Cable increasingly makes the holidays merry and bright, from buying the gift to out-of-town trips to enjoying time with family and friends.
Hot Tech Gifts
Someone’s list to Santa includes technology. But there are so many options – how do you decide what to buy? Many of the hottest gifts this year involve the latest and greatest technology. One recurring theme is “smart” – gifts that rely on the Internet of Things (IoT) to perform their functions. IoT is a web of connected objects or devices that are linked via networks and can interact with each other and with us. Examples include kitchen appliances, voice-operated assistants, wearable technology, and much more. These connected items make people’s lives more comfortable and productive (and make great holiday gifts).
The Internet of Things is only possible due to high-speed broadband, such as cable offers at home, business or through Wi-Fi hotspots. Internet speeds have quadrupled in the last few years, allowing cable broadband to meet consumer needs for streaming, downloading and gaming. At the same time, the cost per megabit per second has dropped significantly.
Now that your gift list is set, it’s time to shop! More and more Americans are avoiding the crowds and the hassle by shopping online. Shoppers nationally are expected to spend $151 billion online this holiday season, an amount that continues to grow each year. Learn more about holiday online shopping trends and how to stay safe making online purchases. Learn more.
After an exhausting day of online holiday shopping, it’s time to relax. What’s your favorite holiday movie? Ask a room full of people and everyone might have a different answer, as there are so many from which to choose. From recent offerings to decades-old classics, watching cable programming is a great way to spend time with family, a mug of hot chocolate in hand. Cable’s Video on Demand offers thousands of viewing options. Expanding on traditional VOD, Comcast recently became the first cable operator to integrate Movies Anywhere to its X1 platform, which will let Xfinity subscribers collect, organize and watch the movies they’ve purchased from digital retailers.
Cable programmers are offering more holiday fare than ever, starting earlier in the holiday season than ever. Viewers are receptive – Hallmark Channel (known for its holiday movies) recently tied with ESPN for first place in a weekly primetime cable ratings race, according to Nielsen. What to watch for the holidays? There are endless “best of” lists, but here are two from Good Housekeeping and Rotten Tomatoes.
How to enjoy the holiday movies and programming if you’re on the road? You don’t have to miss any of your favorites. TV Everywhere is free to cable subscribers and lets you watch programming using the internet or apps with your smartphone, tablet, laptop or other mobile device. Cable can keep you entertained as you travel over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house. Learn more about TV Everywhere.
While you’re gone, cable can help keep your house safe. Some cable companies are offering home security services, made possible by broadband. Comcast, for example, began offering home security services in 2012 and now has more than 1 million customers. But, more recently, home security offerings have become part of the more encompassing category of home automation, thanks to the explosion of Wi-Fi enabled gadgets through the Internet of Things. Cable subscribers – while at home or remotely – can lock their home’s doors, adjust the thermostat, turn on the lights, raise the window blinds or perform a number of other functions around their house.