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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 13, 2014

Samsung UHD TVs will Stream Xfinity TV 4K App in 2014

By Michael Guta, TMCnet Contributing Writer

The first CES (News - Alert) in 1967 was held in New York and 17,000 people attended the four day event. The 2014 CES on the other hand had more than 150,000, and just like that first show it introduced the latest consumer electronics in the market. One item that still dominates the show is TVs, and just as transistor TVs were highlighted in the show in 1967, the 2014 show saw a number of innovations in this sector. Samsung (News - Alert) showed off a TV that bends – not one that is curved, but bends at a touch of a button. The company also introduced its curved 105 inch 4K TV as did LG, and the fracas as to who was first has already started.

While the images 4K TV sets produce is impressive, the lack of available content has plagued the technology since it was first introduced. The amount of content available for 4K TVs is very limited, and unless you buy a 4K camcorder and create your own content, it is still slim pickings for owners who shelled out thousands of dollars for the sets.

In order to give its customers access to more content, Samsung has been busy forming partnerships with content producers. The company made content deals with Amazon, Comcast and M-GO.

The deals have been inked, but now comes the hard part, delivering the content. The problem with delivering 4K content is the infrastructure has to be upgraded, which would be more expensive than the DTV transition that took place not too long ago. While wide adoption of 4K broadcast will not be available immediately, Netflix demonstrated it is possible to deliver content at the 2013 CES and it will begin limited 4K streaming this year.

The partnership with Comcast (News - Alert) will give Samsung 4K Ultra High-Definition (UHD) owners access to the Xfinity TV 4K app directly on their sets later this year. This will allow them to use the Internet to stream 4K UHD movies and TV shows on demand. The cable company said it is working on creating more content with its subsidiary NBCUniversal.

"This partnership with Samsung is one way our customers can stream shows and movies in 4K UHD, offering subscribers a glimpse of the television viewing experience of the future. Later this year, our new X1 set-top boxes will deliver 4K UHD content to all 4K UHD capable televisions," said Matt Strauss, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Video Services for Comcast Cable.

The Xfinity platform has many different viewing options for its customers including the ability to download TV shows and movies on their mobile devices, live TV viewing from 35 channels and more than 25,000 On Demand content. Additionally the app lets users customize viewing habits with DVR scheduling, remote tuning and filters to find favorite programming. The app is available for Android (News - Alert) and iOS platforms.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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