Technology

Comcast ‘X2’ Rollout Is Underway

Next Generation of Cloud-Based X1 Platform In Front of ‘Select Customers’ 1/05/2014 10:23 PM Eastern

Comcast said it hit its self-imposed deadline to begin deployments of the next generation of its IP-capable, cloud-fed X1 platform before the end of 2013.

But the MSO is being less forthcoming about where it’s currently available and who has it already.

Comcast began to rollout the next-gen platform to “select customers late last year,” a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “We look forward to the continued roll out to all new and existing X1 customers later in 2014.”

Comcast offered a sneak peek at the next-gen version of X1, the MSO’s user interface and video application platform, at last June’s cable show in Washington , D.C.

In addition to a new UI for the TV screen, the platform, internally referred to as “X2,” creates a common look and feel for a new set of interfaces  and cloud-fed apps that will also be distributed on PCs, tablets, smartphones and a new IP-only client the Xi3. X2 also sets the stage for video streaming of Comcast’s live TV lineup to mobile devices and a cloud DVR service that the MSO has been testing in markets such as Boston and Philadelphia.

While Comcast declined to reveal specific markets for the upgraded software platform, its cloud-centric  approach should make it easy for the MSO to flip on as it expands the deployment. To show off this newfound versatility, Comcast has recently released to existing X1 subs access to a special  code that, when pressed into the remote control, provided them access to a preview version of the updated interface.

Comcast is primarily pitching X1 to new triple-play customers. It has not announced how many customers are on X1, but Comcast launched it across its platform last year.  

Comcast is expected to ramp up activities around the its next-gen version of X1 in the coming weeks. Speaking at an investor conference last September, Comcast vice chairman and chief financial officer Michael Angelakis predicted that the 2014 Winter Olympics, set to start on February 7 in Sochi, Russia, will be “an interesting time for X2.” At the time, he said Comcast was connecting about 10,000 X1 customers per day.

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