Comcast shows off Xfinity Remote app; controls your cable box from your Apple iPad (with video)

“Comcast Labs has developed a prototype of a web-based remote control that will extend our interactive programming guide to many IP-enabled devices,” Sam Schwartz reports via Comcast Voices, The Official Comcast Blog. “The Xfinity Remote, which Brian Roberts demoed today on an iPad at the NCTA show, enables you to search for your favorite shows and movies on television and video on demand, change the channel on your cable box right from your iPad, and set your DVR remotely.”

“The application is simple, easy-to-use and makes it easy to discover content and even chat with friends and share recommendations – making it a truly ‘social remote,’ integrated with existing social networks,” Schwartz reports. “It brings PCs and a variety of tablets and smartphones into an immersive video experience together with the TV, finding content in very convenient ways. It will bring a new level of personal interactivity to watching TV. It looks particularly great on the iPad because it takes advantage of the rich, graphical user interface. We’ve got developers working now to finish and launch this application. We’re building in some pretty cool social features like chat and the ability to invite friends to watch what you are viewing. This is part of our strategy to give consumers lots of simple ways to navigate the tens of thousands of choices we now offer on television and online. Yesterday at the show Brian announced our rollout of a new library server system that will bring more than 11,000 movies On Demand to the TV, in addition to the 20,000 TV shows and movies online. With all that content we want to bring consumers smart, simple tools to navigate their entertainment choices.”

Schwartz reports, “Today we offer our customers other cross-platform solutions to help them find, discover and watch this content: FancastXfinityTV.com, and a Comcast iPhone app that you can download for free from the Apple app store. The Xfinity Remote takes this functionality to a whole new level.”

Here’s a look at the Xfinity Remote prototype from Brian’s panel this morning in Los Angeles:

Direct link to video via YouTube here.

Source: Comcast Voices

Yinka Adegoke reports for Reuters, “Comcast has not yet enabled delivery of Comcast programming to the device, though Roberts hinted at that possibility in an interview on the sidelines of the event. ‘It depends on rights, whether it’s in the home, whether it’s outside the home, but we’re not talking about that today,’ said Roberts.”

Adegoke reports, “He said Comcast is in talks to enable the application with other device makers and technology companies like Google Inc’s Android wireless operating system.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Android wireless operating system?”

[Attribution: Electronista. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

20 Comments

  1. Best user interface remote I’ve ever seen.
    That alone makes the iPad worth the price in multi-tv households, but since it also controls a complete A/V system, the value just increases exponentially. I would like this app for my iPhone, though; it’ll be awhile before I get an iPad.

  2. @zmarc, One big difference is that this app talks directly to the set-top box and can control it synchronously… The DirecTV app talks to the DTV servers, then the servers push your request out to your DTV box via satellite. That works great for scheduling recordings, but there’s certainly no interactive surfing or immediate watching as with the Xfinity app.

    Looks great to me!!! We’re only just scratching the surface of the kick-ass things that people are going to do with the iPad. I’m already using it to control my home theater!

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