Comcast officially launches next-gen X1 DVR platform and iPhone remote app (update: video)

Comcast officially launches next-gen X1 DVR platform and iPhone remote app

As expected, Comcast is kicking off the rollout of its new X1 (previously beta tested under the name Xcalibur) DVR platform. The announcement was made at the Cable Show in Boston, and that's where it will be available first, some time in "the coming weeks" with a few other major markets following soon after. We've had a few peeks at the new UI over the last year or so but now we have a full gallery of shots of both the DVR software and accompanying X1 remote app that will be available first on the iPhone. The new guide looks very similar to the existing Xfinity TV remote apps for phones and tablets, formatted for HD screens and with support for recommendations from your social network and support for apps like weather, TV, traffic, Facebook and Pandora to start. The new set-top boxes it runs on have built-in tru2way and internet support, as well as RF remotes instead of IR.

Meanwhile, the X1 remote control app adds motion and gesture control to the current set of features, as well as more direct interaction with what's on screen, since it can be used to swipe through pages, type into menus and pause currently video with a shake. As far as pricing, Comcast says it will be available to new Triple Play customers with HD/DVR service at no additional cost -- no word yet on what that means for everyone else. Check the gallery below for a look at the new software, and check the press release after the break for more info.

Update: Check out a video of CEO Neil Smit demonstrating the new UI on the show floor after the break.%Gallery-155815%

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Comcast Begins National Launch of X1: Next-Generation Cloud Enabled Television Platform and Introduces the X1 Remote Control App

X1 Video Platform Transforms Traditional TV into Integrated Entertainment Experience – Complete with Apps, Sleek Navigation, Personalization and Social Media Tools

Available in the Coming Weeks in Boston; More Markets to Follow This Year

PHILADELPHIA & BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Comcast, one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information, and communications products and services, announced today it will launch its next-generation television experience, Xfinity TV on the X1 Platform, and a new X1 remote control app in the coming weeks. This cloud-enabled platform, unlike any other video service existing today, delivers the world's largest collection of video and transforms the TV into an entirely new integrated entertainment experience. These new products will launch in Boston with several major markets planned to follow this year, and will be available to new Xfinity Triple Play with HD/DVR service customers at no additional cost.

"X1 is a giant leap forward, essentially transforming our video product from a hardware experience to a software experience, allowing us to innovate faster and more aggressively."

"The X1 platform makes the TV smarter, richer and more personalized – and that's only the beginning. Our goal is to leverage this platform to redefine the entertainment experience for our customers," said Marcien Jenckes, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Video Services for Comcast Cable.

"X1 is a giant leap forward, essentially transforming our video product from a hardware experience to a software experience, allowing us to innovate faster and more aggressively."

The X1 platform incorporates IP technology, using cloud servers on Comcast's network that allow Comcast to integrate interactive, customized apps and social media features with its traditional video services to create an entirely new television experience. This is part of Comcast's ongoing and evolving effort to take advantage of IP technology to constantly bring new innovation and features to market.

Showcased this week at NCTA's The Cable Show 2012 in Boston, highlights of X1 include:

A main screen with a sleek new user interface that integrates a customer's video experiences and enables one-click access to a highly visual display of entertainment options
Unified search and instant play, along with recommendations, with the ability to find entertainment content in seconds from TV listings, DVR recordings and Xfinity On Demand using a new smart remote
Specially tailored-for-TV features such as customized social networking and music, radio, sports, traffic and weather apps
Equipped with a new hybrid DVR set-top box with tru2way and IP capabilities that delivers an advanced personalized TV viewing experience as well as an enhanced remote control that offers greater responsiveness and does not require a line-of-sight connection to the set-top-box

X1 Remote Control App

The new companion X1 remote control app enables customers to use motion and gesture control to drive their TV experience through the touch-screen of their handheld iPhone and iPod touch. For instance, customers can swipe their device to page through the interactive TV guides on their television screen; program personalized short-cuts and favorites ("Quick Links") on the TV, and even shake the device to pause On Demand content playing on the television. In addition, customers can use the devices' virtual keyboard to search among and play tens of thousands of video choices on their TVs faster than ever before – even faster than using the traditional remote control. The remote provides the ability to filter by genre and HD; control the DVR and interact with social media tools and apps.

"The X1 remote app unites the TV screen with customers' mobile devices by creating an integrated experience between the customers' swipe controls on their device and the viewing experience on the TV – they truly mirror each other," said Sree Kotay, Senior Vice President and Chief Software Architect for Comcast Cable. "By building this new app, we've made the remote control smarter and more functional...and just plain fun."

X1 (formerly Xcalibur) has been in customer trials in Augusta, Ga., since 2011.