Comcast Tests Self-Install Kit For X1

In a move that might accelerate the deployment of its IP-capable video platform, Comcast is testing a self-install kit for X1 in select markets, with expectations that it will launch the option more broadly later this summer.

Comcast declined to identify all of the areas where it’s testing the new kit, but an official said employee trials got underway in February, and customer tests starting just recently.

Comcast offers X1 in all its systems and has been targeting it primarily to triple-play customers, but hasn’t said how many of its 22.6 million video customers are on it. Earlier this year, the operator said it was deploying the platform aggressively, at a rate of nearly 20,000 X1 boxes per day.

A self-install option could help Comcast expand the reach of X1 more rapidly, as the MSO has previously touted that the platform has resulted in improved churn, increased VOD usage and general “double-digit returns,” and is setting plans to have X1 reach the majority of its customer base over the next few years.

According to a video about the self-install option for X1, the kit includes set-up instructions, the X1 set-top, a power cord, remote control, two coax cables, and a six-foot HDMI cable. Once customers follow connectivity instructions, the customers must follow some on-screen instructions to activate service on the device. Comcast has also posted some info about the X1 self-install kit on its online customer forum.

And a shift to more self-install kits for X1 should reduce costly installation truck rolls. According to people familiar with the trials, Comcast has also set up a system to determine if the  a technician would need to do some preparatory infrastructure work outside the customer’s home after a self-install kit is requested. That work, for example, could entail the checking of signal levels to ensure that they are acceptable for the X1 platform, or other activities outside the home that would not require the customer to be present.