Comcast iPad app adopts Microsoft media technology

In a bit of cross-lake collaboration, Microsoft is now working with thePlatform, Comcast’s Seattle-based tech subsidiary, to integrate some of the Redmond company’s digital media technologies into thePlatform’s web video management system.

And in an unexpected twist, the first rollout of the combined technologies is for Comcast’s Xfinity TV iPad app, in addition to online web streaming.

The companies detailed their collaboration this morning, saying they’ve integrated Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) Smooth Streaming technology into the mpx video management system that thePlatform offers to media companies and television service providers. IIS adjusts video quality based on bandwidth and the characteristics of the viewing device to keep the video stream steady. ThePlatform is also adopting Microsoft’s PlayReady DRM to protect content from unauthorized use.

Here’s where the iPad comes in: The companies say the first media provider to roll out the joint technology is Comcast’s own Xfinity TV Online service. A line toward the end of the news release explains that the technologies are “integrated as part of the On Demand video streaming feature on the iPad.” Comcast introduced on-demand streaming in the app in February.

A spokesman for thePlatform says Microsoft’s technology is also being used as part of the streaming system for the Xfinity TV Online service for Windows PCs and Macs.

The combined technology has the potential to reach well beyond that initial deployment, given thePlatform’s customer base — which includes media and cable television giants such as Cox Communications, Cablevision, CBC, Canwest, Time Warner Cable and others in addition to its parent company. thePlatform says its media management systems are used to manage and syndicate billions of video views annually.

  • Jonah

    You know what is missing in the conversation at Microsoft on this topic? It goes like this.

    One EDD exec: “See that iPad app for Comcast we are helping out on?”

    Another EDD exec: “Yeah, it is pretty cool stuff”

    And the conversation ends. Here is what would happen if they had any clue into what consumers want.

    First EDD exec: “We should extend that partnership with Comcast and get an Xfinity app on Xbox…Netflix is gangbusters on Xbox right now, this is a no brainer and can yet again show off silverlight.”

    Second EDD exec: “Heck yeah, great idea, when should we get this done.”

    First EDD exec: “Yesterday. lets use our significant resources and get this done..Hell, we can outsource to a local startup for less than a million and they can probably do it in a week, since they usually don’t get paid much for tinkering in their parent’s basement”

    Second EDD exec: “Awesome idea, lets shoot for end of this week.”

    And this is why Robbie Bach is no more, because that second part rarely happened. Hopefully that changes.

    • http://twitter.com/myrmidonical myrmidonical

      I see where you’re going with the example, and I think you’re probably right in a general sense. But, when it comes to content, I doubt Microsoft is the blocker. I’m sure Redmond has often tried to have this conversation. But, Comcast is going to fight it. They own the tv through their cable box. It’s one thing to extend limited service to screens they can’t connect a box to like a tablet or laptop. However, it’s something else entirely to give up the television. That’s their foundation, and not owning the keys to the content will feel very threatening.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesus-Lopez/100002210504205 Jesus Lopez

    I have had the ability to watch TV on my iPad since last
    October. Except its way better than the Comcast method, I have an employee
    Sling receiver from DISH Network. With my Sling receiver, I can stream live and
    recorded TV to my iPad, android phone, and laptop everywhere I have 3G coverage
    or WiFi.

  • Anonymous

     Comcast has put a lot into their online on demand content portal, they missed the point of TV Everywhere, but they definitely adopted the line. I mean if I want to watch the original Star Trek series I can on Xfinity, and other shows, last nights airings that somehow I didn’t manage to DVR.  Working for DISH I like to watch the industry and new tech and gadgets, and this is nothing different, other then it lacks streaming your live TV to your Ipad wherever you are, which was touched on already, but right now all subscribers are eligible to get sling adapter for free, stream all your live subscribed channels wherever you are to your iPad, and do it for free. But feel free to compare at http://besttvforme.com/