X1 Adds ‘Auto Extend’ DVR Option

Comcast has introduced another batch of updates and enhancements for its IP-capable X1 platform, led by a feature that automatically extends the recordings of baseball games and other supported live events.

The new “Auto Extend” option, which takes effect when it’s determined that an event will air past its scheduled airtime, will automatically extend DVR recordings in 30-minute increments to ensure that the customer is able capture the entire event.

The option comes into play only on programming that supports the Auto Extend feature. “Starting out, the feature will be available on major sporting events including NFL Football, MLB Baseball, NBA Basketball, soccer, NHL Hockey as well as NCAA Men’s Football and Basketball, and NASCAR, and we’ll be rolling it out to a wider range of events over time,” Peter Nush, Comcast Cable’s VP, product management, explained in this blog post, noting that X1 subs can also extend the recording of any content manually via the program’s info page.

Comcast, Nush write, is also testing a “Play by Play” DVR feature that lets users jump to important highlighted plays in recorded sporting events, making it “easy to catch up on the game and the big plays you missed quickly.” Recordings supporting this feature, offered by Comcast Labs, will show an overlay screen instructing viewers to press the page up/page down buttons to jump between highlights.

Comcast Labs is also using X1 to test “Welcome Back,” which provides users with a brief update on shows that have been recently recorded to the DVR or are trending. For subs who activate the test, these updates appear when customers first press a key on the remote when they turn the TV on.

On the customer experience end, X1 has added a new row for troubleshooting in the Help section of the Settings menu. “There will now be an option to restart your device, an option for Remote Setup – which easily walks users through pairing their remote – and instructions for programming your remote to the TV and any audio devices,” Nush noted.  

Comcast unleashed these updates as the MSO continues to accelerate the rollout of X1, as it’s now deploying about 30,000 X1 boxes per day. Nearly one-third of Comcast’s triple-play customers are now on the MSO’s next-gen video platform.