Comcast Expanding X1 Device Lineup With IP-Only Client, Next-Gen Gateway

The evolution of Comcast’s X1 video platform continues to take shape as the operator begins to introduce a small IP-only client device and moves forward with the development of a next-generation gateway device that can anchor the service.

Comcast confirmed last week that it has begun to roll out the Xi3, an all-IP HD video client for the X1 platform, in select markets around the country.

A Comcast official said the MSO is deploying the new Pace-made device slowly in a number of unidentified markets, and added that Comcast expects the device to become “widely available across our footprint in Q1 or Q2 of next year.”

The X1 platform is currently being anchored by the XG1, a hybrid (MPEG/IP) HDDVR that Comcast is sourcing from Arris and Pace. The new Xi3 model will serve as a multi-room companion to XG1 and work with Comcast’s new Cloud DVR product.

Postings on the DSL Reports message board also turned up evidence that Cisco Systems is among the suppliers working on a new version of an X1 gateway called the XG2.

A Comcast official confirmed that the image is a rendering of a future iteration of the XG1 gateway, but declined to detail the technical specs or when Comcast expected to make it available.

A person familiar with the initiative said that iteration is a headed gateway that won’t feature internal DVR storage, meaning it will likely work with Comcast’s Cloud DVR or support attached storage. Comcast has previously said future X1 device models would support HEVC/H.265 compression that can decode native 4K/Ultra HD signals.