PHILADELPHIA Cable companies aren't known as nimble innovators, but Comcast Corp. is out to change that perception this year with ultra-high-speed Internet service, more high-definition content and gadgets that link video, phone and broadband services.
"We're about innovation and having the best network," Chief Executive Brian Roberts told The Associated Press in a preview of his speech at the Consumer Electronics show today.
Roberts is expected to demonstrate a technology that delivers up to 160 megabits of data per second: It will allow him to download a high-definition copy of "Batman Begins" in four minutes. The technology, DOCSIS 3.0, will start rolling out this year.
"If it's as successful as we hope, in 2009 and beyond we will have it available in millions of homes," he said.
Robert hopes the speed-up will boost growth of Comcast's broadband service, which has been slowing.
Cable systems largely enable download speeds up to 10 Mbps compared with up to 50 Mbps from Verizon's fiber-optic service FiOS.
Roberts said Comcast plans to offer more than 1,000 high-definition videos this year, including up to 300 movies on demand that may be free or included in a subscription or a pay-per-view service.