Comcast’s Cloud-Based DVR Results in Increased Subscribers
In the ever-changing world of TV watching, Comcast earns points for its ability to keep up. Instead of shifting its attention to its internet side, where the demand is always growing, Comcast is continuing its work on the TV side of operations, as well. With its series of cloud-connected DVRs, the company continues to prove it has what it takes to remain successful despite hefty competition from online streaming services.
X1 and X2
Before it had completed its launch of its X1 box last summer, the company was already touting the X2, a version of the X1 that remembers a user’s preferences and provides a customizable dashboard. But the X1 was already a dramatically updated version of the service’s previous DVRs, integrating TV and the internet through the cloud.
With its newer DVRs, Comcast offers customers the ability to watch recorded shows on multiple devices, as well as share content with social media directly from the DVR’s dashboard. Users can also set up recordings on a smartphone or tablet while away from home. Through Comcast’s app, users can also control TVs directly through a mobile device, potentially eliminating the need for a remote.
With the X2, however, the company plans to eliminate the process of saving recordings to hard drives, storing them directly onto its servers. Users will enjoy increased scalability with the cloud, although Comcast will probably charge for additional storage space. In other words, you may be limited now to only 300 hours of your favorite TV shows, but with the cloud, Comcast could increase those limits…at a price.
But Comcast isn’t resting on those innovations. Among innovations being tested at its Comcast Labs division is a Send to TV feature that will allow customers to send content from a smartphone, tablet, or PC to a TV—a la Google Chromecast. The offering is currently in beta for users who want to give it a try.
Innovation Spells Success
All of these innovations have resulted in success for Comcast, which has been able to actually add subscribers in the last quarter. Most importantly, though, the company was able to slow the flow of customers from its service, leading some in the industry to speculate if the company could potentially turn the trend around.
In addition to competing with cloud streaming sticks, Comcast also aggressively sought out customers with a special. For $69.99 a month, customers could sign up for the company’s TV, internet, and phone service last month. Perhaps recognizing that most customers have no interest in a landline in the cell phone era, the company also provides a double play to lure customers into bundling TV with their internet subscriptions.
But will this promotional behavior be enough. Industry experts are predicting the migration to streaming-only will continue to progress over the next few years, but Comcast is positioning itself to capture those customers, as well. By blending its TV and internet, the company seems to be hoping many customers will become reliant on both, ensuring its future as a cable TV provider.