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Summary:

Comcast will be adding a new feature to its Xfinity iPad app that will allow subscribers to stream live TV to the mobile tablet. The catch is that viewers will only have access to that live programming while they’re at home, connected to their wireless router.

comcast xfinity app

Comcast is adding a new wrinkle to its Xfinity mobile application: Future versions of the app will not only deliver thousands of hours of on-demand video to mobile and tablet devices, but will also give users access to live TV programming as well, according to a post on the Comcast blog today. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts will be demoing new features of the Xfinity iPad app at the Citi Conference for Media, Entertainment and Telecommunications today (audio link here, requires free registration).

Comcast first demoed its iPad app last spring, showing off integration with its program guide and DVR that enabled users to browse, search for and record content. When the company finally launched the first iteration of the app a few months ago, it also previewed an upcoming feature that would allow subscribers to watch video on demand titles from the mobile device.

Adding live streaming into the mix will be a huge upgrade for its mobile app users. But before Comcast subscribers get too excited, it’s worth noting that live streaming will only be available for users when connected to their Comcast wireless router. In other words, the live streaming will only work while subscribers are at their own homes, which takes a little bit of fun out of the “mobile” aspect of it.

Comcast isn’t the only video service provider that has announced this type of feature; Verizon showed off a version of its iPad app last summer that would also enable live streaming to the iPad. And like Comcast, its live streaming only works in the home when connected to a wireless router from Verizon.

Comcast hasn’t said when the live features will be available on the iPad, but the latest version of the app, which includes the Play Now on demand feature, has been submitted to Apple for approval and should be available in the coming weeks. According to a Comcast spokesperson, a version of the mobile app is also being developed for Android and should be coming soon.

For a look at the Comcast Xfinity iPad app’s search and on-demand features, check out our hands-on video below:

Related content on GigaOM Pro: (subscription required)

  1. But wait, isn’t this pushing huge amounts of traffic onto other provider’s networks? Hmmm… Wasn’t there just a dispute between someone and Level3 because of Netflix increased video traffic… Oh wait, it was Comcast. :)

    Seriously, I wish DIrecTV would do this with their OnDemand content.

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    1. That would be great, except DirecTV doesn’t run its own broadband networks. That’s going to be a problem as it needs to roll out value-added services tied to online video.

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  2. I guess you missed the Thanksgiving release of SlingPlayer iPad, which can show any video source from your home (if you have a SlingBox) and/or all your DISH Network paid content (if you have a SlingLoaded receiver) GLOBALLY via the ‘net.

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  3. Definitely cool. If you’re planning on watching a lot of TV or movies on your iPad I would suggest investing in the TabGrip. It’s got handles and legs that make it way easier to watch online. Plus they have a 30% off sale until tomorrow (tabgrip.com) which makes it $34.99. Not too shabby!

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  4. The DISH Sling Adapter is awesome and does give amazing ability of global TV especially since the downloadable app are on most popular Smart-Phones. I have been playing around with this little treasure and I’m finding it to be very useful, both in “cool new toy” capacity and in situations like on the subway when I’m really wanting to blast away to somewhere else. I’ve done some investigation into Xfinity and although it does turn your phone into a remote control, it does not offer live TV which is definately a plus for DISH Network!

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  5. [...] as the subscriber is streaming from their own home network. While Verizon and Comcast have both talked about adding live TV streams to their apps, neither has pulled the trigger yet, making Time Warner Cable [...]

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