- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Comcast says it will offer both live and on-demand streaming of TV shows, movies and other video on tablets later this year, turning the increasingly popular gadgets into another outlet for its cable service.

Comcast Corp. said Wednesday that its subscribers will be able to stream content they would normally watch on TV live over the Internet to iPads and Android tablets, as long as they do so at home. The tablets, in essence, are treated as another TV screen.

Comcast did not say exactly what content will be available, though it’s likely to be similar to what people would watch on their TV sets. Verizon Communications Inc. announced similar plans for its FiOS TV service last year.

Comcast is also making a select number of popular TV shows and movies available for streaming any time through its Xfinity TV iPad app. The app will work anywhere there is a wireless connection. Initially, this will include about 3,000 hours of content from HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax, but this will grow over time.

Comcast said it will also bring that service to Android devices later this year. The move is part of Comcast’s continuing effort to offer cable programming over the Internet as more people come to consume video content this way. It’s intended to curb competition from the likes of Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., which are offering a growing library of entertainment content online. Comcast’s approach is that as long as people are paying for its cable service they should be able to access it on whatever device they want. The company already offers TV shows to its subscribers online, to be watched on computers.

Comcast made the announcement in connection with a Citigroup investor conference. It was the day before the official start of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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