On April 4, at Simulmedia in New York, PromaxBDA’s latest Emerging Media Workshop informed and enlightened a packed house with speakers from Guide, X1 and Frank N. Magid Associates. Following each presentation, members could use their mobile devices to ask questions, and many took advantage.

Below, we present the second part of questions from the X1 presentation, and the company’s corresponding answers.

X1 is a TV platform from Xfinity offering a more personalized TV experience that makes it easier to discover, access and share entertainment.

Questions for X1

Answered by: Peter Nush, Executive Director, Product Management, X1 Platform & Comcast Cable

What is the penetration of Xfinity’s X1 box and what is the most popular feature?

The X1 Platform was launched in a small number of markets in 2012, and we’ve announced that it will be launched in all our markets by year-end 2013. We have not published individual household or device installations numbers for this platform yet as it ramps up across our markets.

In terms of popular features, there are a few and they cluster by demographics and interests. Two of the broadest favorites are “Recent History” and “Cross-Source Quick Search.”

Recent History is a dynamic history of the last nine things you’ve watched with an easy, rapid way to switch between them, even if they are TV channels, DVR recordings or On Demand shows. It makes channel surfing very powerful.

Cross-Source Quick Search just makes it so easy to find what you want, no matter where it comes from in the service.

If you focus in on our sports fans, the Sports App is their most popular feature.

It really goes to show that you can innovate on the TV platform in ways that don’t upset your traditionalist customers while still offering something new and compelling.

How does a user’s bandwidth/connectivity affect content?

For instance, how much traffic can the system handle and still deliver best quality for content delivery?

The video is still delivered over the existing cable delivery system, which does not consume any bandwidth from the high-speed data services being provided to a home; this hasn’t changed from today’s basic cable infrastructure and video quality remains unaffected. The user-interface and product feature logic uses a separate path to our cloud servers that does not compete in any way with video quality.

Are there restrictions for X1 customers to view content or local channels if they travel out of their cable footprint or out of the country? A la Aereo?

Yes, the X1 Platform works just like any other cable TV system, and focuses on providing content to the home where the service is installed. We’re not providing any new out-of-home or “roaming” approaches to content delivery with this product.

Having said that, Comcast does support the TV industry’s “TV Everywhere” initiative to offer streaming TV content on PCs and mobile devices, and the licensing rights of our content partners still apply to where that content can be viewed.


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