June 12, 2013
The Slowskys would have been horrified.
Comcast Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Brian Roberts on Tuesday demonstrated the first broadband connection with a download speed of more than 3 gigabits per second at The Cable Show 2013 in Washington, D.C. Roberts demonstrated the connection by opening an email and downloading a 4K Ultra HD file in a few seconds. 4K Ultra HD television sets have four times the resolution of most high-definition TVs in use today. Comcast planned to demonstrate the first public delivery in the United States of 4K Ultra HD video over its existing network at its booth at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association's annual gathering, which is being held in Washington.
Roberts also unveiled X2, the next-generation of Comcast's X1 cloud-based technology platform. Comcast said X2 is designed to integrate live, on-demand and web content, home control and a growing number of apps in a customized product that can be accessed on TVs, smart phones and tablet, lap-top and desk-top computers. Comcast plans to begin rolling out X2 later this year. It also plans to have X1, which is only available in 12 markets now, available in all its markets by the end of the year. Comcast is primarily offering the platform to new customers and won't have all its customers upgraded to it for a few years.
On Monday, Comcast said it is beginning to give its Internet customers two Wi-Fi signals: one for their own use and one that visitors who are Comcast customers can log on to with their own user names and passwords. Comcast said it began testing wireless gateways that broadcast two signals in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the Washington area last year. The company is calling its plan to roll out the new wireless gateways its "Neighborhood Hotspot" initiative. Comcast said the initiative compliments its participation in the CableWiFi Alliance, which allows Internet customers of all the companies in the alliance to use the Wi-Fi hot spots of all the companies in the alliance. For example, a Comcast customer visiting Los Angeles can use his Comcast user name and password to log on to Time Warner Cable Inc.'s hot spots there.
Also, on Monday, Comcast launched Xfinity Home Control. The company said the service is for customers who want smart-home capabilities like video monitoring and remote control of lights and thermostats, but don't want to sign up for the professional security monitoring service Comcast offers, which it's now calling Xfinity Home Secure. Comcast also launched EcoSaver, a cloud-based service that, when paired with the Xfinity Home thermostat, learns the unique heating and cooling patterns of a home and makes automatic and incremental adjustments to the thermostat based on real-time weather data, the house's thermal characteristics and the temperature preferences of the house's occupants, who retain the ability to adjust the thermostat to their liking.
EcoSaver builds on the announcement last week by Comcast and Osram Sylvania that they plan to offer energy-efficient light bulbs that can be controlled remotely through Comcast's Xfinity Home platform. Philadelphia Business Journal; more from Associated Presss
A vote on whether to approve a $28.3 billion state budget plan by Pennsylvania's House of Representatives will have to wait until at least Wednesday. Representatives were scheduled to vote Tuesday to send the GOP-crafted bill to the Senate, but the House adjourned without taking it up. House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin says leaders decided to postpone the vote until Wednesday so lawmakers can get "a fresh start" on the expected debate. House rules require a 24-hour waiting period after bills are amended, as the budget bill was Monday. That delayed a Tuesday vote until at least late afternoon. Associated Press
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