Comcast announced Monday that it will make its newest set-top box available in Boston over the coming weeks, with a rollout planned across the entire country later this year. It’s also introducing a mobile app to control the set-top box from the iPhone or iPad.
The new set-top box comes after several years of development. Comcast has been working hard to develop a new set-top box that would take all of the smarts out of the box and put it in the network, essentially allowing the cable provider to launch new services and update the new features without having to totally rewrite applications or push out new firmware.
With the X1, all the processing is done in the network. That will give Comcast the flexibility to quickly test and create new apps for customers, without having to worry about how outdated its set-top boxes are. It will also provide more personalized features, such as allowing customers to see which shows their Facebook friends are watching.
The new X1 iOS app will improve navigation on the set-top box, allowing subscribers to use the virtual keyboard to search through all the live and on-demand channels more efficiently than using a traditional remote control. Users can also filter by genre and interact with other social media apps.
Anyway, here’s how cool I think this thing is: I haven’t been a cable subscriber for at least a year and a half, but I might just have to sign up again, just to try out the X1. So bring this thing to San Francisco, Comcast, and I’ll pay for cable TV again.
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