Comcast launches X2 personalised TV platform
Michelle Clancy | 17-06-2013
Comcast has launched the next version of the cloud-enabled Xfinity X1 Platform, X2, which will begin rolling out later this year.
The upgrade is made to be a customised TV product that integrates "live and on-demand TV, Web content, home control and a growing number of apps in one user interface, which consumers can access on a TV, smartphone, tablet or PC," according to the company.
A new feature called Send to TV enables customers "to easily fling a Web page, like one that features streaming video, directly to an X1 set-top box and view it on the big screen." After downloading a bookmarklet onto their computer, tablet or smartphone, a customer chooses the Web content they would like to see on their TV, clicks Send to TV in their bookmarks bar, and the content from their computer or device then appears on the television.
Comcast also said that customers will be able to access TV-optimised sites from a variety of third-party partners in an expanding app marketplace.
"The X1 Platform is an incredible example of what's possible with cloud innovation," said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO at Comcast, in introducing X2. "With the introduction of Web-based content to the platform today, and the promise of a faster and more integrated experience with X2, we're adding more functionality to each screen in a customer's home, and transforming our video product into a complete entertainment operating system."
X2 includes a personalised home screen accessible across the TV and across mobile devices that will offer a single view into the information the viewer cares about. The display will feature a collection of tiles that a customer can customise as they see fit, including integrating most-used apps on one screen. It can also be customised to include recently recorded DVR content or info from a favourite app, such as traffic alerts, weather forecasts or news headlines. Other Xfinity services can be incorporated as well, such as calendar appointments, voicemails from Xfinity Voice, as well as home thermostat and security status from Xfinity Home.
The platform also will recommend content that is playing on live TV based on the customer's past viewing habits, and includes a new six-guide carousel that filters TV listings by specific category, such as sports, kids programming and movies, and also filters by age to help ensure appropriate family viewing.
Customers can manage content from any screen so preferences, subscriptions, saved programs and parental controls stay consistent across the Comcast TV Everywhere universe.
X2 also incorporates new features like viewer ratings from interactive services Rotten Tomatoes and Zeebox, and ratings from Common Sense Media for age-appropriate content. Through the dashboard, consumers can use tiles to track their social feeds or photos on Facebook and Twitter, and others.