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Comcast CEO unveils new platform for delivering TV programming

WASHINGTON -- Next time you want to see a Don Cheadle movie, all you may have to do is say the actor's name to your TV and it will tell you what your options are.

That was just one of the features Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts talked about during a session at the National Cable and Telecommunications Assn.'s annual convention here. Roberts gave attendees a taste of what is coming to consumers in the near future.

Comcast's new entertainment platform will also let subscribers create their own personal profiles. Watch a lot of golf? Next time you turn on the TV not only will it tell you what golf programming is on, it will even show you Web videos to help you improve your own game.

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The cable box for Comcast's new platform -- dubbed X2 -- is three times smaller than today's typical box yet is four times faster and uses only half the power. The remote is also less complicated than the ones in use today.

Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator with more than 21 million subscribers,  is not the only pay-TV distributor making big upgrades to how it presents entertainment to consumers. Most cable and satellite operators are spending heavily to try to keep subscribers from cutting the cord in favor of newer platforms such as Netflix.

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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.

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