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Comcast Follows TWC's Consumer Video Test

According to Reuters, Comcast Corp. began testing a Web site for users to post their own videos, and will select the best clips to be aired on the cable operator's video-on-demand television service.

With the contest site, the U.S. number one cable operator enters a market made popular by, the video-sharing site bought by Web search giant Google Inc. that boasts 100 million viewings a day.

Comcast, which will fully launch Ziddio later this year, aims to differentiate it from dozens of video sites by offering amateur videomakers the chance to win contests and air their clips on its on-demand channel, said a source at Comcast.

Like most cable and satellite TV providers, Comcast has seen younger viewers spend more time online, on sites such as YouTube and, watching homemade videos. Eighteen months ago, Comcast launched a Dating On Demand service, which allows users to submit video clips of themselves for playback on-demand.

Comcast is aiming for Ziddio to have a more professional "cinematic" feel than most user-generated content sites, the source said. It is also taking advantage of relationships with networks such as Time Warner's HBO Network.

Time Warner Cable (TWC) had previously launched the test of a somewhat similar user generated content offering called PhotoShowTV on its system in Hawaii, which has traditionally served as a test bed for the MSO's advanced services.

PhotoShowTV allows users to create and publicly share PhotoShows, made from personal photos and video clips, directly on cable TV. Time Warner subscribers can also post PhotoShows on the operator’s video-on-demand service for public viewing. PhotoShowTV was developed by Simple Star. The software, which has been available on TWC's Road Runner service since April.

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