There have been recent indications that Comcast might very well be providing a live TV streaming solution for tablets very soon. Comcast has been hinting about such a service being in the works for some time now. Basically, the new AnyPlay service and cable box will work alongside the free & already existing Xfinity TV app to bring live streaming TV directly to your Android tablet, iPad and other slates.
At this point people can already use the Xfinity app to do things like schedule DVR recordings, browse TV listings and watch On Demand programs. Coupled with Comcast and their portable DVR and TV-to-IPTV style box it will enable you to watch your favorite TV shows from your tablet. In short, AnyPlay will function like a typical cable box other than the fact that it sends video wirelessly to your tablet computer instead of your television. No actual release date or pricing structure has been announced but it’s not far fetched to say those details will surface soon enough.
Not to knock Comcast or anything because they are sincerely trying to provide their customers with useful new options, but before you shout “revolutionary” at the top of your lungs keep in mind this new service, at least in its infancy, does have its limitations. For example, you’ll be able to register a total of 10 tablets per unit/box but will only be able to view live streaming TV from one tablet device at a time. On top of that, the service will only work via a home connected network and not 3G, 4G or other Wi-Fi connections.
Other companies have already been providing more advanced TV streaming solutions for tablets such as Cablevision with their Optimum app and Time Warner with their TWCable TV app. There’s also the Vulkano app which lets you schedule recordings on your TiVo and watch them on your tablet no matter where you are located as long as you have an Internet connection. In other words, the new AnyPlay service may not have a seismic impact in this area, and even though the water is already warm at least Comcast is getting their feet wet, hey we all have to start somewhere!
It’s also been rumored that Microsoft might be taking some interest in the new AnyPlay service and are considering ways of integrating it in some way with their popular Xbox 360 console. Like a slingshot this could be just the merge & surge Comcast needs to put them ahead or at least on par with the rest of the pack.