• Comcast finds new source of revenue by selling X1 platform
  • Cable operators under pressure to improve viewing experience

Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, has found a new source of income: selling its technology to other companies.

Cox Communications Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. cable operator, said it signed an agreement to license Comcast’s X1 video platform. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Shaw Communications Inc., a pay-TV provider in Canada, is doing trials of Comcast’s cloud-based technology.

As more consumers drop cable service in favor of cheaper online alternatives, pay-TV providers are trying to improve the viewing experience to retain subscribers. Comcast’s X1 set-top box takes elements of online interfaces that appeal to younger viewers, such as easier-to-use program guides and the ability to watch TV shows stored online, and select shows or movies with a voice-activated remote control.

Comcast’s video technology will be initially available to Cox subscribers in San Diego under Cox’s Contour brand before being introduced in other markets and will include an in-home mobile app. Cox, a closely held company based in Atlanta, has about 4 million video subscribers.

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