Advanced Television

Pace, thePlatform, Intel power Comcast’s next-gen TV experience

June 15, 2011

By Colin Mann

Digital TV technology specialist Pace is working with Comcast, one of the world’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services, to launch a new hybrid DVR set-top box with tru2way and IP capabilities that delivers an advanced personalised TV viewing experience.

Comcast is using the Pace set-top box platform in a market trial of its next-generation Xfinity TV service in Augusta, GA. This service allows customers to search and select from tens of thousands of TV shows and movies that reflect their unique interests, offering a personalised, useful and fun TV viewing experience.

The Pace set-top box features an architecture that leverages Comcast’s hybrid fibre coax network and DOCSIS 3.0 to deliver the new guide and user experience. The new device also includes DVR capabilities with a high capacity hard drive.

Meanwhile, thePlatform, white-label video publishing company and independent subsidiary of Comcast has confirmed that its cloud-based video publishing system, mpx, serves as the central management hub for the Xfinity service.

thePlatform worked closely with teams across Comcast to design a system that provides greater flexibility and versatility for managing live TV or video-on-demand. The deployment is also designed to showcase the ability of mpx to deliver pay-TV services on a vast scale with enterprise-grade reliability for one of the largest TV service providers in North America.

“TV services have historically been defined by infrastructure equipment, but that’s changing,” said Ian Blaine, CEO of thePlatform and senior vice president in Comcast Converged Products. “Moving forward, cloud computing will play a defining role in enabling TV service providers to innovate and differentiate,” he said.

Additionally, Intel Corporation has provided the Intel Architecture-based CE SoC for the new set-top boxes, delivering the CPU and graphics performance required for the service’s advanced user interface, fast responsive performance and new interactive applications.

Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts will demonstrate the new service and new speeds at the 2011 NCTA Cable Show in Chicago on Thursday, June 16.

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