• Comcast rolls out its latest in high-tech viewing
    By
     | July 29,2013
     

    Comcast is rolling out its latest entertainment platform in Vermont, making it available first to new subscribers of its cable, Internet and phone service, what the company calls its “triple play” package.

    Comcast spokeswoman Laura Brubacker Cristo said the X 1 platform is not just swapping out one set-top box for another.

    Cristo said the cloud-based system integrates live, recorded and on-demand video with social media, website content and interactive apps.

    She said the user interface screen was revamped to make it easier to find whatever programming the customer is searching for.

    The new system also records four programs at once while watching a fifth program live, Cristo said.

    “You can also access DVR programs anywhere in your home,” she said.

    It means you can pause a program in one room and resume watching it in another room.

    The X 1 platform, which Comcast launched two years ago, remembers the last nine programs viewed and scrolls those previously watched shows at the bottom of the screen.

    There’s also a smart search function that can find programs by title, actor or genre.

    “It’s just a really great way to find your content and what you’re interested in, and then based on that, also have recommendations made for you of other things that you might like,” Cristo said.

    The X 1 platform integrates social media apps as well, including Pandora and Facebook. There are also sports, weather and traffic apps.

    “The weather and the traffic is real time,” Cristo said. “You can actually pull up real time maps and it shows if there’s traffic alerts.”

    And for customers who don’t want to reach for their phone, there’s an on-screen function to listen to voicemail.

    The system has a Send to TV feature that transmits a variety of Internet content (videos and photos) from TV-optimized websites on a customer’s computer or handheld device to their television.

    The remote control no longer requires a line-of-sight connection to the box. For customers with an Apple handheld device, they can change channels, volume, or search for programs on their TV with an iPad or iPhone, either using the voice command feature or by hand.

    Cristo said there is no extra charge for the X 1 system.

    Comcast is offering the platform to new Triple Play customers or existing customers who upgrade to include cable, phone and Internet. Customers who already have all three services will be offered the X 1 platform at a later date, Cristo said.

    Comcast has 100,000 customers in Vermont.

    The company started deploying the X 1 two years ago and is now available in a dozen markets. In addition to Vermont, the latest rollout includes New Hampshire, Connecticut and western Massachusetts. The company said it plans to offer the new system in all its markets by the end of the year.

    bruce.edwards@rutlandherald.com.

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