Comcast Corporation announced the launch of its new “next-generation television experience” Tuesday across the Twin Cities.
The Philadelphia-based cable giant said its new “X1” cable box platform offers the integration of customized apps and social media features, “the world’s largest collection of video,” and a new “smart” remote.
“X1’s cloud-enabled platform redefines the entertainment experience, making the TV smarter, richer, and more personalized than ever before,” company spokeswoman Mary Beth Schubert said in a statement.
“Utilizing the strength of our network, cutting-edge technologies, and cloud flexibility, X1 transforms our video product from a hardware experience to a software-based fully interactive experience for customers,” Schubert added.
One of the X1 highlights is its remote control app, which allows customers to use motion, gesture, and voice control to manipulate their TVs via smart phones or tablets.
While Comcast faces stiff competition from streaming media outlets like Netflix and Amazon Prime, it maintains the advantage of not requiring an Internet connection for its Comcast’s “Xfinity TV” and X1 platform, as customers are able to access all content through their cable, according to the Star Tribune.
Comcast’s new platform also offers the ability to use social media and Web apps while watching TV. A user can browse social media, watch a sports game, or check the weather or traffic report in the corner of the screen while watching TV.
The X1 platform is only available to Comcast’s “Triple Play” customers—those who bundle their TV, telephone, and broadband Internet services with the company. Existing Triple-Play customers and those signing up for that level will receive the X1 upgrade for free.
It has taken some time for the X1 platform to arrive in the Twin Cities, as it was originally launched in 2011. The company hopes to offer the platform in all of its service areas by the end of the year.
Although the Twin Cities is just getting the X1 technology, Comcast is already in the process of refining its “X2” platform. The company unveiled this (next) next generation platform in early June.
The X2 platform boasts a faster and “more integrated experience” than the X1, more functionality to each screen in a customer’s home, and greater personalization. Comcast said the X2 would be available before the end of 2013, although it is uncertain when it will be offered in the Twin Cities.