Comcast: From Here To Infinity
By BroadCasting & Cable Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/13/2008 7:00:00 PM
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts touted a major expansion of the cable operator's HD, video-on-demand and online content offerings at the CES show.
The cable giant's Project Infinity is a mix of new linear channels and expanded VOD offerings. Comcast said it will offer more than 1,000 HD movies and TV shows every month by year-end, as well as the most popular new linear HD channels. The on-demand platform will be the major focus of Comcast's content growth. Beginning next year, Comcast will offer more than 6,000 movies per month, with more than half of them available in HD. The company also plans to create a system of regionalized library servers to serve VOD content to consumers from several key locations across the country.
With help from American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, Roberts also officially introduced Fancast, the Internet content portal that Comcast Interactive Media has been developing for more than a year and beta-testing since late summer. He called it "the launching pad for convergence between the PC and the TV." Fancast—an ad-supported portal that offers content to Comcast subscribers as well as general Internet users—will now provide free content from Viacom, as well as CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, Lifetime Television and other major programmers through a Flash-based video player, with more than 90,000 videos available in total.
Roberts also demonstrated wideband (DOCSIS 3.0) technology that will dramatically improve broadband speeds by bonding four cable channels together. Roberts demonstrated the four-minute download of a high-definition version of Batman Begins using the technology he first pitched at last year's Cable Show.
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