For many years I have been a strong supporter of FiOS internet and TV and for the case of the internet, that has not changed. But living in a non-FiOS area, Comcast (aka Xfinity) tends to be the #2 choice for internet and TV. However, recently my opinion on the TV service has changed. In the past year, Comcast has recently released their new cable platform simply called X1.While it is by no means revolutionary in terms of providing a new TV experience, it is refreshing to see innovation where prior there had been none.
In prior experiences, one of the biggest pains of a DVR were that you could only record up to 2 shows at once. That problem has slowly becoming a thing of the past. I remember the first time I heard it mentioned by one of the satellite companies I wondered if such an advance was really possible. Now it seems like this is becoming the standard and companies that fail to offer this will gradually fall behind.
After getting the box installed I figured it was time to put this to the test. Obviously I wouldn’t tape shows that meant anything because I wouldn’t want to fail during recording critical TV shows! Putting it to the test it performed as expected. Recorded four HD shows while recording a 5th without any issue. Now if only there were more HD channels to record!
Last Channels – Improved
In recent years, most remote controls for TVs have the ability to jump between the last two channels that you were watching. But how many times have you wanted to expand upon that? With the X1 Platform, you can now flip between the last 9 channels you were watching. And X1 takes it even a step further with the Last 9. Including in this feature is the ability to jump between on-demand or DVR recordings as a part of the Last 9.
Fast, Fast, and…Fast!
For many years one of the biggest complaints about loading up on-demand, tv guides or basic menus was how slow it was to load up such outdated designs. That is definitely a thing of the past. With X1, the menus, on-demand, searching, and internet apps all load at lightning fast speeds. It feels like you are using a modern web interface with smooth transitions from one screen to the next. An on-demand that feels like it is cached well enough that it loads almost immediately. A search function on the screen, as well as a voice-activated search function from a mobile phone app, and all results are shown almost instantaneously.
While I’m normally not a supporter of Comcast/Xfinity by any means, if you have them as your cable provider ask about X1. Ask to know when it’s coming to your area and try to trade in your old cable boxes as soon as you can because it’s well worth the upgrade. Because of some parts of the Comcast service that are still lacking I’m not quite sure I would recommend a switch from some of their competitors, but the new cable experience will definitely make you look.