Comcast’s next-generation Xi4 set-top box passes the FCC

It looks like Comcast is getting ready to ship its next-generation set-top box to consumers: A filing for the company’s Xi4 set-top box just popped up in the FCC’s database. The filing, which has been approved by the FCC, is heavily redacted but it does give us some clues as to what the new box is all about.

Comcast's next-generation TV sett-op box, as shown in an FCC filing.

Comcast’s next-generation TV set-top box, as shown in an FCC filing.

The new set-top box is being made by Pegatron on behalf of Cisco, which is notable, because its Xi3 predecessor has been made by Pace. The device goes by a range of model numbers, including Cisco CX041AE1 as well as Cisco ATV8100, but it looks like Comcast will be calling the box Xi4v1-C. The box includes support for 2.4Ghz Wifi and Bluetooth, which is likely being used for the remote control. A photo of the FCC label shows a square device, much like what Comcast has been showing off for some time as its next-generation X1 set-top box.

Interesting about these new boxes is that they likely won’t contain a local hard drive anymore. Instead, Comcast is now storing all of it’s customers’ TV recordings in the cloud as part of its cloud DVR.

Comcast has been gradually expanding the footprint of its cloud DVR service over the last several months, and brought it to San Francisco last summer. At the time, Comcast executives told me that the company could eventually offer unlimited storage for TV recordings in the cloud, and possibly even ditch set-top boxes altogether.

Fudging it on Aereo

To argue now that Cablevision’s “first instance” retransmission licenses somehow conferred immunity from liability on its second-instance RS-DVR service that is not available to Aereo, as the deputy solicitor general tried to is, is to assume facts not in evidence.

Justice Department could hold key to Aereo outcome

The outcome of the Aereo case could turn on whether a majority of the justices can get comfortable distinguishing Aereo from Cablevision, allowing them to craft an opinion that finds Aereo to be illegal without disturbing the result of the Cablevision case.

Comcast is getting ready to launch its cloud DVR in Boston

http://www.fiercecable.com/story/comcast-prepares-launch-network-dvr-boston/2014-01-29

Comcast (s CMCSK)  is preparing to launch its cloud DVR in the Boston market “very soon,” according to a FierceCable report. The company’s SVP and GM of Video Services Matt Strauss told FierceCbale that the new network DVR, which will store customers’ recordings in the cloud, will be rolled out market by market this year. The cloud DVR will only be made available to subscribers who also have Comcast’s new X1 set-top box, which was also rolled out in Boston first.

Simple.tv shows off cloud DVR at CES, readies expansion to U.K.

Cord cutting-friendly DVR maker Simple.tv showed off cloud storage integration for videos at CES in Las Vegas this week, and Simple.tv CEO Mark Ely hinted at plans to launch a European version of the company’s second-generation device in the U.K. as early as April.

Simple.tv is bringing its DVR for cord cutters to Ouya

Simple.tv will launch an app for its over-the-air DVR on Ouya devices next year. The app will bring live and recorded TV to the Android-based game console, provided that users also own Simple.tv’s networked DVR. The company announced Thursday that it will preview an app for Simple.tv at CES in January, where it will also show off a first implementation of a cloud DVR. Simple.tv CEO Mark Ely first told me in July that the company was thinking about adding a cloud-based DVR as a supplemental feature to its device.