The choices for watching TV and video are expanding rapidly. So is the thicket viewers need to navigate in order to get what they're looking...
LAS VEGAS — The choices for watching TV and video are expanding rapidly. So is the thicket viewers need to navigate in order to get what they’re looking for and when.
Comcast, best known as a cable-television and broadband provider, is launching a new Web site designed to ease the process of finding and watching video entertainment. The site, www.fancast.com, is powered by a huge database of information — think of the world’s most complete TV Guide — and a video player built by thePlatform, a Seattle-based technology infrastructure company that Comcast acquired in mid-2006.
In a demonstration at the International Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, Comcast executive Sam Schwartz searched for the show “CSI.” The system queried Comcast’s database of TV listings, DVD catalogs, online video content from sites such as the Fox-NBC collaboration Hulu and other sources.
Fancast returned a list of results including “CSI” DVD boxed sets, on-demand viewing options and a schedule showing the next time the show would air on TV. Users of the site will have the option of viewing some programming directly online, using thePlatform’s video player.
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“It’s putting an umbrella over a lot of the different things,” said Schwartz, executive vice president of strategy and development with Comcast Interactive Media.
The site, supported by advertising revenue, also makes recommendations of content based on a user’s profile and allows people to discover related shows and movies through a function called Six Degrees (a reference to the trivia game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon).
Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts is scheduled to formally announce the Web site, which goes live today, at the International Consumer Electronics Show here this morning. Executives hope the site will become a centerpiece of Comcast’s two-year-old Interactive Media efforts.
Benjamin J. Romano: 206-464-2149 or firstname.lastname@example.org