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Comcast Tweaks X1 Guide

Comcast has unleashed another batch of changes and enhancements, with a focus on new functionality, to its cloud-powered X1 guide for set-tops.

Among the additions are a Notification Center that relays new account-related info to the TV screen, and a “Free-to-Me” guide view that lists only the channels that a customer subscribes to.

In addition to selecting the Free-to-Me option alongside other guide view types (sports, trending, movies, etc.), customers can also set it as their default view.

X1 also lets customers refine their search through DVR recordings by segmenting them into five categories: TV, Movies, Kids, Sports and News. The full list of recordings can still be viewed on a chronological or alphabetical basis.

RELATED: Comcast Testing ‘Manage Channels’ Feature on X1

Comcast is also starting to add new parental control locks for individual apps that are integrated with X1, including Netflix, Watchable (Comcast’s ad-based short-form OTT video service), Pandora,  sports, and voicemail.

Per this blog post from Peter Nush, VP of product management at Comcast Cable, also new are two customer-requested accessibility features.

Customers can control and increase the rate (Regular/Default, Fast, and Fastest)  at which text is spoken when Voice Guidance is enabled.  Comcast commercially launched its X1 Talking Guide, for the blind and visually impaired, in 2014.

RELATED: Comcast’s ‘Talking Guide’ Goes Live

Customers also have the option to turn on the first of several new sound cues within the X1 talking guide via Comcast Labs. When turned on, customers navigating the guide will hear a brief sound when the end of the screen is reached and they cannot navigate any further in that direction.

At the end of Q2, about 55% of Comcast’s residential video subscriber base was on X1.