On Comcast’s blog yesterday, Ted Hodgins, senior director/video product development, navigation, said the MSO was deploying a new guide in its Scientific Atlanta/Cisco markets.

"Customers in those SA markets are going to get a new and improved on-screen experience," wrote Hodgins.

New features include a color-coded TV grid, an on-demand menu that loads faster, more detailed program information, an improved search feature and a menu of shortcuts called "Quick Menu."

Other new features include:

  • expanded parental control options;
  • multiple favorites lists;
  • additional channel grids;
  • a message center; and
  • local weather, available anytime, right in the guide.

Comcast spokeswoman Ellen Mellody said the new guide, which was developed in-house, already has been rolled out to 57 percent of Comcast’s Motorola markets. Comcast’s footprint is about 80-percent Motorola and 20-percent Cisco, she added.

In its Cisco markets, Comcast has been testing the guide with some of its employees, and it will be launched on a rolling basis, market by market, throughout the year; Connecticut will be first, in June.

The Moto guide can be viewed at http://www.comcast.net/newguide/ and the Cisco guide can be viewed at http://www.comcast.net/meetyourguide/.

Xfinity Remote

In related news, at the Cable Show last week in Los Angeles, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts demonstrated a Comcast Labs-developed prototype of a Web-based remote control for IP-enabled devices.

Roberts demonstrated the Xfinity Remote on an iPad. (For video of the demonstration, click here).

The Xfinity Remote enables customers to change channels on their cable boxes right from their iPads and to set their DVRs remotely.

"This liberates us from the cable box and puts it in the power of the consumer," said Roberts in the demonstration.

The application brings PCs, and a variety of tablets and smartphones into an immersive video experience together with the TV, wrote Sam Schwartz, president/converged products at Comcast Cable in a blog posting. "It looks particularly great on the iPad because it takes advantage of the rich, graphical user interface," Schwartz wrote. "We’ve got developers working now to finish and launch this application."

-Linda Hardesty

The Daily

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