Comcast to test IPTV network at MIT

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Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) plans to test an IP-based pay TV platform on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The MSO still hasn't begun to deploy X1, a hybrid video product that will use gateway devices to combine cable programming from Comcast's QAM-based infrastructure with IP-based applications. But Comcast is already preparing for the day when it will use IP technology to distribute all of its cable programming, which could help it deliver content to connected TVs and mobile devices.

Comcast says it will expand the IP tests to employees later this year, but that it expects to deliver QAM-based cable programming "for the foreseeable future."

AT&T's (NYSE: T) U-verse TV product relies on IP-based platform. Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) video and collaboration group CTO Kip Compton said last month that he expects more cable MSOs to transition from QAM delivery to hybrid gateways, and that more operators will convert to an IP-based platform.

"We think this is a transition that is going to play out over several years and that a lot of  traditional cable customers will leverage the hybrid technology first, and as they have more and more network devices deployed, start to transition to an IP transport on the cable plant itself," Compton told FierceCable.

For more:
- The Wall Street Journal has this story

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