Comcast's thePlatform shifts focus to HTML5

Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) thePlatform subsidiary said it will use a video player based on HTML5 as the default for programming that it distributes for cable networks on the Web and mobile devices.

The company, which previously used a video player based on Adobe Flash as its default, said the move will help its customers reduce development costs and deliver faster load times for video playback. Several cable networks and MSOs use thePlatform to power TV Everywhere video distribution, including Comcast, Cox Communications, Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), A&E Networks and USA Network.

Comcast is relying more than ever on HTML5 to deliver programming to cable subscribers. Its new Xfinity X1 interface was also designed in HTML5. Cable technology vendors such as Arris (Nasdaq: ARRS) are also using HTML5 to deliver interactive applications and multiplatform programming to subscribers.

While thePlatform will use HTML5 as its default, the company said its video players will switch to Adobe if needed.

"We've always supported HTML5, but the technology has matured over the past 18 months, and it's now ready for primetime," thePlatform SVP of Sales and Marketing Marty Roberts said in Tuesday's announcement.

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