Comparing Comcast and Charter's different approaches to user guides

Cable interactive program guidesComcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) have been actively rolling out new cloud-based user guides for their users, but their approaches vary widely.

Comcast's X1 is a cloud-based platform that features perhaps the most advanced, most expensive, feature-rich device ever deployed on a mass scale by a pay-TV operator. But it hasn't been easy. Two years and five months after its initial launch in Boston, Comcast had deployed about 5 million X1 boxes as of Oct. 23. The MSO says it's averaging about 20,000 X1 installs a day. Plus, it's struggled with service outages.

It's a different story at Charter, which is using a far more minimalistic approach. It seeks to upgrade the user experience of its customers with a next-generation, continuously updated user interface, the Spectrum Guide. FierceCable Editor Daniel Frankel takes a closer look at these very divergent strategies in this special report.