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Fancast
Type Online Media
Headquarters Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Key people Amy Banse, Samuel Schwartz, Karin Gilford, Alix Cottrell
Owner Comcast Interactive Media, LLC
Slogan Watch Full TV Shows and Movies Free Online
Website Fancast.com
Type of site video on demand
Available in English
Launched January, 2008

Fancast is a website where people may watch full-length network television shows, feature films, trailers and clips, as well as in-depth news and editorial content related to entertainment. Fancast is a division of Comcast Interactive Media the Internet division of Comcast Corporation, best known for its cable TV business.

Contents

Programming

The site is best known for its extensive library of current and archival television shows. Current shows available on Fancast include CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Family Guy, The Young and the Restless, South Park, and more. Some of the most-watched shows on the site are no longer in syndication, such as Arrested Development, Friends, and Star Trek.

  • Fancast also offers full-length streaming feature films as well as movie trailers.
  • Fancast has an editorial team that conducts interviews and live chats with popular talent, as well as gets the latest news and recaps of television shows.
  • Comcast Interactive Media gets content for Fancast via distribution deals with NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and the WB. Besides programming from these larger networks, the site has more than 100 sources of content in all.
  • The Fancast site also offers customizable TV listings and a patent-pending “Six Degrees” application which lets users explore connections between TV shows, movies, and their casts and crews through an interactive format.

Business Model

Free content is supported by advertising. The company also offers paid video-on-demand via the Fancast Store. The site offers downloads for purchase and rent (on Windows PCs) from major television and film studios including Fox, Lionsgate, Sony, Paramount, Warner Bros, and Buena Vista/Disney. The store launched with over 3,000 film and TV episodes and had over 10,000 titles by the end of 2008.

History

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts formally launched Fancast in January 2008 at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The launch was preceded by months of beta testing. Roberts described Fancast as: “The launch pad for the convergence of the TV and the PC.”

Technology

Fancast developed a proprietary video player for enhanced computer viewing. Videos on Fancast are natively displayed much larger than videos on other sites. Bit rates and picture quality are calculated to optimize performance on a majority of computer devices. The player also takes into consideration the aspect ratio of each particular video to avoid the use of black bars without reducing resolution of widescreen 2.35:1 movies and HD television ratio 16:9 videos. The player will remember where users left off when coming back to a movie or TV episode that had not completed on one sitting.

Techies have also found a way to stream Fancast videos to an iPhone. CNET Blog Network writer Rick Broida explained how a Replay Media Catcher, a DVR-like program, can record shows from Fancast (and some other online video aggregators, although not Hulu, whose streaming methods render the RMC incompatible). From the RMC's built-in converter, files can then be converted to iPhone friendly MP4s, which can be watched anytime without an Internet connection.[1]

Fancast has subsequently secured their videos making them RMC incompatible.

Related Sites

In early 2009 Fancast sponsored a Simpsons fan blog called www.SimpsonFever.com

References

External links

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