Hit with the looming Apple and Google entry into the television market, major cable providers including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, and Cablevision are dropping their old set-top boxes and replacing them with internet-connected devices that can access the Web with HTML5 standard. This new cloud-based technology allows faster updates, much easier searches and more individual preferences to the customer.
After a year of testing, the largest U.S. cable company, Comcast, introduced its new internet-connected guide in Augusta, Georgia. It plans to roll out the new guide known as X1 in five other major markets before the end of the year. The X1 allows viewers to watch videos on television as well as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. If the user is a Comcast phone and broadband service user, they can also view text, e-mails, voicemail, and appointments. The U.S. third largest cable operator, Cox Communication, introduced a system called Trio, a more personalized user interface. The Time Warner is expected to introduce cloud-based user interface next year.
The competition between tech companies and cable providers will be a benefit to the TV viewers. It will allow them surf the Web while watching their favorite TV program.