Comcast Touts Multiscreen Video ‘VIPER’

Comcast has been quietly plugging away on a platform designed to accelerate the company’s ability to deliver high-quality video to a wide range of screens.

That project, called VIPER, is a “home-grown video infrastructure…that streamlines the delivery of all professional content through the same broadcast-grade, programmable pipeline,” Comcast senior VP and chief software architect Sree Kotay explained this week in a blog post about the project. “This translates to a more consistent, cost effective, and high-quality viewing experience no matter where our customers watch – on TV, online, on mobile devices, on gaming consoles.”

FierceCable reported earlier this month that the Comcast has been highlighting VIPER, an acronym for Video IP Engineering and Research, in its recent hiring activities, including its seeking of a service delivery engineer to be based in Littleton, Colo. The heart of Comcast’s cloud-based X1 platform is based at its facility in Centennial, Colo.

Kotay referred to X1 as “the first IP, cloud-based entertainment operating system,” which is also the precursor to X2, an upgrade that will enable Comcast’s new interface to reach not just the TV, but also PCs and other mobile devices. Comcast expects to have X1 rolled out to all markets by the end of the year; rollouts of the X2 software upgrade, which will also clear the toward a new cloud DVR offering, is expected to begin sometime this fall.

Some of VIPER's handiwork is already tied to Comcast’s Web video hub and the Xfinity TV Player app for iOS- and Android-powered smartphones and tablets.

“We're reengineering how we do business, and have been evolving a software company inside our larger organization with a very simple goal: keep delivering better and better product experiences that help our customers enjoy all the content and services they want, faster than ever before,” Kotay wrote.