Comcast rolls out Xfinity TV for cable subscribers: Online access to content, remote DVR programming, more

While Internet companies are working hard to get their services on HDTVs, cable companies are working just as hard to make sure their programming can reach subscribers on the Internet. As part of its TV Everywhere initiative, Comcast has just launched Xfinity TV, which gives its cable customers access to a large library of video content online as well as the ability to program their DVRs remotely.

While Internet companies are working hard to get their services on HDTVs, cable companies are working just as hard to make sure their programming can reach subscribers on the Internet. As part of its TV Everywhere initiative, Comcast has just launched Xfinity TV, which gives its cable customers access to a large library of video content online as well as the ability to program their DVRs remotely.

Comcast promises almost 150,000 video selections for Xfinity TV, including a wide range of cable programming from HBO to MTV to AMC to Comedy Central. In addition, it offers a catalog of movies that will be able to rent or purchase, including titles that will be available on the same day as DVD release. It doesn't appear that you can start watching something online from the Xfinity TV library and then be able to resume watching it on your TV at the same spot; it's also unclear if you can rent a movie online and then watch it on another device.

Xfinity TV also offers Comcast customers to ability to program their DVR on the Web, and even prioritize the shows you have programmed to be recorded. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like you can view your DVR recordings over the Internet -- at least yet. There's a new Watchlist feature, which allows you to name your favorite shows and let Infinity TV tell you when a new episode is ready to watch. Frankly, I'm not sure about the use value of this function, because I already know when a new episode is available since it's one of my favorite shows, but perhaps there's more to this than I'm currently discerning. Finally, you can keep track of what your Facebook connections are watching through the Friends feature.

There's enough here with Infinity TV to get Comcast part of the way toward its ultimate goal: Call it TV Somewhere. Still to come apparently are the ability to watch your DVR content online and to view content rented on one device on another one, the iPad app, and so on. What else would you be looking for? Let us know in the Comments section.

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