If you’re a Comcast customer, your TV viewing experience will soon get very interactive. Just yesterday, Comcast announced a partnership with Skype to bring HD video calling to your television sets, and today the company unveiled a new Xfinity set-top box powered by Intel that will integrate Facebook to bring social features and app support to its content service.
Comcast is using Intel’s chip for its new Xfinity set-top box, which will be manufactured by Pace. Intel has been pushing its chips into the home-entertainment markets with Google TV products already employing them. However, sales for Google TV have not met targets, and so this new partnership with Comcast is a good opportunity for Intel to expand into the digital home space.
As for the Facebook integration, it goes beyond just being able to access Facebook from an app launcher. Xfinity will allow subscribers to suggest programming to friends and also receive recommendations. Other apps will also be delivered through Xfinity, such as real-time traffic and weather, although which ones have not yet been confirmed.
However, it has not been confirmed yet when and where the new set-top boxes will be deployed and whether there will be an additional cost for current subscribers.