A Closer Look at Cox’s Contour 2

Site Promotes Trial That Uses Comcast X1 Platform
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Cox Communications is using a Web site (hat tip: @Jacks_Daddy1, who tweeted it) to promote its trial of Contour 2, a cloud-based interface for set-tops and mobile devices that’s powered by Comcast’s X1 platform.

As reported last week, Cox recently expanded its trial of an X1-based offering in the San Diego area. A Cox official confirmed then that the MSO is taking a “reactive only” approach to the X1 trial in the market, giving customers who call in about Contour an opportunity to try out the X1-based service. Cox’s original Contour video platform for set-tops and tablets was developed in partnership with Cisco Systems/NDS and other partners.

Cox is still pursuing a “future-state” video project, but its trial of an X1-based offering in San Diego plays on many of the base features offered on the platform, including the cloud-based on-screen guide, a “smart search” function that predicts the channel or show a user is trying to pull up using the remote control, and the X1’s personalized and recommended guide views.

In addition to a video overview, the site also touts an in-home app (Comcast calls its version the Xfinity TV app) that lets users watch live TV and VOD titles on any device in the home, the platform’s sports, weather, stocks and traffic apps/widgets, and talks up the platform’s six-tuner HD-DVR (Cox doesn’t specify a box maker, but Pace and Arris are among the suppliers for the XG1 HD-DVR used by Comcast for X1 today). Comcast also offers a cloud DVR for X1 in several markets, but it was not immediately known if that component is part of the current Cox trial (cloud DVR is not mentioned in Cox's Contour 2 web documentation).  

Shaw Communications of Canada announced in June that it was shutting down its original plan to develop an IPTV service to instead try out X1, but hasn’t said when or where it expects to start trials.

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