A new addition to Comcast's web of connected services will roll out this year, according to the company's CEO. X1, the next generation of TV, will bypass the traditional cable box to offer television services, as well as internet radio and news and weather apps from the cloud.
But while the new platform is being advertised as new, it's actually a rebranded product that was originally known by the name of Xcalibur and the Xfinity Spectrum box. The box, made by Pace, supports IP video and features a cable card slot, USB 2.0 port, an Intel processor and up to one terabyte of storage.
The box can also be used as a set-top box, as it is an HD DVR. But it also sports interesting features like cross-domain searching, interactive apps and an interface called MyTV, which personalizes the experience by incorporating viewing suggestions from programming feedback on social media friend lists.
The goal of the X1 service is to deliver a better customer experience when searching for content and allow more freedom for customers to access the company's suite of offerings across devices.
In addition to the increased convenience to customers, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said that the new X1 platform would eliminate the need for cable technicians to visit homes to install new services. Instead, new services and upgrades would be offered via the set-top box, and customers could manage their subscriptions from there.
The platform was unveiled at The 2011 Cable Show in Chicago, and was touted to be a new way for customers to communicate with the set top box. This year, multiple markets will be able to take advantage of the platform, and hundreds of thousands of customers will have access to X1.
One thousand homes located in Augusta, Georgia were the testing ground for the new boxes, which the company says will open up opportunities for future innovations to take place. The company, while remaining mum on how much it would charge customers per month for the service, did say that it would be advertised as a 'high-end' product during a recent earnings call.
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