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Comcast Releases App For Campus-Based IP Video Service

Comcast has quietly released an app for Apple iOS devices that supports “Xfinity On Campus,” a new IP video service tailored for universities.

Comcast released the 1.0.0 version of the app on Monday, Jan. 13. The MSO has not yet released a version for Android.

The new app will expand the number of devices that can run Xfinity On Campus, an authenticated service that delivers live TV and on-demand via a school’s managed broadband network. Previously access to the Xfinity On Campus service was limited to PC Web browsers.

Comcast is currently testing the service at Emerson College in Boston, and is expected to expand the pilot program to Drexel University in Philadelphia later this month. Comcast has not announced any additional university partners or said when it will commercially launch the cloud-powered, university-focused IP video product. Philo, a startup that counts HBO and Mark Cuban among its backers, has also crafted an IP-based multiscreen service platform for a growing list of university partners.

As of Tuesday, Emerson is the only university listed on the Xfinity On Campus app’s drop-down menu.

Targeted to on-the-go college students that tend to favor video viewing on mobile devices rather than on traditional TVs, Xfinity On Campus is delivered from the cloud using adaptive bit rate technology that the video stream’s bit rate and resolution depending on the amount of bandwidth that’s available. Xfinity On Campus customers pay for service one month in advance, and Comcast notes that it currently accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and the Discover Card.

Comcast is also developing a cloud-powered video service for other residential customers that, when paired with the MSO’s X1 platform, delivers a full slate of subscription video services to mobile devices that are connected to the subscriber’s home network.Comcast is testing that IP streaming app, to be called Xfinity TV, in Boston, and expects to launch it later this month, company chairman and CEO Brian Roberts announced last week at a Citigroup conference in Las Vegas.