Comcast's Brian Roberts Jokes About Failed Deal at Industry Show, Demos Voice Remote

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Brian Roberts

At the Internet and TV Expo, the CEO says "we are moving on," shows a Vin Diesel 'Furious 7' clip and promotes a new voice-controlled remote with 'Forrest Gump' clips.

Appearing at INTX: The Internet and Television Expo in Chicago, the remodeled annual Cable Show, Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts on Tuesday said his team was really moving on from the failed Time Warner Cable acquisition and made fun of how it imploded amid regulators' opposition.

Addressing his TWC "friends," he said "thank you very much, you are very gracious." He added that "we are moving on."

He then said that "the cloud has really changed everything," saying Comcast was launching a voice control remote for users of the firm's X1 cable platform for no extra charge.

He demonstrated the remote, which he said recognizes more than 3 million possible commands.

If a viewer, for example, can’t remember a movie, he or she could just mention a line from it, such as "life is like a box of chocolates." The remote found Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks. Roberts quipped that Hanks looks "a lot younger" in the film than know, so a viewer may ask how old the actor was. The TV screen in his demo showed 58 years, 9 months right away. 

He also told the remote to "find the Forrest Gump running scene," which started within seconds on the screen. "What is this song?" he said in a further demonstration, with the screen showing the song playing during the scene was "Running on Empty."

Roberts emphasized that the remote would involve working with content companies.

He ended the demo with a joke, telling the remote to "show me the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger." The screen then showed a scene with Vin Diesel from Furious 7, which Universal, part of Comcast's NBCUniversal released, with a package outside a house exploding. "That pretty much sums it up," Roberts said. "So we really are moving on."

Twitter: @georgszalai