Comcast advanced its rollout of the elusive X1 DVR’s new cloud technology another step forward today. The mammoth service provider announced this morning that it has added the San Francisco Bay area and Houston as new recipients of its X1 DVR system, which offers live in home streaming, the ability to download DVR content to mobile devices to take offline, and up 500 GB of storage. In addition, the company has announced that lucky customers in its two new markets will be the first to enjoy the added ability to stream content from their X1 DVR to devices outside the home.
Beginning today, Bay Area and Houston customers are now able to stream and download their recorded DVR programs to any Internet-connected device. And just like the rest of the X1 markets, they’ll be able to stream virtually the entire channel lineup and Xfinity On Demand catalog while on their home Wi-Fi network, as well as being able to take advantage of X1’s “check out” feature, which allows for downloading a movie or show to a mobile device to take with them to areas without Internet access, enabling future offline viewing of the saved content, whenever and wherever.
The lucky few with access to the enhanced X1 features need only to load up the Xfinity TV app (available for both iOS and Android devices) on their smartphone or tablet, tap over to the list of their DVR recordings, and choose a selection to begin streaming — wherever they are. The new app will include the X1’s full set of features, including channel guide, On Demand, DVR, and more.
Of course, Comcast isn’t the only provider developing cloud-based streaming capabilities for its customers. DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon, and AT&T have all embarked on their own quests to build various types of on-the-go viewing systems, ranging from basic multi-screen capabilities to full-on Internet-TV services. Factor in mobile viewing efforts from third-party providers such as Sling and TiVo, and its obvious that TV Everywhere is quickly becoming a must have feature for services to lure new customers. Unfortunately, Comcast is still holding back a full rollout of the X1 system to its tens of millions of subscribers, offering the service in select cities.
Boston was the first market to land in-home streaming from X1, as well as the ability to “check out” DVR recordings by downloading them, and since then, live in-home streaming and X1 DVR cloud technology have become available in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Comcast says it expects most of those customers to have access to the new out-of-home streaming features by the end of the year. Just when the company will make a full roll-out of the X1 system nation wide, with all of its spoils available on the go, is any one’s guess.