Comcast will start testing an IPTV service at MIT, new Xcalibur guide coming your way sooner

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Comcast will start testing a new video delivery system that is completely internet protocol based at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology in "the coming months." AT&T's U-verse uses IPTV already, while others use similar technology for video on-demand or some of the new initiatives that stream TV to the iPad. Comcast plans to let students watch by connecting TVs, computers or other devices to the campus network, followed by a test just for employees and eventually an all-IP service to run alongside -- but not replacing -- its traditional cable TV service. This could allow the company to deliver video to devices with no set-top box required and even potentially outside its current footprint. That however is unlikely given the headache just a move to multi-platform IP delivery might cause when it comes to negotiating broadcast rights. Being able to watch pay TV on whatever you want and potentially wherever you want may help fight off subscribers temptation for cable cutting, but between testing and the aforementioned legal wrangling, it could be a while before we get to see it.

What is much closer is the new HD and internet connected guide software we spotted testing in Georgia. As the cabler celebrates passing 20 billion video on-demand views (PR after the break), it's bringing the internet and cloud technology behind its mobile apps back to the cable box to help organize it all. Dubbed Xcalibur, the new DVR setup pictured above is available to all new customers in the Augusta, GA area now and will roll out next year, assuming there are no worldwide calamities or product delays before then.

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Comcast Launches Xfinity On Demand Awards To Recognize Most-Viewed Artists and Programs: The Hangover, South Park and Beyoncé Earn Top Honors

PHILADELPHIA – May 25, 2011 – Comcast, one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services, today announced that its customers have watched 20 billion entertainment choices On Demand since the service launched in 2003 – an industry first in television (TV). Comcast celebrates this milestone with the launch of the Xfinity On Demand Awards, honoring the top-performing movies, TV series, musical artists and other programming as determined by what customers watched the most on the service.

"On Demand was the first technology to give millions of our customers instant access to entertainment choices to watch on their schedule," said Marcien Jenckes, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Video Services, Comcast. "By making a huge library of content available for free with a click of the remote, On Demand was an instant hit and continues to drive viewership. The service has been a major influence in the adoption of time-shifted viewing, which has now become mainstream."

Comcast launched On Demand to half of its customer base eight years ago with 740 movies, music videos and cartoons from a handful of content providers. Available today to 20 million customers, On Demand usage continues to explode with approximately 350 million programs viewed each month. Over the years, both the number of entertainment views and choices on the service have increased dramatically:

Entertainment Views (Overall) Entertainment Choices
▪ 2003: 200 million entertainment views ▪ 2003: <1,000 entertainment choices
▪ 2005: 1 billion entertainment views ▪ 2005: 3,500 entertainment choices
▪ 2007: 5 billion entertainment views ▪ 2007: 13,000 entertainment choices
▪ 2009: 14 billion entertainment views ▪ 2009: 17,000 entertainment choices
▪ 2011: 20 billion entertainment views (to date) ▪ 2011: 25,000 entertainment choices

Comcast is creating new personalization tools including a "Watchlist" where customers can save and track their favorite shows and movies across platforms and watch thousands of them online at and through the Xfinity TV app on the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®, anytime, anywhere. Customers can also use these devices and Android™-powered devices as a remote control to find what to watch, change the channel in real time, start On Demand titles on the TV, program DVRs to record TV shows and movies and sort content based on different filters, keywords or titles.

With 20 billion views to date, Xfinity On Demand provides a pulse on what consumers are watching. The following are the all-time, most-viewed new release movies, TV series, musical artists and other programming on the service, and recipients of the Xfinity On Demand Awards:

Overall Most-Viewed New Release Movies:
1. The Hangover (Warner Bros.)
2. The Blind Side* (Warner Bros.)
3. Couples Retreat* (Universal)
Please see addendum for most-viewed new release movies by genre: action, comedy, drama, horror, indie and kids.

Overall Most-Viewed TV Series:
1. South Park (Comedy Central)
2. Entourage (HBO)
3. Sex and the City (HBO)
Please see addendum for most-viewed TV series by genre: comedy, drama, reality and kids as well as sports and special 3D programming.

Overall Most-Viewed Musical Artists:
1. Beyoncé
2. Chris Brown
3. Ciara
Please see addendum for most-viewed musical artists by genre: country, hip hop, pop, R&B and rock.

Comcast Xfinity TV customers can watch many of these films and artists this month on Xfinity On Demand under the Top Picks 20 Billion folder. Customers can also watch more than 60,000 TV and movie entertainment choices across Xfinity On Demand, online at and on the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone through the Xfinity TV app.

Additionally, in late June, Comcast will kick-off a sweepstakes to celebrate 20 billion Xfinity On Demand views. Entrants can sign-up for the sweepstakes online to enter for a chance to win a grand prize package which includes a walk-on role on NBC's 30 Rock plus a Universal Orlando Resort vacation and tickets to a Universal Pictures Premiere and after-party. Other prizes include 50" HDTVs, plus weekly prizes. The sweepstakes ends on July 31, 2011.

About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) ( is one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services. Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.

Xfinity On Demand Award Winners

Most-Viewed New Release Movies:

Overall Movie:
The Hangover (Warner Bros.)
The Blind Side* (Warner Bros.)
Couples Retreat* (Universal)
Action Movie:
Taken (20th Century Fox)
The Book of Eli* (Warner Bros.)
Avatar (20th Century Fox)
Comedy Movie:
The Hangover (Warner Bros.)
Couples Retreat* (Universal)
He's Just Not That Into You* (Warner Bros./New Line Cinema)
Drama Movie:
The Blind Side* (Warner Bros.)
Gran Torino* (Warner Bros.)
Twilight* (Summit Entertainment)
Horror Movie:
1408 (Warner Bros.)
The Last House on the Left* (Universal)
The Wolfman* (Universal)
Indie Movie:
All Good Things** (Magnolia)
The Killer Inside Me** (IFC)
Centurion** (Magnolia)
Kids/Family Movie:
Alvin and the Chipmunks (20th Century Fox)
Night at the Museum (20th Century Fox)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (20th Century Fox)

Most-Viewed Musical Artists:

Overall Musical Artist:
Chris Brown
Country Musical Artist:
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood
Rascal Flatts
Hip Hop Musical Artist:
Lil Wayne
Bow Wow
Pop Musical Artist:
Michael Jackson
Justin Bieber
Britney Spears
R&B Musical Artist:
Chris Brown
Rock Musical Artist:
Green Day

Most-Viewed TV Series:

Overall TV Series:
South Park (Comedy Central)
Entourage (HBO)
Sex and the City (HBO)
Comedy TV Series:
South Park (Comedy Central)
Entourage (HBO)
Sex and the City (HBO)
Drama TV Series:
The Sopranos (HBO)
Reality TV Series:
Intervention (A&E)
Survivor (CBS)
Real World (MTV)

Overall Kids Series:
SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon)
Tom and Jerry (Cartoon Network)
Caillou (Sprout)
Animated Kids Series:
Age: < 7
SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon)
Tom and Jerry (Cartoon Network)
Caillou (Sprout)
Age: 7+
Ben 10 (Cartoon Network)
Naruto (Cartoon Network)
Dragon Ball Z (Cartoon Network)
Live-Action Kids Series:
Age: < 7
Barney and Friends (Sprout)
Sesame Street (Sprout)
Teletubbies (Sprout)
Age: 7+
iCarly (Nickelodeon)
Hannah Montana (Disney Channel)
Drake & Josh (Nickelodeon)
Overall Sports Programming:
NFL Game Highlights (NFL)
Greatest Hits (HBO)
World Championship Boxing (HBO)
Overall 3D Programming:
Yule Log 3D (iND)

NOTE: Xfinity On Demand Awards were awarded to studios with video-on-demand movie rights.
*Indicates the film was available on Xfinity On Demand the same day as the DVD release.
**Indicates the film was available on Xfinity On Demand the same day as the theatrical release.