Comcast is rolling out a new TV platform that does away with the hard drive and saves your TV shows online. Comcast X2 6/11 at NCTA’s The Cable Show 2013. The system takes its name from the X1 platform that it introduced last year, and will be available to customers later this year. X2 does away with the hard drive and saves DVR’ed shows online. The system will also work on the company’s X1 set-top boxes via an update delivered over the Internet.
Comcast also unveiled a small set-top box for secondary TVs in a home. It is a third the size of a normal set-top box.
“The X1 Platform is an incredible example of what’s possible with cloud innovation,” said Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO. “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 provides more personalized recommendations on multiple screens, for a customized TV product that consumers can access on a TV, smartphone, tablet or PC. It is designed to integrate live and On Demand TV, web content, home control and a growing number of apps in one user interface. The cloud-based technology that powers this experience enables Comcast to accelerate innovation and launch new apps and services on the X1 Platform more easily, resulting in a richer, more dynamic and personalized experience for customers.
Features demonstrated at NCTA:
— New Customizable Dashboard: Customers will be able to easily launch a new personalized home screen on TV and across mobile devices that will offer a single view into the information they care about.
— Uber-personalization: More recommendations throughout the experience will be surfaced so customers have additional ways to discover new movies and TV shows. The platform will recommend content that is currently on live TV based on the customer’s past viewing habits, and is engineered to become smarter over time. It 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.
–Integrated Multiplatform Content: With tens of thousands of Xfinity TV entertainment choices, the new platform is engineered to connect customers with the content they want quicker than ever before. A new, sleek user interface for TVs, PCs and mobile devices will enable customers to manage content from any screen so preferences, subscriptions, saved programs and parental controls stay consistent, wherever they watch. This integration also adds the flexibility to begin an On Demand program on one device, such as the TV, and then resume it where they left off on another device, such as a tablet or PC.
— Social Integration: This new experience incorporates social media including viewer ratings from interactive services Rotten Tomatoes and Zeebox, so customers can find the TV shows people are buzzing about, 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, among others.
–Web Content and Second-Screen Integration: A new feature called “Send to TV” enables customers to easily fling a web page, like one that features streaming video, directly to their 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. In addition, for the first time, customers will soon be able to quickly access TV-optimized sites from a variety of third-party partners in an expanding app marketplace.