Comcast's Fancast: For those of us who are obsessed with media

Comcast used the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show as an opportunity to launch Fancast, its new video portal.

While the Writers Guild of America is on strike, Hollywood is giving us plenty of opportunities to catch up on content that we haven't seen. Fancast features full episodes of TV shows, TV listings, and news on TV, movies, and celebrities. Comcast's Fancast may look like the latest entrant into the web video scene, but the truth is that it packs a much bigger punch.

Much of the content for full episodes on Fancast is provided by Hulu, with additional content from CBS, MTV, and BET thrown in for good measure. The viewing experience is what you have come to expect from similar web video sites. However, Fancast goes above and beyond what sites like Hulu offer. They will give you TV and movie recommendations based on preferences that you have indicated and content that you have rated. If the TV show/movie is available on Fancast, they have a link to view it, but if they do not have it, they will provide localized TV listings or links to other sources where you can find it. Fancast allows for a good deal of personal customization and discovery and that is their killer feature.

In addition to these options, Fancast offers a really nice IMDB style service which provides a wealth of details on movies, TV shows, cast/crew, and actors. Along with that, Fancast will eventually provide users with the option of telling their Comcast DVR to record a show, much like TiVo does on their site and with Yahoo.

I have to say that Fancast has really nailed this site. Just about everything feels right, from the look to the usability. There is a ton of functionality and content here and it will only improve with time. It is clear that Comcast is very committed to making this project work. They took their time and did it right. This is such a huge site that does so many things that I cannot begin to discuss all of the features here, you will just have to check it out for yourself. I haven't even touched on Six Degrees, the feature that will allow you to explore connections between people, movies, and TV shows.

via NewTeeVee
About the author

    Harrison Hoffman is a tech enthusiast and co-founder of LiveSide.net, a blog about Windows Live. The Web services report covers news, opinions, and analysis on Web-based software from Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and countless other companies in this rapidly expanding space. Hoffman currently attends the University of Miami, where he studies business and computer science. Disclosure.

     

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