In Los Angeles this week, members of the telecommunications business are attending The Cable Show. Hosted by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), the event is a three-day series of panels and exhibitions, all exploring the current trends in the cable business. It sounds like one provocative panel discussion transpired on Wednesday, when a group of very powerful content distributors debated various aspects of new trends in technology and models. It sounds like there was a lot of metered enthusiasm among the established executives in the discussion. PC Mag has a recap from the panel, which included the CEOs of cable giants Comcast and Time Warner, as well as the heads of Fox Filmed Entertainment and CBS. Tom Rothman (from Fox) and Les Moonves (from CBS) delivered unsurprising sound bites about protecting windows and advertising dollars. Nothing new. One true revelation in the discussion, though, appears to be the introduction of the Comcast app for the iPad:
In a demo video, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts linked the iPad to a Comcast cable box and controlled the TV with the iPad. He also invited another iPad-owning friend to watch the TV show he was watching, a feature that also lets people chat about the show in question. A Comcast spokeswoman said a version of the app should be available later this year, though it has not yet been submitted to Apple for consideration.
What’s most exciting about this Comcast iPad app, is that it addresses one of the biggest issues content distributors and consumers have with cable: search navigation. Cable consumption would likely grow in both frequency and favor, if combing through your cable menu was simple as combing through the World Wide Web. According to another report from the panel, on Reuters, the next steps may include a Comcast app on smart phones such as the Google Android.