Comcast CEO Brian Roberts demo’d Xfinity Remote, a web-based, cross-platform, social remote control app on an Apple iPad at the NCTA cable show in Los Angeles yesterday. The new prototype is an extension of the Comcast Lab’s recent web app development work that aims to make it easier for viewers to search for and discover content across its conventional cable television and video on demand services, as well as interact while doing so.

The new app, which developers are putting the finishing touches on, enables viewers to recommend and chat about programs, search across the full range of Comcast’s cable TV and video on demand programming, as well as remotely change channels and program a DVR using just about any IP device–PC, smartphone or tablet.

“It brings PCs and a variety of tablets and smartphones into an immersive video experience together with the TV, finding content in very convenient ways. It will bring a new level of personal interactivity to watching TV,” explained Sam Schwartz, president of converged products for Comcast Cable, on the ComcastVoices blog.

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“It looks particularly great on the iPad because it takes advantage of the rich, graphical user interface. We’ve got developers working now to finish and launch this application. We’re building in some pretty cool social features like chat and the ability to invite friends to watch what you are viewing. This is part of our strategy to give consumers lots of simple ways to navigate the tens of thousands of choices we now offer on television and online.”

The Xfinity Remote app is an enhancement of Comcast search, discover and share tools–FancastXfinityTV.com and a Comcast iPhone app–that are already available for free at the Apple Store.

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2 thoughts on “Comcast Looks to Apple iPad for SocialTV

  1. Really cool stuff what Comcast is doing. I found Robert's statement at the end quite interesting – "This liberates us from the cable box and puts it in the power of the consumer." Video service providers have long resented being beholden to Motorola and SA/Cisco for that dreaded an expensive cable set-top-box.

    Is the iPad and tools like it opening the door to 'liberation' from them? Could we see STB functionality move into the cloud, and all consumers need is a web enabled remote (iPad or otherwise) to control their TV? You heard it straight from the 'horses mouth.'

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