Cox Expands X1 Trial in San Diego

Cox Communications confirmed that it has quietly begun to expand its trial of an X1-powered video offering in the San Diego area, allowing subscribers there to get service via a cloud-based approach that operates on Comcast’s next-gen, multiscreen video platform for set-tops and mobile devices.

Cox has been testing X1 as it pursues a “future-state” video project, and had been testing it in the lab before expanding it to Cox employees in a small number of markets, including Macon, Ga.

Cox spokesman Todd Smith said via email that Cox is taking a “reactive only” approach to the expanded X1 trial in San Diego. There, he said, customers who call in about Contour, Cox’s current-generation video platform for set-tops and tablets, are also being offered to opportunity to get the X1-based service, which Cox is currently referring to as Contour 2.

“We’re not marketing individual features heavily, but focused on testing standard Contour functionality on the X1 platform in a live customer environment,” he said, noting that Cox’s future plans involving X1 are still to be determined though its trial continues to show encouraging results.

Cox EVP Mark Greatrex told CableFAX in its September 15 issue about the San Diego trial and the MSO’s use of the Contour 2 label.

Cox was the first operator outside of Comcast to confirm that was evaluating X1, which Comcast now offers across its national cable footprint and is shipping about 30,000 X1 boxes per day.  

But Cox isn’t alone.  Shaw Communications of Canada announced in June that it was shutting down its original plan to develop an IPTV service to instead try out X1.

Those trials also add momentum to the Reference Design Kit (RDK),  a preintegrated software stack for IP and IP/QAM hybrid devices that’s being managed by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global. Comcast's X1 platform uses the RDK. 

Cox developed its original Contour platform, which features a six-tuner whole-home DVR and a personalized video recommendation platform from ThinkAnalytics (up to eight individual profiles), in tandem with NDS, which is now part of Cisco Systems.