Comcast will start testing an IPTV service at MIT, new Xcalibur guide coming your way sooner

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Comcast will start testing a new video delivery system that is completely internet protocol based at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology in "the coming months." AT&T's U-verse uses IPTV already, while others use similar technology for video on-demand or some of the new initiatives that stream TV to the iPad. Comcast plans to let students watch by connecting TVs, computers or other devices to the campus network, followed by a test just for employees and eventually an all-IP service to run alongside -- but not replacing -- its traditional cable TV service. This could allow the company to deliver video to devices with no set-top box required and even potentially outside its current footprint. That however is unlikely given the headache just a move to multi-platform IP delivery might cause when it comes to negotiating broadcast rights. Being able to watch pay TV on whatever you want and potentially wherever you want may help fight off subscribers temptation for cable cutting, but between testing and the aforementioned legal wrangling, it could be a while before we get to see it.

What is much closer is the new HD and internet connected guide software we spotted testing in Georgia. As the cabler celebrates passing 20 billion video on-demand views (PR after the break), it's bringing the internet and cloud technology behind its mobile apps back to the cable box to help organize it all. Dubbed Xcalibur, the new DVR setup pictured above is available to all new customers in the Augusta, GA area now and will roll out next year, assuming there are no worldwide calamities or product delays before then.

sourceWall Street Journal, Comcast Voices (1), (2)


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