Comcast Working on iPad TV Streaming Service Called AnyPlay
Comcast, the United States' largest cable and internet provider, is working on a television streaming solution for iPads, to compete with Cablevision and Time Warner. The streaming product was announced earlier this year, but details haven't been released until now.
The product, called AnyPlay, allows Comcast subscribers to view live television on their iPad as long as it's connected to their home network; users must have a special Motorola box which, apparently, takes the live cable stream and sends it directly to the Xfinity TV iPad app over a local wireless network. The service won't work over Wi-Fi from other locations, or via 3G.
Update: Engadget believes the Motorola Televation cable TV-to-IPTV box is what Comcast will be using for AnyPlay.
Other solutions, like Time Warner's, stream live video over an internet connection. Comcast's AnyPlay appears to be a cable box that sends video to the iPad rather than to a television. Users can watch "most" channels included with their Xfinity TV service. Users can register up to 10 tablets, but only watch live TV on one tablet at a time.
Currently, Xfinity customers can use the Xfinity TV app to watch On Demand programming, search TV listings, and schedule DVR recordings.
There is no indication of release dates or availability, but AnyPlay will be available in limited markets at first, and spreading to all Comcast customers eventually.
Comcast previously used the "AnyPlay" name on an announced but never released product with Panasonic in 2008.
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Top Rated Comments
Poor choice of branding and a nearly useless service. Spend the money I send you monthly on developing a decent, flexable service that I can use when I'm away from home. THAT would add value.
The "AnyPlay" brand might be appropriate if we were able to play from "Anywhere" on "Anything" at "Anytime" but not on only one iPad at a time and only from home.
What they're apparently offering is really "OnlyPlay."
As long as it's in your home where you already have TVs, and no other iPad is viewing it, and as long as it's live, and as long as it's one of the select shows on one of the select channels.
Meanwhile, most of the networks have their own apps for watching live or on demand as long as you're a Comcast (or other select) subscriber.
Is this really that hard?
Comcast, for the love of God, figure this out... Create a "network" app that features live and on demand channels of all the major networks. Allow this app to work on any network along with scaling down to 3G. Allow this app to work via AirPlay. Then, offer this app for existing customers, or allow new customers to sign up for the app service only.
What you'll find is that markets where someone else has the cable service, you're now able to penetrate, just like satellite, except, unlike satellite, cable, FiOS or other delivery, you don't have to pay for the dumb pipes.
It's for iPads.
If I need to sign in to a separate wifi network for TV, separate from the network I use to access the internet, this is going to be a no go.