Comcast’s X1 suits up in parts of Delaware, Maryland

Thu, 07/18/2013 - 12:14pm
Mike Robuck

Ahead of being fully deployed by the end of the year, Comcast has dropped its next generation X1 platform into the Salisbury, Md. market, including Maryland's Eastern Shore, as well as Kent and Sussex Counties in Delaware. 

Today’s rollouts followed on the heels of launches in parts of Florida and Georgia earlier this week. 

"The X1 Platform is a huge leap forward for us and transforms traditional television viewing into an entirely new, integrated entertainment experience," said Tom Coughlin, senior vice president of Comcast's Beltway Region. "X1 uses cloud-based technology to make the TV experience smarter, richer and more personalized, and allows us to deliver new features to our customers faster than ever."

After a trial in Augusta, Ga., two years ago, Comcast first launched its X1 platform in Boston last year. Comcast’s X1 platform, which was originally called “Xcalibur” internally, represents the future of video because it combines cloud-based navigation, personalization and search functions, and an interactive programming guide with customized apps and social media features.

In addition to being a migration path to IP, X1 also lets Comcast customers enable their iPhones and iPad Touch devices as gesture-driven remote controls. Earlier this year, Comcast added a voice control feature for use with iPhone devices that functions as remote controls.

At The Cable Show last month, Comcast CEO and chairman Brian Roberts said there had been more than 1,200 updates on the X1 platform since it launched. By using the cloud and Internet like capabilities, Comcast is able to speed up its rate of innovation.

One of the new features for X1 includes “Send to TV,” which lets customers send a web page, like one that features streaming video, directly to their X1 set top box and view it on the big screen.  After downloading a bookmarklet onto their computer, tablet or smartphone, a customer chooses the Web content they would like to see on their TV, clicks “Send to TV” in their bookmarks bar, and the content from their computer or device then appears on the television. 

X1 users will also be able to access TV-optimized sites from a variety of third-party partners in the app marketplace. 

Also at The Cable Show, Roberts introduced the X2 operating system, which is a software update to X1 that will be released later this year.

The updated X2 enables Comcast subscribers to access their video content and personal recommendations across TVs, smartphones, tablets and PCs. It was designed to integrate live and on demand TV, web content, home control and a growing number of apps across one user interface.

Some of the new cloud-based features for X2 include a user guide that has six carousel views—more can be added— that filter TV listings by specific category, such as sports, kids programming and movies, and also filters by age to help ensure appropriate family viewing. The platform will recommend content that is currently on live TV based on the customer’s past viewing habits, and is engineered to become smarter over time.

X2 also features the flexibility to start an on demand program on one device, such as the TV, and then resume watching where the viewer left off on another device, such as a tablet or PC.



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