Operators Seek Innovation to Survive

20131214_WBC037Comcast is arguably America’s most powerful media business since it controls both what people watch on television as well as the the pipes that deliver the TV content and Internet.

To remain on top, it is seeking new ways deliver TV content to meet the demand from their subscriber base concerning how they want to watch TV and consume their entertainment content.

In a recent article in the economist entitled Thinking Outside the Set-Top Box, the direction Comcast is just now moving towards lays out like a blueprint for what Right Brain Interface has already design, developed and built, with their product called bhaalu. Portions of quotation below highlighted in bold underscore these points.

Comcast has responded by trying to resemble the firms that could unseat it, offering more interactivity, personalisation and portability. “Television is going to change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50,” says Brian Roberts. Comcast executives talk about “apps” for the television and rolling out innovations every three to six months. The firm is paying particular attention to its user “interface”, or what, until recently, was called a TV guide. Comcast’s is now arranged not numerically by channel, but alphabetically by programme, by network and type of content. Couch potatoes even less inclined to effort can download an app to their iPhone and shout commands at it to locate shows.

Comcast’s new set-top box is “cloud-based”, adding to the potential for flexibility: films and programmes stored in the cloud can be watched on any device. It tracks viewing history and recommends programmes accordingly, much like Netflix. Comcast has made it easier for TV-watchers to find their way to full seasons of episodes that are available on-demand so people can “binge” on shows.

Other pay-TV providers are experimenting with new features, and some have approached Comcast to license its technology. One popular idea is “TV Everywhere”, which makes it possible for pay-TV subscribers to watch live and on-demand programmes on their mobile devices wherever they like. It has started slowly but is taking off as more content-owners agree to license the digital rights to their programmes. Tools like this may help Comcast and its rivals justify their high prices and convince people to stick with their television package.

Full story here: http://www.economist.com/news/business/21591600-americas-largest-cable-company-becoming-more-firms-it-battling-against?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/thinking_outside_the_set_top_box

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