We learned last fall that Comcast had some new tricks planned for the Xfinity TV app, and an announcement this morning provides a bit more detail. (Business Insider SAI posted the news first.) Comcast will launch a new “play now” feature later this year for the iPad that gives access to “nearly 3,000 hours” of on-demand content. In addition, Comcast will add live streaming to the Xfinity TV app for in-home live TV watching on an iPad. Yes, we’re talking in-home only on the live streaming, but it still makes a nice place-shifting feature when you want to watch TV while cleaning the dishes or organizing your closets. Both the play now and live streaming functions will also reportedly be ported to Android tablets this year.
It’s interesting that Comcast has decided to make some noise during CES despite not having an official presence here. (No doubt there are plenty of back-room meetings taking place.) Part of the reason has to be the fact that Verizon is making a big splash at the show this year, though most of that will be on the wireless side rather than from the FiOS division. Another part of the reason is likely Comcast’s upcoming merger with NBCU. As The New York Times reported this morning, CES is turning into a can’t-miss event for media companies. All these new gadgets are great. But many of them are only as good as the content they provide.