If you thought Comcast would let Verizon make them look bad with those 300 Mbps FiOS Quantum speeds, you've got another thing coming, as the company has just announced Xfinity Platinum. Boasting speeds of 305 Mbps down and 65 Mbps up, the new offering will only be available to Comcast customers living in the northeast region, with no details on if it will be deployed elsewhere.
In addition, customers on the lower-speed Xfinity Blast! tier will see their speeds increased from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps, and Extreme tier customers get bumped from 50 Mbps to 105 Mbps with no price increase. Now, two pieces of bad news. First, the 305 Mbps service will cost $299.95 per month, which is $95 more than FiOS Quantum. Second, if you're a Comcast customer who doesn't live in Boston, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburg, Hartford, Wilmington, Richmond, New Jersey, Baltimore, or Washington, D.C., then you don't get any speed bumps.
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Comcast is working to bring Skype video chat to their set-top boxes through the Xfinity service, and they've put together a video that gives the inside scoop on what it took to build the look and feel for Skype on your television. We've got the video for you above. No pricing or launch date has been announced yet, but we're curious what you'd be willing to pay for something like this from your cable TV provider. Hit us in the comments!
At the NCTA Conference in Chicago, Roberts characterized the demonstration as the next generation of Xfinity, the company's hybrid cable-based video/phone/data service. The company launched it two years ago as "Project Infinity".
First, however, Roberts showed off the future of the Comcast interface.
"What I want to show you today is not the future, but right here, right now," Roberts said, showing off the "Xcalibur" interface that is currently in trials in Augusta, Georgia.
Xcalibur is based on cloud computing - not clpoud storage, but cloud-computing. The guide actually resides in the cloud, Roberts said. Users can see a traditional channel view, or view programs by genre or for different users. An On Demand view also uses a similar format. The Xcalibur's new remote also uses RF technology, which is not limited by line of sight. Users can also type in "HBO" using numbers - like a phone number - and pulls in additional information via the cloud.
In a puzzling move, Comcast announced today that they are going to be rebranding their broadband services under a new moniker: Xfinity. Seriously. Starting next week, Xfinity TV, Xfinity Internet, and Xfinity Voice will be rolled out to current Comcast customers in 11 markets, those being: Boston, Philly, Baltimore, DC, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Hartford, Augusta, and Chatanooga, along with parts of the Bay area. Don’t expect any changes in the actual services you receive, this is just a name change, similar to when CableVision rebranded their services under the Optimum banner.
Expect a marketing blitz in the markets named above to start next Friday, including TV ads during the Olympics, print, and radio spots.
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