May 26, 2011
| by Rachel Cericola
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably got a fairly packed A/V rack. Instead of trying to squeeze something else into that overcrowded cabinet, Comcast is trying to make a little space. According to The Wall Street Journal, the service provider is working on a way to deliver live TV to its subscribers via Internet Protocol (IP).
Similar to Netflix and Hulu, the service would use a laptop, video game console or other hardware—preferably something that’s already part of your setup, so you won’t be swapping out one box for another. It could also make that subscription mobile, as well as open up Comcast to new markets.
Comcast hasn’t commented on expansion possibilities. For now, they are hoping that the service will help the company to compete with online video services, as well as add new features, such as Facebook support.
“We want to deliver video everywhere people want to watch it,” said Sam Schwartz, Comcast’s president of converged products. “We have to do a better job getting people to realize what they are paying us for.”
Comcast plans to start testing the service with MIT this fall. If all goes well, the company will expand testing to employees later this year.
DirecTV, Cablevision, Verizon FiOS and Time Warner Cable all currently use IP to deliver some type of video content to subscribers. AT&T’s U-Verse service uses IP to deliver all of its video content to subscribers, via a set-top box or the Total Home DVR.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.