Businesses throughout Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) footprint now have access to the MSO's cloud-based X1 video platform, which the company says will bring them easier search and navigation, voice control, and a picture-in-picture, sports content companion called the X1 Sports App.
"Businesses across the country can now offer their customers the same award-winning video experience that millions of people experience every day in their living room," said Christian Nascimento, VP, product and premise services, Comcast Business.
He cites doctors' offices, bars, restaurants, fitness centers, and financial services offices as examples of small-to-medium businesses that would benefit from X1. The voice remote will make it easier to find content and select channels, Nascimento said, allowing someone in a pediatrician's office, for example, to request children's programming, or a stockbroker to choose a stock app.
"The sports app is really compelling. Bars and restaurants can get up-to-the minute updates and jump easily from game to game and league to league," Nascimento said.
Establishments that have used satellite or utilize an older Comcast platform can upgrade for a more intuitive user experience, with more efficiency and the use of less power. "Our product is focused on sustainability," Nascimento said. "It will go on standby to conserve resources."
The business market in the United States is worth about $4 billion. IDC analyst Greg Ireland predicted that Comcast could disrupt this market by bringing products and solutions that have generated "excellent results" in the residential market to businesses. "(They) can help businesses gain an edge in attracting new and returning customers."
"The business TV market is massive …. The power of X1 gives us a new way to talk about TV and businesses," Nascimento said. "We are excited to come in and do things differently in the business market."
Comcast launched X1 for the hospitality market last June, with Four Seasons in Philadelphia near the Comcast Center as one of the first customers. Each of the 219 rooms in the new hotel was equipped with X1, providing guests with not only the voice remote, but also on-demand content and DVR functionality.
"Four Seasons guests seek exceptional quality at every turn, and technology and entertainment are an important part of their experience with us," said Ben Shank, general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center. "Today's luxury travelers want customized, personal experiences with fantastic and intuitive amenities. X1 is simple and user-friendly, allowing guests to navigate and discover the programs they want to watch."