Comcast Pushes Another Batch of X1 Updates

Comcast said it has rolled out another batch of enhancements for X1, its next-gen video platform for set-tops and mobile devices.

Among the adds is a “smart keyboard” designed to decrease the time a customer spends typing in what they want to watch in the X1 search window.  As a customer spells out the name of a show or an actor, the keyboard only displays letters that could potentially be the next one in line.

That capability is now part of the core X1 platform after starting as a lab week project, Peter Nush, VP of product management at Comcast, explained in this blog post, noting that the smart keyboard “acts very much like the way search in car GPS systems work.”

Comcast has also reorganized the X1 purchases folder in a way that helps subs find that content more quickly. The purchases folder is now featured in the X1 saved menu, and divided into three rows (movies, TV shows and kids), and individually purchased TV episodes are now grouped by series.

Following the recent addition of landscape images for the X1 screensaver, the MSO now lets subs personalize that by selecting a rotation of animals or entertainment images. Additionally, X1 customers can now use their own photos as the screensaver backdrop by linking to images stored on their Facebook, Instagram or Flickr accounts.

X1 has also added a power save mode that does not impact functions like recording shows or watching recordings on other devices in the home.  Subs can activate that feature by saying, “power down” into the X1 voice remote.  Saying “go green” to the voice remote will enable subs to update the settings in a way in which the box automatically powers down after a set time of inactivity.

Nush said Comcast is also working on a DVR enhancement that  ensures shows are recorded even when they start early or end late.

About 52% of Comcast's 21.52 million residential video subs are on X1. The company expects to push X1 penetration to the low 60% range by year-end.