Comcast’s Xfinity Share lets you stream content live to any X1 set-top box

comcast announces xfinity share notification on tv
Some years ago Dish Network realized that its set-top boxes had a whole lot of untapped potential. As a result, today’s Dish hardware goes beyond simple channel tuning and DVR recording by offering users the ability to stream live and recorded video to a smartphone or tablet, download recordings for offline viewing, and even access web apps like Netflix. Now, incumbents like Comcast are looking to play catch up and grab themselves a cut of the action, but you’ll be disappointed if you were expecting Netflix or YouTube. A new feature announced today, Xfinity Share, takes the form of an app for Android and iOS that lets X1 set-top box owners live stream or send photos and videos to  any other X1 box, even their neighbors.

Currently available only to Xfinity Triple Play customers, Xfinity Share’s intended application is much narrower than much-publicized streaming apps like Persicope and Meerkat. Comcast envisions families sharing memorable occasions with friends and families across the country — birthdays, graduations, and the like. “We’re giving our customers the power to share special moments in their lives as they happen,” said Patti Loyack, Vice President of Communications for Comcast, in a statement.

Xfinity-Share-Birthday

Judging by the features (or lack thereof), that sounds about right. Xfinity Share is about as basic as they come — to get it working at home, all you need to do is launch the app, tap the “Stream Live” button, and accept the prompt that pops up on your X1-connected television (in high-definition, if the bandwidth is good enough). Photos and videos sent through Xfinity Share are automatically uploaded to the Xfinity Photos App, with advanced playback and recording for live streams absent right now but coming “later this year.”

Regarding sharing, you can direct the stream to whomever you choose… as long as the person you’d like to share with has fortuitously associated the number in your contact list with their Comcast account and configured their X1 box to view streams. In the likely event those two prerequisites aren’t met, Comcast’s adding additional ways to share in the future, among them the ability to e-mail URLs to the stream and share with up to five people simultaneously.

Comcast told The Verge that Xfinity Share has no built-in controls to prevent piracy, a trend currently plaguing Periscope. The company said sharing protected content without permission would obviously run afoul of its copyright infringement clauses, but there isn’t a built-in mechanism to actively prevent sharing. Given the number of X1 users, it’s probably unnecessary, but welcome all the same — you needn’t worry about music in a bar muting or shutting down your stream. At least for now.

Xfinity Share is available for free through the Play Store on Android and the App Store on iOS.

Home Theater

AT&T’s WarnerMedia streaming service: Everything we know about it so far

AT&T is joining the streaming video environment with a service that will bundle HBO, WarnerMedia cable channels, and Warner Bros.' feature films on a single platform. Here's everything we know about the WarnerMedia streaming service so far.
Small Business

Disney Plus could have 130 million subscribers by 2024, says analyst

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Home Theater

Netflix can drain your data in a hurry. Here's how to turn it down a notch

Ever wondered how much data you need to stream a show (or movie) on Netflix? You aren't alone. The answer could be anywhere from 1GB per hour to 7GB per hour, but there's more to it than that. Here's how to control your Netflix data.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Movies & TV

Prime-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite TV series currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Deals

Experience 4K on the cheap with this great deal on a 55-inch Samsung 4K Smart TV

Retailers are stumbling over each other to encourage you to buy a 4K TV. Walmart is the latest retailer to take a sledgehammer to its prices, knocking $100 off the 55-inch Samsung UN55NU6900 4K TV — a deal that's not to be missed.
Home Theater

Comcast lets people with physical disabilities control a TV with just a glance

Comcast is now making it a little easier for people with physical disabilities to watch TV by giving them a way to connect their existing assistive devices like eye-glance systems with their Comcast cable boxes.
Movies & TV

GLOW season 3 trailer sends everyone to Vegas, brings on Geena Davis

Netflix released the first trailer season 3 of GLOW, its hit series about a group of female professional wrestlers in the 1980s, inspired by the real-world show Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. The season premieres August 9.
Deals

Looking for a new smart TV? Don’t miss this fantastic deal on a 60-inch Vizio 4K TV

This 60-inch Vizio D-Series has a sticker price of $700, a significant amount less than the $1,500-plus price tag that would have once been attached to it, but it's now on sale for just $480 — down $220.
Movies & TV

These are the best comedies on Netflix right now, and that's no joke

Looking for a laugh? Lucky for you, Netflix offers an assortment of comedies, each designed to elicit laughs in one way or another. Here are our current favorites, from Pineapple Express to The Emperor's New Groove.
Home Theater

What is Dolby Atmos Music, and how can you experience it?

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound format that creates immersive, 3D soundtracks to make movies come alive. But the same technology is also being adopted for music creation, and it's a game-changer. Here's everything you need to know.
Home Theater

WarnerMedia just bought a $500 million weapon to fight Netflix: J.J. Abrams

By signing a $500 million deal with J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot production company, WarnerMedia proves that it's doing everything it can to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus for a share of your streaming budget.
Deals

This gorgeous 65-inch LG 4K TV gets a steep $200 price cut at Walmart

There's no doubt about it: Now is the best time to purchase a 4K TV. Networks all around the world are churning out 4K content at warp speed and prices of 4K TVs are on the decline, like this 65-inch LG.
Home Theater

Picture-in-picture reportedly headed to Apple TV in tvOS 13

When tvOS 13 is released to a general audience this fall, it could be sporting a previously undisclosed feature: Picture-in-picture mode. It was spotted in an early developer release and it reportedly only works in the TV App.