Comcast Working On Next-Gen X1 Gateway

Comcast is developing a next-generation of the XG1, the HD-DVR/gateway that currently anchors its X1 video and apps platform.

An image of the new device, dubbed the XG2 and apparently under development by Cisco Systems, recently popped up on the DSL Reports message board, but offered little else in terms of what features will grace the new model.

A Comcast spokesperson 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 shown on line is a headed gateway that won’t feature internal DVR storage, making it a likely candidate for Comcast’s new Cloud DVR, or perhaps attached storage. Comcast has previously said future X1 device models would support HEVC/H.265 compression that can decode native 4K/Ultra HD signals.

The XG2, an apparent successor to the XG1, a device that Comcast currently sources from Pace and Arris, will likely be used in tandem with the Xi3, a new IP-only HD client device that Comcast has begun to deploy in select markets ahead of an anticipated wider rollout during the first half of 2015.

Comcast, which has experienced a recent string of technical hiccups around X1, has deployed more than 5 million X1 boxes so far. Comcast, meanwhile, has attributed X1 to reduced churn rates and higher VOD usage rates when compared to its legacy video platform.

While X1 appears to be helping Comcast slow its rate of video subscriber losses, Colin Dixon, founder and chief analyst at nScreenMedia, noted in this blog post that Comcast must expand and accelerate X1 deployments if the MSO is to reverse those losses. Using various data from Comcast, Digitalsmiths and other sources, he also estimated that the revenue impact of not having X1 in every video home in 2014 is close to $500 million, or 9% of video revenue.