Comcast is going to kick off their keynote at CES 2008 any minute now and we're here to bring you the latest from the world of the largest cable provider in the US.
9:08AM - Gary Shapiro takes the stage and is excited to have the first chief exec from a cable company. We start out with a little history about Comcast. Now they are the 4th largest phone company.
A video kicks off about the next generation of cable, Comcast 3.0, -- we must have missed 2.0 -- which can provide anything from 1000 HD channels to email communications.
9:13AM - Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast takes the stage. This is a moment of inflection point for cable TV. Initial cable deployment was Comcast 1.0; next was consolation and two way service, which also included high speed internet, which was Comcast 2.0; now the latest integration that will be provided is Comcast 3.0. Their advanced fiber networks would help them compete against satellite which is limited to one way services and telco's that are limited to regions and weren't focusing on videos.
9:17AM - Now they are talking up Comcast's desire to work with CE companies to help make Comcast 3.0 possible. Working very hard with CableLabs to make it work.
Comcast 3.0 is...
9:21AM - "Is content king or is distribution is king? The consumer is king." Give us a break already!
Here is how we are going to deliver, with open standards like the successful DOCSIS standard. So they think open standards to TV will be just as successful.
This is the new era of open two way, or tru2way. Brian goes on about how simple and easy tru2way. This is the same story about how the java based VM environment is the way to go, and why it's better than letting companies like TiVo design their own interface.
Now we see a list of those who love tru2way, like Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Microsoft and TiVo -- some, under protest mind you. Brian looks forward to seeing the announced support from Microsoft on the Media Center and to extenders like the Xbox360.
9:27AM - One of the biggest participants in developing tru2way is Panasonic, so Toshihiro Sakamoto, from Panasonic takes the stage. He repeats Panny's announcement of the two new plasma HDTVs featuring tru2way. Which he says works great without a STB and without any more wires. Again we see the new portable tru2way portable DVR, AnyPlay. He spends a few minutes talking up the DVR/DVD and asks how everyone likes it, they all reluctantly clap.
9:31AM - Brian mentions his father is in the audience and everyone claps -- must be a great guy -- and continues on with the history.. The birth place of Comcast is also the birthplace of Elvis, and the system only offered five channels. The success of Comcast is about choice, "Choice Sells." And using Comcast on Demand they are able to provide even more choice to consumers, and quickly went from 250 choice to now over 10,000 choice every month. Which makes Comcast the largest on demand provider in the world and that 90% is free. Since 2003, they've had over 6 billion views.
We will but over 1000 HD choices in virtually every Comcast HD home. The new architecture will allow more than 6,000 on demand programs, it's called "Project Infinity." This will provide the "content hungry consumers dream." Then of course the required mention of user generated content.
9:38AM - There are over 4 million voice customers, due to the IP network. Caller ID to the TV is going to be a new feature -- you know like satellite has had for years -- next is smart zone which allows you to check your VM from anywhere. A clip of Dennis Miller demoing Smart Zone communications center, while at the same time pimping his show. Ultimately, it is just unified messaging, welcome to the 21st century Comcast! Hey at last Dennis is rolling with the jokes. Remote DVR programming is built into the interface.
9:43 - Brian introduces Ryan Seacrest, again pimping Comcast program. Ryan says being at CES is the most exciting thing he's ever done. Like us, Brian doesn't believe him and question his other great fun, but Ryan says it's like the worlds largest toy store for adults.
Brian and Ryan are introducing Fancast, which despite what it looks like is not just another video portal. They say its one site that links all content together, but we'll see. Ryan says "I'd actually live there, even if you weren't my boss," some laugh we don't. 3,000 hours of TV content, 10,00 movie trailers, 50,000 celebrity photos, and over 11 million pages of fan entertainment. Now we see a demo, which includes personalized recommendations. Ryan pulls up his fancast page, and what do you know every clip features him! The content is available online, but you can also access it on TV or On Demand or On DVD, no clue how that'd work. Findit also provides links to iTunes, Amazon and Netflix. "No one else lets you find, manage and watch all in one place." Comcast is available everywhere, but the remote DVR is offered by Comcast to other cable companies as well. Now for some HD video, online, or you can download it, the move is 4.7GB. They take this opportunity to talk up Comcast internet access and new Wideband -- which is bounding multiple QAM channels. This will be available to millions of home by the end of 2008. DOCSIS can boost up to 50x faster than we're used to today.
9:54AM - Now six degrees of Fancast will help you find hollywood news. So here we are with six degrees of Ryan Seacrest, so we are seeing celebrities that are connected by merging databases, so we can see all his connections and how he's connected. He references his SNL skit, something was in a box or something, only half the crowd got it.
9:59AM - Comcast is the official cable provider of the Dark Knight, so now we watch a trailer for the movie.
10:01AM - Ryan makes his way down the isle to interview people. Larry from S. Florida VP of Brands Mart, where he gives a completely pre-rehearsed comment and question, about how great this all is and when will be available. Ryan continues to ask setup questions and making jokes we're sure are funny to someone.
10:05AM - Brian closes with why he thinks everyone should partner with Comcast based on all the reasons we've already heard today, "We're open for business, we're open for partnering." Ryan says goodbye with a few more plugs for his show and other Comcast content.
10:08AM - Jermain and Brett of Flight of the Concords takes the stage with a girlfriend wanted sign. They go on about about how they need to use the internet to get girls, cause there aren't many girls here. He says "there are actually more girls on the internet there there are in the world." Brett shows his invention, the "camera phone" which is a camera taped to a disposable phone. Now they bring out an old TV with and integrate it with tape as well. They continue to make jokes, which plug all the new Comcast technologies. "Is it tru2way", "no that's pretty much why I need a girlfriend." Now they kick off with the song "it's business time"
We gotta run to cover XStreamHD, so we're out!