Powered by TMCnet
| More

Cable Technology Feature Article

November 15, 2010

Comcast Subscribers to View TV Shows, Movies via iPad App

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Copy Editor

The options for video viewing on the iPad just keep on growing, as Comcast (News - Alert) has revealed that it will introduce this week the Xfinity application for iPad, which will allow Comcast digital subscribers to view movies and TV episodes on the tablet computer.

Unveiled in May, the application serves as a TV guide, mobile player and remote control, allowing subscribers to find what they want to watch as well as change the channel, according to a Business Insider article. In addition, users will be able to manage their digital video recorders, search for content using keywords or titles, create a “watchlist” of favorite TV shows, and share selections with others within their social network.

The first version of the app will be available for free this week at the iTunes store. Comcast also has plans to enhance the app with an on-demand video viewing option, set to roll out in December.

At a time where subscriber growth is stalling for cable, satellite and phone companies, this application, and more particularly the possibility of on-demand viewing, may be intriguing to subscribers considering cutting the cord on TV and cable service.

According to recent Yahoo Tech blog, as reported by TMCnet Contributor Susan Campbell, an increasing amount of Americans are cutting back on cable services to trim the budget. A recent Harris Interactive (News - Alert) Survey revealed that 22 percent of consumers have either scaled back their cable service or completely canceled it over the last six months, while an additional 21 percent are seriously considering doing so.

To make matters worse, another survey by research firm Diffusion Group, found that broadband owners who currently own or are looking to purchase an iPad in the coming months are “significantly more likely” than other broadband customers to reduce or cancel their service in the next six months.

But, this cord-cutting movement is not completely attributed to the iPad’s influence. Big cable companies, including Comcast, lost 500,000 subscribers last quarter, but AT&T, Verizon (News - Alert) and Direct TV added 820,000 subscribers -- thus, showing that satellite and telecom companies sure have the upper hand in the battle for viewership.

Verizon is already ahead of the game with an iPad application that also comes equipped with on-demand video and live TV. Hopefully, Comcast’s introduction of this application will show a significant turn-around for its subscribers.

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet copy editor. Previously she was assistant to the editor at The Darien Times, a weekly newspaper in Darien, Conn., where she edited submissions, did page layout and design and helped manage the newspaper's website. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf