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Comcast teases mysterious new service unveiling Thursday

Smart-home hub? Game streaming? An NBCUniversal streaming service?

Comcast is the biggest cable provider in the US and owner of the NBCUniversal media giant. 

With Google's game streaming service unveiled Tuesday and Apple's TV streaming service reveal expected Monday, Comcast is hopping on the bandwagon: The cable giant said it will announce the launch of a new service Thursday, according to a media advisory. 

Comcast declined to characterize the nature of the new service. It will be introduced by Matt Strauss, a longtime Comcast executive who is the head of the company's Xfinity Services line of business. Xfinity Services run the gamut of all Comcast's residential offerings, including its high-tech X1 cable video offering, internet, voice-command technology and home security and automation.

A prime suspect: some sort of smart-home play. Comcast was testing a program late last year that would allow its broadband-only customers to turn their TVs into smart-home hubs. The concept would turn the biggest screen in every home -- the TV -- into a command center for the household with Xfinity internet to control things like connected light bulbs or security cameras with voice commands. 

It's also possible Comcast has a video-game streaming offering or video streaming service up its sleeve. Earlier this month, Comcast reportedly was interested in bidding for Korean gaming company Nexon, maker of popular online role-playing game MapleStory, raising eyebrows about the cable giant's video game ambitions, and Comcast's NBCUniversal entertainment unit is reportedly working on a streaming-video service. 

But the gaming interest appears to be at its early stages, the streaming video service isn't expected until next year, and Strauss' involvement indicates the service to be announced will be more closely linked to the Comcast side of the company than the NBCU side.