Comcast Pushes More X1 Updates

Eases SAP access, enhances voice-nav and sports app features, adds live stream for Xfinity Home app
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Comcast said it unleashed another batch of updates and enhancements this summer to X1, its cloud-powered video platform, per this blog post from Peter Nush, Comcast Cable's VP of product management.

Here’s a rundown of those tweaks and additions:

-X1 has added filters for SAP (Secondary Audio Program) and Video Descriptive content that can be accessed via the guide’s live and upcoming TV listings, and as a “Featured” tile in the On Demand menu. Viewers can also speak “SAP” into their voice remotes to pull up SAP content options.

-Comcast has added new capabilities and actions for its voice remote, including support for new phrases such as “What should I watch?”, “What’s recommended for me?,” as well as the ability to pull up remote settings and the box’s power save and restart functions. Also, when “What can I say?” is uttered, X1 will pull up a Tips & Tricks area dedicated to voice commands.

-X1 has also added a settings area for management of the remote control, offering access to the device’s battery level, remote type, and a list of paired devices.

-X1’s Sports App has added a Soccer section and personalized NASCAR leaderboards.

-In time for the recent Summer Games in Rio, X1 added an Athlete Gallery Rows element that lets users browse by specific athletes competing for various teams, nations, or sports. The feature can also be applied to a viewer’s favorite actor and musician.

-Viewers can now track their favorite teams by setting up Team Reminders with options to for live events only, all live programming (including pre/post game shows), or all programming associated with a specific team. X1’s Auto Extend feature is now the default setting for recordings of games associated with the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR as well as NCAA men’s Football and Basketball.

-X1 is now set up to receive live streams from cameras attached to Xfinity Home, the MSO’s home security and automation service.

-Following an initial spin as a lab feature, X1’s Default Guides component is now an official offering. It enables users to customize which Guide View (such as sports, kids channels or movies, for example) to display when the Guide button is pressed.

-The X1’s Comcast Labs section is kicking the tires on a new setting called "Auto Pad Recordings," which sets all recordings to automatically begin one minute early and end three  minutes late. Also on trial is a “Guide Readability” option that lets users modify the look of text, with the caveat that the change will require a box reboot.

The changes come as Comcast, which has been deploying about 40,000 X1 boxes per day, expects to have about half its video sub base on the platform by year-end. Cox Communications and Canada's Shaw Communications are the first announced MSOs to license the platform.

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