Comcast fabricated a tip coronet in San Francisco Wednesday to denote a new Xfinity X1 TV height to a cackle of tech reporters. Xfinity X1 is an wholly cloud-based complement with a intensity to discharge a wire box, that Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts certified becomes “obsolete as shortly as we put it in your house.”
So if all we need is broadband Internet entrance to get TV use from Comcast, what’s to stop a association from charity a use by any broadband ISP? Nothing though greed.
Tuesday’s Xfinity X1 demo was dazzling. Comcast execs boasted that you’d eventually be means to record any singular module it offering over a 30-day period, given you’d have a probably vast DVR in a cloud. There’s a new remote with an integrated microphone, so we can control a complement and perform searches with voice commands. You can tide video from your phone to any other Xfinity X1 customer’s TV, so grandma can see a kids’ soccer game. You can confederate your WeMo inclination and emanate IFTTT recepies, and there’s most more.
But Roberts’ post-demo dissembling over issues such as net neutrality, competition, his company’s seductiveness in appropriation Time Warner, and a hurdles a cable-TV attention has had to overcome over a past 60 years was even some-more entertaining.
When asked about Comcast’s bid to acquire Time Warner, for instance, Roberts pronounced “In this industry, behind in a 1960s—late 50s, they gave out one authorization during a time to all 30,000 [municipalities in a United States]. No business before or given worked that way. It doesn’t unequivocally make a lot of sense.”
Well, monopolies don’t make a lot of sense, either, though those early wire companies wouldn’t offer a municipality but a pledge that rooftop antennas and rabbit ears would be their usually competition.
And if those municipalities had famous behind in a 60s that a new cables strung from their application poles would also concede a wire companies to peddle telephone, Internet, and smart-home use to their citizens, we can gamble those authorization fees would have been a lot higher; given consumers didn’t have a choice of TV use providers until, as Roberts forked out, “You could put adult one satellite and strike all 30,000 [municipalities]. Put adult another satellite and a second association strike all 30,000.”
Continuing his story of how he had to travel 10 miles barefoot in a sleet to get to propagandize any day, Roberts forked out how informal phone companies can use multi-state regions of a country, while wire companies are singular to handling on a city-by-city basis. (How’d we get informal phone companies? By violation adult a corner ATT hold given a invention of a telephone.)
“Wireless companies are all over a country,” Roberts said. “Then a cloud comes along, and Amazon, Google, Apple, Verizon—you name it. All ‘click’ and they get it [access to a national market]. And we’re still chugging along with a 7 or 10 thousand franchises.”
Poor small Comcast. All those regulatory shackles singular a 2013 income to a measly $16.9 billion.
Roberts also insisted that appropriation Time Warner wouldn’t change a rival landscape one iota. “The product we only saw demonstrated so splendidly by a group is unequivocally tough and genuine costly and opposite than plain-old cable. But it’s not accessible in New York and LA—any of a product we only saw [because those are Time Warner wire territories].”
In reality, Comcast doesn’t need franchises anywhere to offer their new TV platform. If Infinity X1 truly is a cloud service, Comcast could broach it over any ISP’s pipes—just like Google, Amazon, Netflix, and large other companies broach their services over Comcast’s pipes.
But Comcast won’t do that given it would meant giving adult a event to also sell Internet, phone, smart-home services, and who knows what else down a highway to those same customers. Comcast doesn’t unequivocally caring about cable-TV franchises; it cares about determining a Internet’s infrastructure.
“Competition has spurred creation some-more than law has,” Roberts said.
True. But but regulation, there would be no competition.