Friday, January 11, 2008

Brian Roberts@CES on Comcast 3.0
The first part of the presentation was very boring as Brian cycled through a traditional PowerPoint deck. He explained that at last year's CES, the cable companies realized that their world was changing:
  • HDTV prices were going down
  • Cable networks were advanced but operated as silos
  • Cable boxes are closed
What he did not say was that Verizon FiOS was a bigger threat than they had imagined. So, cable operators have decided to respond. Here are a few things they plan to do in 2008:
  • Give consumer more choice as choice sells
  • Improve customer service (at least he accepted their terrible record on this front). Time will tell if they can execute on this promise.
  • Innovate by working with CE companies
He announced a couple of projects:
  • Tru2Way - Comcast name for the “OpenCable Applications Platform” (OCAP), a cable box standard that he claimed to be OPEN. Let us see if what we define as open is what the cable industry defines as open. Panasonic announced the integration of Tru2Way within their televisions i.e. the set to box is in the TV. Engadget article on how we got to tru2way.
  • DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Standard developed by CableLabs (Industry ): provides a number of enhancements, most notably, channel bonding, support for IPv6, and support for IPTV. Channel bonding provides cable operators with a flexible way to significantly increase downstream speeds to a minimum of 160 Mbps, and upstream throughput up to a minimum rate of 120 Mbps to customers.
  • Project Infinity - Comcast effort to deliver a large volume of movie and TV content on-demand
  • Fancast: A website where customers can access on-demand content via PC. The site also has some social networking features and recommendation engines
The best part of the presentation came at the end when he invited Ryan Seacrest to be with him on stage to launch Fancast and finally a very entertaining session by the flight of the conchords.

Comcast / Flight of the Conchords at CES 2008


This is what made it worth sitting through the presentation!

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