While Google I/O is all the rage on our side of the internetz, another conference is taking place that is probably a lot less exciting for us: INTX, the Internet and Television Expo. But one interesting nugget has escaped INTX and found its place on our radar as Android users and it's about Comcast, of all evil companies and things.
Last month, Comcast had announced the Xfinity TV Partner program, an initiative aimed to make the Xfinity TV app available to smart TVs, and TV-connected and IP-enabled devices (read: other set-top boxes) without the requirement for a Comcast set-top box. Think of this as Comcast wanting to be Netflix'ish, ie available to you through an app and with a subscription, no need to call the company and lease a physical box from it. Read More
Consolidation is in the air. Fandango, the company behind that app or site you load up to order movie tickets online, has decided to purchase both Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes. This will give Fandango greater influence over which movies you discover, develop interest in, and ultimately watch. Read More
T-Mobile has been responsible for seriously shaking up the American cellular carrier for the last couple of years, disrupting nearly every area from contracts to phone subsidies to data sales models. So hearing that T-Mo's parent company Deutsche Telekom may be interested in selling it off is somewhat alarming. Hearing that they may be interested in selling to Comcast, quantifiably one of the most despised companies in the entire country, is like watching that head-crushing scene from Game of Thrones all over again.
Reuters reports that Deutsche Telekom is in active talks to sell T-Mobile USA to cable giant Comcast, according to business magazine Manager, which cites anonymous sources. Read More
Comcast has had a rough couple of weeks with the implosion of the Time Warner merger. Maybe releasing a new feature will help it move past the disappointment? Xfinity Share is a tool that lets you stream pictures and video to a cable box, either yours or someone else's. This is part of the Xfinity X1 platform, so both you and the owner of the target box need to be subscribers.
It wouldn't be controversial to say that the interfaces for cable boxes suck. With the possible exception of TiVo, I don't think I've ever seen one that was made for the purpose of being easy and/or efficient to use, especially since the newer ones are more interested in selling Pay-Per-View and on demand content than actually letting you watch TV. That has largely carried over to the remote apps for the fancy new cable boxes, which might help explain why the XFINITY remote app has a 3.2-star rating in the Play Store.
New above, old below.
Version 2.0 of the XFINITY TV Remote app is different. Read More
The Xfinity TV Go is Comcast's way of letting customers take some of the channels they're already paying for and stream them to an Android device. For something that doesn't cost extra—thankfully, considering the high price of cable—it's a nice perk. Comcast has recently brought the list of supported channels up to over 70 with the addition of AMC, BBC America, FOX Deportes, MOVIEPLEX, Showtime, Univision Deportes, and The Weather Channel. The full list is available to browse through online.
These networks joined those added back towards the beginning of 2014. Over the course of a year, the company has more than doubled the number of supported channels. Read More
Comcast is finally acknowledging Android Wear's existence with an update to its Xfinity X1 Remote app in the Play Store. It now includes voice and touch controls on your watch that can be used to change channels, start recordings, and more. It cannot be used to navigate the labyrinthian nightmare that is the Comcast support line.
The cellular network business is one of the most competitive in the world, but it's also one of the most lucrative, and it's only growing. That being the case, it's not surprising that American telecom giant Comcast may be looking into entering this hotly-contested market. According to a report on The Information, Comcast is hoping to use its huge userbase of home Internet customers to create a combination Wi-Fi and cellular network, competing directly with carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
Amir Efrati reports:
Comcast officials recently told people outside the company that it was considering a mobile phone service, which would rely on a combination of Wi-Fi and leased capacity on cellular networks...
The concept of using your smartphone as a remote isn't a new one. Modern flagship devices such as the Galaxy S4, HTC One, and LG G2 all have built-in IR blasters and ship with pre-installed apps for controlling your TV. The Play Store even has a few downloadable options with more features. Now Comcast is rolling out a remote of its own intended specifically to control its new generation of XFINITY boxes. You know, the ones with the sleek black UI, not the aging blue one.
Not only does the app have the obvious ability to change channels and pause whatever's on, it comes with voice commands to make searching for shows easier. Read More
Comcast's XFINITY app has undergone a name change with its latest update, and it now only answers when referred to as XFINITY TV Go. Does the latest version, in fact, make TV go? If we're referring to live content, then the answer's yes. Comcast customers with an Android device or two lying around can now stream the news, sports, kids shows, and other content live.
Live streaming works on both cellular and Wi-Fi data, which means you are not tied to your own home network as was the case with some apps in the past. Here are the live channels available on our devices: CNN, FOX, HLN, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX Business, BBC World News, Watch ESPN, NBC Sports, FOX Sports 1, Golf Channel, BTN, PAC 12, beIN Sport, Willow, FX, FXX, Nat Geo, and Nat Geo Wild. Read More