Comcast Corp. says 150,000 TV shows, movies and other video content will be available on laptops and other digital devices from 90 different movie and TV partners, including Time Warner's HBO or Viacom's Paramount Pictures.
As expected, Comcast's plan works in its push for the 'TV Everywhere' effort -- an initiative which allows its customers -- who currently pay a monthly subscription charge for its digital service -- to access content online by signing in with an ID and password. Non-Comcast consumers would need to pay an extra fee.
With Xfinity TV, consumers can search listings or program their video recorders through their computers with its "My TV" feature. Customers can also now share the videos they are watching via social media networks.
Xfinity TV adds to a number of seemingly conflicting video services -- one that will be partially owned by Comcast. For example, by the end of the year, Comcast Corp. is expected to get approval for its majority stake buyout of NBC Universal. NBCU is a partner along with Walt Disney and News Corp. in hulu.com, a big premium full-length TV program video service.
For many cable companies, new digital video services and ventures are still in the 'testing' phase -- trying to figure out what consumers want, partly to keep their monthly cable TV subscriptions. TV Everywhere was pushed from the threat of former cable and other potential consumers who have "cut the cable cord" and watch TV shows free over the Web.
Xfinity TV has deals with HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, Encore, Movieplex, TNT, TBS, Nickelodeon, Discovery, A&E, AMC, MTV, BET, E! Entertainment, The Style Network, G4, Golf Channel, Comedy Central, BBC, Bravo, SyFy, Animal Planet, The Travel Channel, Food Network, DIY, The Cooking Channel, History, IFC and Ovation, as well as what it says is "broadcast content" from CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.
Although movies will be available the same day as DVD rentals on Xfinity TV, there are limits to the content available under the service.