our Xfinity TV app are two important pieces of our strategy to deliver any content to any device, any time,” said Brian Roberts, Comcast Chairman and CEO. “Comcast has a series of upcoming online enhancements and app releases that are part of a much larger effort to reinvent how customers interact with their entertainment on TV, online and on mobile devices.”
RBR-TVBR observation: The functionality is looking to be closer and closer to Google TV, which also offers a smart search programming interface. Roberts’ tease of Xfinity TV reinventing how customers interact with their entertainment on TV, online and on mobile devices, seems to indicate a their aim is to emulate a lot of what Google TV does, but take it mobile as well. Remember, Google TV had a bit of a false start this year at CES and will not be shown bundled in TV sets at CES by Toshiba (including its Blu-Ray device with Google TV built in), LG Electronics and Sharp.