Comcast officially launched the Xfinity TV online-video service to its more than 23 million cable TV subscribers, with a lineup that includes 25,000 TV show episodes for no additional charge, and widened the availability of a remote DVR programming feature to 75% of its footprint.
The MSO recently added shows from Showtime Networks and many from Viacom's networks to the "TV Everywhere" service, and also offers some 30,000 movies to stream, rent or buy to video subscribers.
Comcast's Xfinity TV service, launched as a beta test in December 2009, previously was available only to customers who subscribed to both cable and broadband, which was about 14 million people. Now, Comcast customers can sign in and access the service with any Internet service provider, anywhere in the U.S., and do not need to subscribe to the MSO's broadband service.
"Bolstered by the best content from top programmers and rich tools to help personalize your TV viewing experience, we've created a destination that enables customers to watch, find and manage their favorite shows and movies anytime, anywhere," Matt Strauss, Comcast Interactive Media senior vice president and general manager, said in a statement.
Comcast originally debuted the authenticated Fancast Xfinity TV service with some 2,000 hours of video from 27 networks. Now, the nation's No. 1 cable operator has lined up about 90 content partners, including TV networks and major studios, offering almost 150,000 videos, including cable TV shows, movies, clips and trailers.
The online service includes broadcast content from CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox, in large part through a distribution deal with Hulu.com. The MSO also provides premium content from HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz and Encore.
About 40 cable networks provide content that is available only to Comcast customers. Those include TNT, TBS, Nickelodeon, Discovery, A&E, AMC, MTV, BET, E! Entertainment, The Style Network, G4, Golf Channel, Comedy Central, BBC, Bravo, SyFy, Animal Planet, The Travel Channel, Food Network, DIY, The Cooking Channel, History, IFC and Ovation.
Shows currently available through Xfinity TV include: HBO's Boardwalk Empire, every episode of Showtime's Dexter, The Next Iron Chef, The Big C, The Closer, Jersey Shore, The Daily Show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. Movies available include The Blind Side, Invictus and The Princess and the Frog.
In addition, Comcast is offering some movies for rent the same day as DVD release, such as Iron Man 2 and Get Him to the Greek.
Meanwhile, Comcast has added the capability to remotely program one or more home DVRs to users in 75% of its footprint, where the MSO has rolled out the Xfinity branding. A new "My TV" feature allows customers to personalize their viewing options; schedule DVR recordings from their computer; manage and prioritize their DVR TV series; and catalog their favorite TV shows and movies in one centralized "Watchlist," which updates users when the shows they want to watch are available.
The Xfinity TV site's enhanced search feature gives users the ability to find TV and movie selections to watch on TV, on VOD, online or on mobile devices. The site also includes social media integration for sharing shows with friends on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
In the next few months, Comcast plans to add personalized show and movie recommendations delivered to users based on their entertainment preferences.
Comcast customers with a digital subscription can visit Xfinity TV at www.XfinityTV.com to sign in with their Comcast ID and password or sign up to get log-in credentials.