Comcast XFinity: TV (Almost) Everywhere
There’s been lots of industry buzzz about Time Warner and Comcast’s TV Everywhere plan, which would allow subscribers to fixed-wire cable offerings access to premium content over internet connections, freeing content from the cable box (or cable card). Although it isn’t exactly setting content free on the web, it does seem a positive step in the direction of moving beyond the cable box and cable as the only distribution mechanism for certain kinds of premium content. Users want greater control of what they watch, when they watch it, and where they watch it: TV Everywhere falls short of giving complete control but takes a step in the right direction.
Earlier this month, Comcast launched Fancast XFinity, their branded name for their version of TV Everyehwere. Essentially, XFinity is a distributed authentication system, in which users prove their association to an existing cable subscription, and receive corresponding entitlements to an online video catalog.