Detailed on the official Comcast corporate blog yesterday, the cable company showed off the upcoming X2 platform that will be launched in current X1 Platform markets by the end of the year. Utilizing the XI3 DVR hardware, the new interface will allow users to record television shows and movies in cloud storage rather than on a hard drive within the DVR hardware. Without a hard drive taking up space inside the XI3, the physical size of the cable box has been reduced significantly. In fact, it’s probably closer in size to set-top boxes like the Apple TV or Roku 3 than a standard cable box.
The XI3 hardware is also rated four times faster than previous models using the X1 interface, ideal for running the new features in the X2 user interface. Comcast subscribers will be able to customize the home page dashboard with specific applications and tiles that are relevant to their personal viewing habits. The design is somewhat similar to the Windows 8 interface or Xbox 360 platform.
After the dashboard interface is customized, it will show up identically on mobile devices as well. Regarding mobile devices, the X2 platform will remember where you left off when watching a recorded show on your television and allow you pick right up on your smartphone or tablet.
Similar to Netflix, the X2 platform will make content recommendations based on the user’s previous viewing history. The interface will also include more social content such as Rotten Tomatoes quality scores or warnings related to age-appropriate content. Facebook and Twitter feeds can be incorporated into the X2 user interface as well.
While X1 users are waiting for the new features in the X2 platform, they can take advantage of a new “Send to TV” feature added this week. Using a bookmarklet on a PC, the user can send anything on their computer screen directly to the television set. This is ideal for streaming Web content, especially Hulu video limited to Web users.