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Comcast Using WebRTC for Live Streaming App

August 28, 2015

The utility of WebRTC continues to expand as the value of real-time sharing becomes apparent across a broad expanse of vertical markets including use in communications services for home as well as work. In fact, an interesting example here in the U.S. comes from major cable TV network provider Comcast which has announced the expansion of its Xfinity Share app.

For those unfamiliar, the Xfinity Share application allows Comcast subscribers the ability to live stream or send photos and recorded videos to their TV, or to the TV of another X1 customer. Plus, subscribers can also send or receive live streams, photos, and videos on a mobile device. The Xfinity Share app is available to download for free from the Apple Store for iOS devices or from Google Play for Android devices. Where WebRTC comes in is that it is the enabling technology for the app.

As noted on its website Comcast originally made Xfinity Share available only to Xfinity Triple Play customers. It is now making it available to all Xfinity customers.

Source: Comcast

Easy to use

If you are an Xfinity subscriber Comcast says using the WebRTC-based app is simple. Assuming you have a X1 DVR capable set-top box the process to get going is as follows:

  • Open the Xfinity Share app, select "Stream Live"
  • Select "Stream to other contacts"
  • Enter the home phone number or Comcast email address for the person you want to see the video, and click "Stream."
  • A notification pops up on that person’s TV, and all they need to do on their end is click the "Info" button on the X1 TV remote.

The scenarios for use are really only limited to one’s imagination. The obvious one is letting parents and grandparents see kids at play remotely.

The move by Comcast is nice from a business perspective since it certainly is an inducement for friends and family to subscribe to Xfinity. Comcast is promising further enhancements in the coming months and it would not be surprising to see a move toward seamless real-time video conferencing on the big screen on the apps’ horizon. After all why limit real-time audio to smartphones and tablets when grandma and grandpa could easily get it on the big screen?  Plus, given the extensive and growing Wi-Fi presence of all of the major U.S. cable TV operators the remote traffic could be huge and another way for creating real customer stickiness. 

A good way to think about this from the WebRTC Solutions community perspective is WebRTC everywhere and for everyone with no limitations.  In the meantime, it is nice if you are a Comcast customer, and by all means, download and use the app.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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