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Comcast Deploys More Versatile ‘XiD’ Device

Comcast confirmed that it has begun to roll out the “XiD,” a new device that can function as a Digital Terminal Adapter or as an IP client that supports the MSO’s X1 platform.

The XiD, which includes Pace plc among its suppliers, emerged at the FCC earlier this year, and is viewed as a device that can help to seed Comcast’s ongoing IP video transition.

At the time, a person familiar with it said it was designed to be a hybrid of sorts that could deliver MPEG-based linear digital TV as a DTA (a one-way device that has played a big role in Comcast's all-digital transition), but could also be “flipped” into an IP-based client device that could operate on Comcast’s next-gen X1 platform. It was initially believed that the XiD would support 4K/Ultra HD video. Comcast has some 4K-capable X1 devices in development, but the XiD, as it turns out, does not support that format.

Comcast also confirmed that the XiD can serve as either a DTA or as an IP client, noting that it’s an evolution of the Xi3, Comcast’s first IP video client for X1, but that it’s more versatile in that it supports both HDMI and coax in/out ports, while the Xi3 is HDMI-only.

More details about the XiD have also appeared on a Comcast support page that compares and contrasts the features of the MSO’s family of video devices for X1. Per the current product matrix, the XiD can pause and rewind live TV (up to 25 minutes via an internal SD card) and VOD and supports Comcast’s multi-room DVR service. When used as an IP client for X1 (by feeding of an XG1 or newer XG2 gateway, which contain the tuners), the XiD is capable of supporting X1 apps, with support for the recently introduced Xfinity Games app is “coming soon.”  

Comcast ended Q3 with a 25% penetration with X1 as it accelerated deployment to 40,000 X1 boxes per day.