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Hey you know that cable company we all love to hate (and for good reason)? Well, we've got some news that might make you feel a little uncomfortable.
Comcast isn't known for compatibility when it comes to streaming media. In fact, the cable provider is infamous for blocking access to certain content (most notably, HBO and Showtime) on a host of entertainment platforms, including Playstation and Roku.
While Comcast has caved on certain devices, it has dragged its feet on almost everything related to streaming media. For example, it's been suggested that Comcast (in the form of NBC Universal) has been a major roadblock for Apple as it tries to get its own internet TV service off the ground.
That's why it was surprising to hear about Xfinity Share, an innovative app from Comcast that's like a cross between Meerkat and Chromecast. In short, it allows users to live stream video directly to their television sets, or even those of other Xfinity subscribers. While it's not exactly a cord-cutting app (in that it doesn't support streaming content from the likes of HBO or Netflix) it certainly aids in the transition.
Specifically, subscribers can use Xfinity Share (iOS/Android) to send and receive live video streams, photos, and pre-recorded videos from their mobile devices to TVs using Comcast's X1 DVR capable set-top box as the intermediary.
It's a limited use case, and there are other ways to stream media to a TV without a Comcast cable box. Still, we imagine the service will appeal to some Comcast subscribers, particularly families.
Comcast's vice present of communications, Patti Loyack, explained the idea behind the app in a press release:
"When we launched the app in the spring, we made it available to a smaller subset of customers so we could learn how people were using it. So far, our data has shown a huge uptick in Xfinity Share usage on weekends and holidays when people are more likely to share big events—weddings, vacations, and graduations—that deserve to be viewed on the big screen. Plus, the majority of people who tried Xfinity Share are repeat users."
So there you have it: an innovative, 21st century streaming media platform from Comcast. If you'll excuse me, I have some flying pigs to photograph.