Comcast Taps Facebook for Enhanced TV Experience
NEW YORK - Comcast Corp. is working with Facebook, Intel and other technology firms to create what it calls a next-generation TV experience, which will make the TV screen more interactive by adding Internet features and apps.
"This new experience transforms the way consumers watch television with a new guide and user interface that makes the TV screen more interactive, personal and social," the cable giant said.
Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts will demonstrate the service, which is being tested via a new set-top-box in Augusta, Ga., at the Cable Show in Chicago on Thursday.
The company said the new service includes "fast, intuitive search that lets users find what they want to watch in seconds from thousands of choices on TV, on demand, on their DVR or from a selection of additional content," as well as a personalized TV experience called MyTV that allows users to access all of their recordings, favorite shows, films and sports teams and recommendations in one place.
Interactive traffic and weather apps and an integration with Facebook that brings social apps to the TV set are part of the mix to "let users share and discover what to watch with their friends," Comcast said. For example, users are able to "like" a show via the TV screen, which will then also appear on their Facebook wall.
“We’ve made great progress on providing better tools – first on the Web, then on tablets and mobile devices – to make it easier to find what you want to watch, when you want it from thousands of choices," said Sam Schwartz, president of Comcast Converged Products. "We’re excited to bring those advanced capabilities to the TV set to enable a richer, more personalized experience."
The Comcast announcement comes a day after the company unveiled a strategic partnership with Skype that will enable Comcast customers to communicate with family and friends through HD video calling on their TV set.