Comcast’s Cloud DVR Goes Live In Greater Philly

As anticipated, Comcast on Tuesday launched cloud-based enhancements to its X1 platform in greater Philadelphia that enable in-home live TV streaming to mobile devices alongside a cloud DVR service that provides each customer with 500 gigabytes of storage.

The launch in Comcast’s Freedom Region,  which also includes systems in New Jersey and Northern Delaware, marks Comcast’s second market rollout of its new “X1 DVR with Cloud Technology” features. Comcast first introduced the cloud-based enhancements in Boston in early February.

The MSO expects to roll out these features to additional markets throughout the year, but didn’t identify its market-by-market deployment plan. However, Comcast is expected to deploy them in Chicago later this month. Comcast has deployed its baseline X1 platform in all its markets and has recently begun to make an upgraded, more personalized version of its X1 user interface (internally dubbed “X2”) available to video subs who are on X1.

The new cloud-based features allow in-home streaming of both live TV and cloud DVR recordings via Comcast’s managed IP network, piped in via a largely home-grown multiscreen infrastructure called “VIPER.”

The new cloud-based offering also enables X1 customers to port and essentially “check-out” DVR recordings to authorized mobile devices and watch them on the go. Comcast's video check-out policy allows customers to register up to 40 devices for in-home live TV or DVR streaming.

In the current configuration, customers can stream DVR recordings to as many as five devices at the same time, though “[l]ive TV streaming, DVR streaming and active DVR downloads all contribute to the five device streaming limit,” Comcast’s FAQ explains.

To support these new X1-facing features, Comcast has launched new Xfinity TV apps for iOS and Android-powered tablets and smartphones, as well as a dedicated portal that extends support to PC browsers.

“We want to provide customers with the best television experience on every device, when they want it and where they want it,” said LeAnn Talbot, regional SVP, Comcast, in a statement. “The cloud-based infrastructure of the X1 platform allows us to deliver on that promise, and give customers a more personalized viewing experience.”