Xfinity X1: How Comcast roped me back in to cable

remoteOver the years I’ve treated my TV viewing as a personal sport — with the primary objective of getting as much of my favorite content as I can while spending as little money as humanly possible.

At various times I’ve plugged my Mac into my television using an HDMI adapter, used the PlayOn service to stream content from my computer or my wireless network, and even cut the cord completely for a while in favor of over-the-air broadcast channels, supplemented by Netflix and other streaming services.

But it looks like I’ve met my match, and it is called the Xfinity X1. You win, Comcast. At least for now.

I have been testing this sleek black cable box for the past three weeks, but to call it a cable box really doesn’t do it justice. It is a nice blend of Internet content, live television, apps, a multi-tuner DVR and on-demand programming, in one of the cleanest user interfaces that you’ll find from a cable company.

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Of course, this is just one of a growing array of options for TV viewing these days. The X1 experience is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the new Google Chromecast, which GeekWire columnist Frank Catalano wrote about this week. If the Chromecast is a Smart Car, the X1 is an Escalade, as I mentioned when we discussed this topic on last week’s GeekWire radio show. Both serve a purpose and could work well depending on exactly what you’re looking for in a television experience.

Here are some of the highlights from my usage of the X1 over the past few weeks, and some of the areas where it needs to get better.

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Apps: There are several Internet-connected apps on the X1, including weather, stocks and traffic. On startup, the screensaver shows the latest news headlines and other info from the apps. You can also connect your Facebook account and stream music from Pandora.

But the app that shows the most promise is sports — displaying mini box scores of NFL, NCAA and MLB games in progress or coming up, with quick links to watch or record games as part of your cable package.

While watching a game or browsing other channels, the sports app can be positioned off to one side of the screen, showing the score and additional details about the game, such as runners on base or a graphic of the latest scoring drive. In short, it’s a nice complement to the viewing experience.

One big opportunity for improvement: It would great to be able to click to watch highlights from games after they’re finished.

ondemanddvrDVR and On-Demand: The DVR version of the X1 has five tuners, making it possible to record up to four shows simultaneously while watching another show live. One of the nicest parts about the interface is the way it integrates live programming, upcoming shows and on-demand content into unified lists.

But as I explained on last week’s GeekWire radio show, this one place where the current state of cable TV starts to feel like an interim solution. Why can’t we just get everything on-demand from the cloud — whatever we want, whenever we want it? The whole notion of recording a show and saving it to a local hard drive starts to feel a little odd when you can see on-demand and DVR recordings of the same episode side-by-side in unified menu.

No doubt we’ll get there eventually, and Comcast is taking a step in this direction with the X2, by making DVR recordings available via the cloud. But for now, we’re in this in-between place where not everything is available on-demand.

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Search: The X1 remote is straightforward and easy to use if you just remember to hit that big Xfinity button repeatedly. On last week’s show, my colleague John Cook rolled his eyes when I explained the process of searching using the alphanumeric keypad. It’s not a perfect solution. But the reality, with most searches, is that you only need to hit a few keys before the program you’re looking for shows up at the top of the list, to select easily.

Personally, I prefer this to alternative input methods such as barking out commands to my Xbox 360 Kinect sensor.

For easier searching, there’s an iPhone and iPad app available for the X1, letting you locate and launch a program by typing into the device keyboard, or using voice commands. Another feature request here: It would be great to be able to use the hardware volume controls on the phone itself to control the TV volume.

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Hardware: I misspoke when we discussed the dimensions of the X1 on the radio show. It’s actually only a little more than a foot wide, and probably smaller than other cable boxes that you’ve had.

But it is a loud machine, at least compared to my whisper-quiet Xbox 360 console. The X1 has a low rumble that can be heard across the room. I’ve tried repositioning the device to make sure it’s not a function of vibration.

One nice touch: The clock and green light on the front of the box can be dimmed from a simple on-screen interface.

In the end, the X1 is an example of the convergence taking place across the industry, and how that convergence has yet to reach its logical conclusion. For example, I’d love to have a truly singular experience in one piece of hardware — Netflix, live TV, video games, and everything in between. The upcoming Xbox One is headed in that direction, with the notable lack of DVR integration. The X1 has the DVR, but no Netflix.

There is plenty of room for improvement with the X1. (Comcast has already announced the X2.) But based on my experience so far, I’ve decided to keep this machine around, on my own bill. The machine is currently available to Xfinity triple-play customers in Washington state. Unless you’re adding services such as DVR functionality to your bill (as I will be) there’s no extra charge for the X1 beyond an installation fee of approximately $90 for the triple-play setup.

So for the time being, at least, it looks like I’ll end up with two powerful but incomplete boxes under my television.

  • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

    Nice post, I really like these “diary” posts that you do.

    I have a request for a future post: would you please write up your experience when you have a support or technical problem?

    I have friends who have Comcast and to hear them tell it you’d get better service in a restaurant in the 1960s in the Soviet Union than you do from Comcast. My own experience with their support in the early 2000s and they were still AT&T were so bad that I dropped them then for DirectTV and have never ever considered going back.

    So I’d be curious to hear your experience there since so much of the overall cable experience is colored by the support angle.

    • Laurie

      ‘Tis true. I recently had trouble setting up a new router and regrettably gave them a call. I had to go through two “techs” and a supervisor before I found someone who knew what a domain name server was. The problem was still not resolved. I finally gave up and turned to Google, which is what I should have done in the first place. Hint: CMD ipconfig /flushdns /registerdns. Fixed. Seems like they should have been able to tell me this.

      • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

        To be fair, Qwest (or whatever they call themselves this week) isn’t much better on tech support. I’ve heard things with Comcast like it being down 4+ days at a time for instance. I’ve got a friend in North Carolina with a problem they’ve not been able to solve in over a month and a half, and that includes joyful things like missed appointments, phone calls not being returned etc.

        • Flash Reader

          The only thing Comcast couldn’t fix in my area within 24 hours was after an early winter snow storm that left our area without power for 8 days. If there is a problem and I call it in, Comcast usually has a tech working on it.

    • fpurton

      Hi Chris
      I would agree with the statement
      I just changed everything out for the new X1 platform, firstly they don’t have any X1 boxes left so I had to deal with an older style box (until one becomes available).
      they were to move 2 existing email accounts with the change over, that never happened. I live in Boston and after I spent over 3hrs a day for a week I ended getting hold of a guy in Denver that knew what he was doing and within 1 hour I got 90% of the issues fixed.
      I will tell you how the new X1 box is whenever I get one that is…..
      Fergus

    • ralph Indigo

      I have been a Comcast Subscriber for many, many years, and I have found that their support has improved tremendously over the years. If you have a problem that they cannot fix over the phone, they will schedule a tech person to come to your home within a couple of days. And the people answering the phones are very polite and knowledgeable. Not like in the old days when they could be quite surly. This was especially true when most areas had only one cable company available and no satellite companies. Competition can be a good thing. Let’s hear it for Capitalism.

  • Jason Farris

    A functional UI goes a long way but ultimately the reason I don’t have a cable box is that it leads to television being left on, which means random programming and adverts blaring into the house. I’ll be back on cable when there’s an intelligent advertisement delivery system in place ala Hulu. As long as channels are functioning under the 20th century model, I can’t really afford the noise pollution.

    • Harkonnen

      I completely agree. Plus Comcast is insanely expensive given that I don’t watch most of the channels on there. My laptop and Apple TV give me what I need for now. When Comcast drops their prices (and they do when there is competition) then I would re-consider. I’ve been Comcast-free for almost two years and life is good.

    • Robin Banks

      So…shut the TV off.

    • FredRay

      Actually X1 can be put on a sleep timer to turn off the box and the TV effectively. As long as the remote is programmed correctly the box sends a command that turns off the TV via the IR blaster.

  • Robby Andrews

    I have been using Windows Media Center+CableCard for a year and a half now, and I still think it’s beats the pants off of X1. However, X1 is the best for the general public as my WMC setup took forever to get where it is.

    • Jason Farris

      Built a WMC box in 2005 and never looked back. Free HD over the air, sophisticated DVR, 100% codec support, completely customizable UI, IR integration, smartphone integration, app integration, auto-sorting, metadata linked… slapped together out of spare parts. Nothing that’s come out be it AppleTV, Boxee, Roku, these SmartTVs… come close to matching the system I slapped together from spare parts five years before these guys got their v1.0 out the door. XB1 looks to be the first product that **might** do a better job managing the media than my nearly ten year old media server.

      • FredRay

        Lol everyday people cant do this, you example is so exaggerated. Its a great idea but it only helps you.

  • Barry

    The X1 is a bridge to the future, the X2 will give customers everything they are looking for!!! If you are a comcast customer and apprehensive wait till the X2 is launched, then most if not all the bugs will be worked out. I have the X1 and really enjoy all the features, it is a paradigm shift on how all the old boxes work currently but if your ready for change, you will enjoy!!!!

    • JakeBOSTON

      Well since X2 is just a software update there’s no need to wait. If your area has the system available to you it’s worth the upgrade even now. Especially since any way to finally be rid of that Guide that is nearly a few years shy of a decade old is good in my book.

    • ComcastUser

      Why will the X2 help, when the problem with the X1 are the huge number of bugs? If they’re adding a bunch of new features, there’s bound to be a bunch of new bugs, too.

  • Barry

    By the way, all you folks that say Comcast is insanely expensive, it is not Comcast, it is the Channels they put in their packages that charge Comcast inflated fees to broadcast their shows, ESPN, DISNEY ect.. plus franchise fees…. Direct TV and Dish charge the same fees or they lose the rights to broadcast as is evident in past negotiations when their channels disappear with no notice. Please keep a perspective before posting that Comcast is the big bad guy!!!!

    • Jason Farris

      I read an article a couple years back, apparently ESPN fees alone are over 30% of the total spend. ESPN is so expensive for them to carry it should be a premium channel like HBO, but they force it into the base package since it’s a system seller for the low-end of the market. If you have cable and don’t watch sports, you are paying an enormous subsidy for those who do. That’s true of any channel-genre, but the gap between ESPN and every other offering in carry fees is substantial.

      • Barry

        You are absolutely right!!!!

    • FredRay

      Exactly, the funny thing is the more you watch TV period, online, Hulu, Netflix, your the problem not the fix. The channels dont care how you watch, as long as you watch, eventually Netflix, and Hulu, Amazon, as long as you watch, the fees get higher.

  • unkerjay

    Echoing some of the comments here, I’ve had Comcast. Currently, I don’t.
    I can’t get Dish or DirectTV (line of sight Satellite just doesn’t work at my
    specific location – homes to the left and right of mine, just not mine).

    Sports might be their moneymaker, a MUST carry. I’m not a sports fan.
    Never have been. Don’t care who wins. Don’t care who’s playing. It’s fat on
    my system that I would prefer to do without, but can’t – contractually. A GREAT interface still wouldn’t matter to me anymore than a state of the art HDMI system, sound system, THEATRICAL experience. State of the art crap is STILL crap – channel after channel after channel.

    I’d rather buy a whole season of DVD than deal with Comcast OR Netflix (read
    cable OR online VOD). With the internet, I get the content I’m interested in
    not driven by ideology, or someone else’s if you want this, you’ve got to take this with it choices. I get dessert when I want it and as much vegetables as I can stomach. No one’s telling me I HAVE to eat liver – so to speak.

    That likely means I’m paying more for the Internet, still subsidizing cable costs
    and choices, but not bound by them.

    At some point, hopefully, cable will evolve to a better model. And the big networks will figure out how to coexist with the internet in a way that, as has been mentioned here already, there will be a better convergence of the two more readily available than the current system which is still trying to either work out the details or is at odds with the competition.

    I’ll sit it out for as long as I’m able. At fifty eight, I don’t exactly represent THE target market anymore anyways. And when I was watching, according to their analysis of who I was by demographics analysis, targeted marketing, I must be
    rich, interested in luxury cars, losing sleep over the portfolio I don’t have and how best to invest in it, and keeping anal-retentive track of all my medications for either existing or theoretical / hypochondriac visions of pharmaceutical maladies dreamed up by big Pharma more in search of profits than better health. I’m not ANY of that.

    And I don’t miss it or feel a burning need for it.

    I don’t own a smart phone or an IPad, don’t have a burning need for them. Seem to have managed well without them. Don’t have a facebook, twitter, google+ account. Don’t have a burning desire for them either.

    So, the apps, tie-ins, friends, likes, dislikes, are all a matter of my random posts at articles I happen to run across which catch my interest, such as this one. Other than that, the market has moved on from me and likewise.

    By the time convergence catches up to where, likely, most people would like to be, I’ll be sipping my meals through a straw, walking with a cane, every other word will be “What?”, and there won’t be enough friends and peers left who
    remember me or when.

    Good luck with that.

    • Barry

      By the way, did you know in the last 6 years Comcast has only increased its rate on the preferred High Speed internet package by 5 dollars, but have increased the speed for this package from 12 meg/2 to 25 meg/4. Comcast is increasing it’s speeds but not really increasing the price, so I disagree with you that they are using their internet to subsidize the television product. Comcast does now offer the highest speed internet in the country, the blast and above, usually free for 6 months with WIFI, 50over10, and if your a gamer and want more 100over25. All in what you want your experience to be but you will pay for the increased speeds…

    • daniel N memphis

      i got the X1 6 months ago, Comcast doubled my upload and download speeds upload 12.0Mbps & Download 100Mbps. But they are having major outages all the time weekends 4 ays in a row, and then i am having to call in to send a refresh to my modem when it is working at least 4-6 times a day. Here their customer service is getting 150% better than before but the service of X1 was put out to quickly. When the internet is down then my VOIP phone is down. They are getting a lot of money off their customers to not have contracts but the service is down at least one weekend of 4 days per month sometimes 2 week ends in a row. If you don’t pay your bill they sure shut you off quick, but if their services are no tON while we are paying them they don’t care. I should be able to get a AUTOMATIC REFUND for all the outages comcast needs to come up with a program to refund every customer outage back to their a ccount withou tis having to FIGHT AND ARGUE with their reps to get a refundfor something we are paying for that is not working. I LOVE the X1 and I love My Fast Internet SPEEDS BUt if the services are out and the weather did not cause the outage then its not fair that we have to pay for days 4 days is really to long that comcast should be calling their customers and giving refunds

      • Shelley Wilhoit Dickey

        Hey you may already know this by now, but just in case you haven’t heard, I would like to help. If you are still having problems with outages & such all you have to do is call customer service and speak to someone in billing. Tell them how long each one of your services were out, and they most definitely will credit your bill. I had an issue a month ago with Comcast. Our service was out due to a winter storm that left us without power for 5 days & Comcast was out even longer….TV was out for 8 days & Internet & Phone were out 10 days. I felt the same frustration as you so I called them and to my surprise they were more than willing to credit my bill for the days each service was out. It came out to be something like $7 a day for all three services and almost $4 for phone & Internet. The representative was very friendly & eager to take care of this for me which gave me the impression that giving customers outage credits was routine for them so in the end, while
        i did feel relieved from my frustrations with Comcast & grateful for the credits, I still left the conversation with a little bit frustration, but this time it was aimed at myself (lol) bc I could have saved even more money plenty of times throughout my business with Comcast. :)

  • Disappointed X1 User

    This review sounds like a paid advertisement. I’ve had X1 for 2 months in the Chicago market and experienced constant problems. it took 4 service calls to install and eliminate initial problems taking 17 hours total. 2 more service calls since then. Series recordings do not record including the #1 overall rated show while one rated lower does record. I have had it not record 4 of 4 shows for the time slot, 1 of 4, 1 of 3, etc..Or it will start recording a show 20 minutes late. One day it appeared to not record all 4 shows for that time slot but then 16 hours later they finally showed up in recordings. On average it does not record 10-15% of your series recordings. Even if you have a show set up as series recording it may not even show up as scheduled. Because I literally take pictures of scheduled shows to compare vs. what the DVR actually records in an attempt to record missed shows or be forced to watch On Demand if available. If the DVR missed a sporting event you are out of luck. But while my old DVR would only record the intended show, this X1 may records repeats multiple times even though it is set up as ‘New Episodes Only”. One day it intended to record 11 shows even though all were repeats while still not recording new shows as noted above. The X1 DVR does not tell you if have more than 4 shows scheduled to record in the same time period as the old DVR indicated. You cannot skip ahead one day when attempting to find/set a recording but instead you must use the Guide and move ahead 1/2 hour at a time vs the old remote which had a skip ahead one day feature. This is especially problematic with sports when trying to set a recording in advance. For example try finding a University of Iowa Football game when you don’t know the exact time or channel. Almost impossible to find your show. If you put in NASCAR it displays shows two weeks out 1st vs. newest which will be on the bottom of the list. It will also not display all shows for NASCAR for some reason. The anyroom DVR is sluggish when receiving commands from the remote and if you delete a show it gets even worse for minutes afterward. Sometime you need multiple request just to delete shows and you may not see deletion until overnight. The DVR freezes or displays a message of inaccessible for long periods. Customer service is not equipped to help you as they are still learning and just read from scripts and are really only guessing how to remedy problems. I’ve gone to corporate who has sent out their top techs and technical operation supervisors, had a new line from the hub/pedestal box outside to my home and new lines internally right up to the X1 DVR but still very little improvement. I’ve become quite adept at fixing problems myself by rebooting the DVR & X1 set top boxes vs. calling useless customer service. It appears most of the issues are related to the Cloud which controls what shows will record or delete. Given my experience it would indicate X2 will be a disaster as the intention here is for all shows to record and be accessed via the cloud vs the DVR. I give Comcast at least a weekly e-mail and list of issues and while they continue to look into issues they don’t appear to have a clue what is causing problems. If you look under Comcast Forums you will see many customers are having the same problems I have detailed above in their respective markets. The only pros I can say are the increased hard drive capacity for the DVR, 16:9 1080p vs. 1080i display of the old DVR, and the anywhere DVR capability if it allows you to access shows from a X1 HD Set top box instead of the message that the DVR is not accessible at this time. But right now the DVR has reverted to a output resolution display of 4:3 480i and even though I keep setting it as 16:9 1080p, it keeps defaulting to the 4:3 480i display. Everyday is a new problem with the X1 Platform.

    • Faith Parent

      I’m having all of the same issues. I’ve tried to find a place on the xfinity website to tell me if the x1 is capable of recording 4 shows plus watching an On Demand show. The reason I was looking for this answer was that I had a problem the other night when I was watching On Demand – it skipped recording 3 shows. At the same time my husband was watching a recorded show in another room. It’s so frustrating to try to find answers and I still haven’t found the answer! Using their search for the boards just brings up a bunch of junk I don’t need. The box is totally unreliable and untrustworthy and no one can even give me a list of what it’s limitations are. I’m willing to work within it’s limits, but not knowing them and having them change constantly is extremely frustrating.

    • BobsinVt

      Seven months on, does your x1 still revert t o 4:3 480i? Comcast just upgraded me to X1 and I have this issue. Always overnight, but not every night.

  • SeattleHokie

    What you have in the X1 that is not available to just anyone is what I have with DirectTV right now. I have DirecTV mainly for sports but our monthly bill is cheaper than we had with Comcast a few months ago. I was worried about on demand shows with Comcast owning NBC but we have yet to find a show we cannot get on demand. We can record 4 shows at once, it is based on the number of clients you have, we have 2 clients and one main box. DirecTV has apps and streaming of shows and it connect to your wireless network. Your revelation of Comcast is mainly it has caught up, not winning for now.

    • Barry

      Again, the Idea was to catch up, that is why X2 is Launching next year!!! Standby, it will be a huge advantage when it does!!!!

      • jimv1983

        X2 is going to suck. It will put all your recordings in the cloud instead of saved on a hard drive locally in the box. That means every time you want to watch a recording you will have to stream it. Comcast will have full control of your recorded programs.

        I may end up getting a TiVo despite the fact that their pricing is a huge rip off.

  • http://bareitallfitness.com/ Dawn Robinson

    We just got the X1 box but nobody really knows how to use it. So far we can only record 2 shows at one time. Did you have to change a setting to get it to record more than 2?

    • Faith Parent

      It’s supposed to just do it, but sometimes (often :( ) it just doesn’t. The best solution I’ve found is re-booting it. Do it by unplugging it – the on/off button doesn’t do anything. I learned this from comcast guy who lives down the road. He said he had to re-boot his many, many times before it worked right. I’ve rebooted umpteen times and it still doesn’t work right all the time, but it has gotten better – at least some of the time.

  • Non-Specific Action Figure

    As a Washington-based Triple-Play-subscriber, why have I not picked this up yet?

    *bolts to nearest Comcast-location*

    • Gabriel Carranza

      I can upgrade you and give you the best deal available in your area, Contact me and let me know if you are interested my work email is:
      gabriel_carranza@cable.comcast.com

  • Artie

    The big problem I have with it is that sure I get to record 4 programs at once and watch another but I’m giving up all other DVRs around the house so essentially I’m loosing some recording capability. I had an appointment to have 2 X1 DVRs because I was told it could happen and then 20 minutes before my appointment I receive a call explaining that they can only put one X1 box and the rest have to be recievers! Why can’t I just keep the other DVRs? #bummedout

    • Flach Reader

      In some markets, you can get an add-on memory storage device that holds up to a TB of recorded data. Fortunately I have not had any of the problems that have plagued so many of you. When the tech who installed my X1 system was getting ready to leave, he gave me a card and instructions how to call him directly if there were any problems. So far, I’ve only used it to call and wish him a Happy Birthday.

  • photty

    The X1 platform is very sensitive to signal strength. With a weak signal it locks up and can only be reset with a power off/on. We have been making 4-5 power resets a day until I gave up and got my old DVR boxes back. I have an amplifier between my cable and the splitter…maybe that is a problem. The old boxes worked for yerts with excessive ‘clicking’. I was scared to touch the ‘clicker’ for the X1, since it usually caused a lock up.

    • Comcast Supervisor

      Did you have your X1 main DVR box plugged into a power strip or wall power. I work for Comcast and I’ve been noticing a lot of ingress on customers who are using shitty power strips and the ingress is causing the reset you are talking about all because of the power strip.

  • Lobsterlou

    Comcast has THE WORST service organization in the world. Their agents are, for the most part, clueless in speaking with customers. Their service is horrible and it it is almost impossible to get through to ill trained agents. Many are in the Philippines. Today was another experience in futility and frustration trying to JUST get a service technician to come to our home to fix the service that has been out for 4 days now. My advice: Use any other service that is available in a monopolistic industry.

    • susan

      I have never seen a comment that I agree with more!! The utter stupidity that I have encountered is unequaled. I’m glad to see that I’m not alone.

  • gimlet72

    Is the X1 also have multiroom dvr?

    • Gabriel Carranza

      Yes it is it has 500GB of memory storage and capable of recording up to 800 hours worth of programming you can record from any room and also watch the recording from any one of the secondary receivers in your home. I can upgrade you and give you the best deal available in your area, Contact me and let me know if you are interested my work email is:
      gabriel_carranza@cable.comcast.com

      • Mike

        i was upgraded to X1 and it sucks . It doesn’t work they way its supposed to that is if it decides to work at all . The best deal on junk still isn’t a good deal

  • X1andDone

    I’ve had quite a different experience with my first 4 weeks with X1.
    Mainly, we’ve had two service visits (a 3rd scheduled for tomorrow)
    since the install on Aug 26 and the service is still not working
    properly. We have never been able to watch DVR recordings on one of the
    “secondary” boxes, and it usually needs to be reset 2-3 times a week.

    We
    are also quite disappointed that Comcast cut out some functionality of
    the regular system (which even Time Warner has) like setting program
    reminders (not just recording programs) and sorting/filtering the guide
    by “categories” such as sports, movies, kids, etc. And yet the programs
    seem to be color-coded in the guide by those “categories.”

    The irony, every time I talk to somebody at Comcast (including one of the service technicians) I discover that they don’t actually have this groundbreaking X1 platform themselves.

  • Lex

    Just got the X1 – HATE IT. Fancy shmancy graphics and horribly unresponsive box. They took away a lot of important features from the remote, including the ability to use the AUX button to control volume (which I do through a stereo). Lets see, what else? I hit record and there’s no indication whatsoever that my show is recording. No red dot on the listing, no indication on the box. You have to go into the scheduled recordings to confirm. And I watched most of a show and had to run an errand, so I recorded the end. Only it recorded the entire first 49 minutes that I watched and then stopped where I hit record. This thing is absolute junk. I hated the last Comcast box but it was better than this. It’s simply a wannabe Netflix in the general look, and it’s a Nokia 5160 as far as hardware goes. I miss the days when I had FIOS.

    • Mike

      yes, junk.

  • Jared M.

    i have an older Motorola DCX3400-M box from Comcast/Xfinity; it has a large hard drive compared to the other boxes that have been available in my area so i’ve held on to it while i wear out the remainder of the last “deal” i beat out of Comcast. anyway, i’ve had two of these boxes and they both have been noisy, slightly rumbling the whole time when powered on. i found great relief in cutting four little squares out of a Brooks Beast sneaker insole/liner. the foot side has a soft felt-like material. the bottom side has these foamy rubber nibs. in-between is blue foam. i place them soft foot liner side down under each foot of the box and it makes a world of difference. maybe worth a shot with the box you have.

  • Crop_O

    As a Comcast user I offer a huge NEGATIVE report on them. I just called Comcast to upgrade my DVR to the X1 platform so I could record 4 channels at once. Currently I have their DVR that offers only 2 channels of recording and very low storage space. I also have their internet connectivity. Comcast refuses to provide me their new DVR unless I go to their triple-play package of phone-internet-tv service. They offer a price that is just over the what I pay now but with an additional charge of $7/mo for the modem (for voice & internet) and an install fee of $50. Sounds like a deal right ? No. My friend who lives about 30 miles away called and got the triple-play package with the same service I was asking for including HBO and a fixed price for a year of $117/mo. I pay $155/mo with no HBO. When I asked if I could just get the DVR they refused. I even offered to pay their $50 install fee. They refused. They will not upgrade my DVR AND I pay way more than my friend was offered. I was there when my friend agreed to the deal so I know these numbers are correct. I don’t want their steeeenking phone and I don’t want their modem at $7/mo (I bought my own modem and it works just fine with Comcast internet), I just want to be able to record more than 2 channels at once. Just talk to them and you will quickly see how their offerings make no sense and how they are ripping many unhappy customers off by forcing the triple-play AND they its apparently its a different price everytime you call them. When I first got my service a year and a half ago I was guaranteed a fixed price for 2 years. The price has gone up twice during that period (totaling a $40/mo increase). They claim they never had a fixed price. Beware, you are in for a shaky deal if you use their services.

    • Jessica

      I had my own modem as well, but the modem required for the X1 is a different/new modem.

  • BK

    Not a fan. My biggest complaint is that I record a series, and it doesn’t appear on my DVR until the next day. I can’t tell you how many times I planned on watching a show 15 minutes in, only to find that it wasn’t there.

    • Mike

      i have that issue as well as most of the problems people on here are listing . About to tell them to cancel and pick this crap up and get it out of my house .

  • Eric

    I have problems with the x1 box just about everyday, shows not recording, small picture stuck in the corner, ghost images from the menu that stays with you while you watch tv. Recordings will just go black for several minutes with no audio with nothing you can do about. And when I call Comcast about these issues they say they are known problems and to unplug my box for 5 minutes and plug it back in, which usually works but not always. Comcast was bad enuf cause of customer service but this x1 box puts the nail in the coffin

  • MaryBeth Carter

    Since I wrote my comment before I signed-up/in it was deleted. Thanks Discus.
    Well here is the shorter version. The problems with recording appear to be pervasive among the users commenting here. Why didn’t Todd Bishop notice these recording problems? I love Dish but just moved and don’t want to pay for the wall fishing Dish needs to do. They wrap wires around your house for free. The house is wired for Comcast which allowed me to have internet right away. I was excited to read the positive review on the X1 but it sounds like Comcast still has some of the issues that made me choose Dish in the first place. Oh well for now it will have to be me and my Apple TV. Probably cheaper in the long run to buy content individually. I calculated that I could by a season of 5 different HBO series each year for the price I pay to have HBO via Dish or Comcast and I only watch 2 series anyway and maybe 4 with Showtime.

  • ComcastUser

    Journalists need to do a report on how buggy the X1 DVR product is. Search for forums discussing it, even at Comcast’s own forums at forums.comcast.com.

    This is the buggiest electronics device I’ve encountered, and I’ve used Windows 3.1, Vista, and various versions of Windows Mobile. (Ok, so I never saw the first touchscreen blackberry.)

    There are constant complaints not just of features missing from most other DVR’s (such as the ability to scroll ahead in the guide by a day at a time, or notification of a recording conflict), but just lots of bugs. The device needs to be rebooted, sometimes inexplicably will not record even though a series recording has been set. Stuff like that.

    It’s incredible how buggy this thing is.

    • daniel NMemphis

      i have to reboot my 3 X1 boxes all the time, and to top it off I have to call in and GET A REFRESH SIGNAL sent to my Internet Modem 6-10 times a day. I have a brand new Modem they sent me in the mail that worked fine until this X1 thing came out. I have $10,000 worth of new mac apple equipment. Comcast tried to blame my problems on my MAC stuff. I just laughed. WHAT GOOD is the NEW UPGRADED SPEEDS which my Upload speeds is 12 Mbps & DownLoad is 50-100 Mbps. But if the services are out all weekend FRI SAT SUN MON TUE that is just not right and then it happens the next weekend again, but when they get it up and running I am having to call in press 1 then 1 then 2 then 1 for a fresh signal. I have learned how to do that without having to speak to them. I love the X1 when it works right. I love the fast speeds but what GOOD is it if its down all the time and I have to call and REFRESH MY SIGNAL that many times per day? I don’t think its very fair that if you don’t pay your BILL THEY CUT UR SERVICES OFF ASAP but if the services are not working I DON”T See THEM HANDING Me BACK MY MONey THAt ThEY ARe ROBBING from me. I think i will CALL BBB

  • ComcastUser

    Search twitter for “X1 DVR”. Looks like a big outage tonight (I’ve seen tweets from Boston, Washington State, and I’m in Colorado), and people can’t even call the Comcast call center to report it–the usual service queues don’t play, and eventually your call gets dropped.

  • pdasroo

    Don’t buy this hype. Xfinity X1 is possibly the worst piece of garbage technology you can get. We “upgraded” our house from 3 DVR’s to a single X1 DVR with 2 satellite boxes. Little did we know the nightmare we were about to experience. They don’t tell you this but if you have more than 1 TV in your house, you cannot pause or rewind live TV on the satellite boxes, only on the main DVR. So you’re giving up basic functionality. Want to pause the news in your bedroom TV while you make get ready for bed? Forget about it. In addition the menu interface of the X1 is buggy and slow like nothing I’ve ever seen. Button press – wait 2 seconds – button press again – wait 2 seconds, etc etc. TERRIBLE! The DVR had to be rebooted every single day to get rid of random error messages, sometimes more often than that. It would sometimes just drop HDMI for no apparent reason. After just a few days of this nonsense we contacted Comcast to take their X1′s back. That in itself was a nightmare, requiring 5, yes 5, separate calls to customer service. In the end I just packed the X1′s up and took them into the local service office, demanding they replace them with our old DVR’s. Do yourself a favor, DO NOT GET THE X1!!!

    • daniel n memphis

      I found this out to the first day. But here is a Quick fix. Just hit the record button from the info. Another thing if you are watching a program on the reg box not the x1, if you press record it will not record backwards from where you started it will only record from the time you hit the red record button. But sometimes I have hit the INFO then go down and hit record from there and it backs up to the beginning. But only sometimes not all the time.

  • Grrrr

    Comcast’s new bate and switch. I signed up for Comcast because they are the only high speed internet currently in the area, and they promised the X1 box as part of the new promotion. The X1 is not available till after the holidays now, along with the fact the cable internet and phone number now longer includes a back-up battery, and they have no M cards available and don’t know when they will get them. FIOS PLEASE!!!!! Comcrap is horrible. Philly market anyway.

    • john de leon

      as an episcopal priest i frequently preach about comcast primarily about
      their customer service. its terrible. yesterday i spent an hour and a half with them and got nowhere. sometimes they call me 10 days later when i am totally involved in other things. customers should demand immediate
      comcast staff that can listen with intelligence .

      another peeve before i moved to atlanta i was use to professional courtesy. the original professional service began in the middle ages. for me they stopped when i moved to atlanta. its not the money party its
      the courtesy part. i interned in a mental hospital before i was ordained and down through the years i have continued my training in counseling
      and i am considered good at it but i also know when to turn a case over
      to a psychotherapist or the like when i feel that observation and opinion is really needed.

      a few years ago i was recessing in a professional in a large cathedral and suddenly had my right foot stop working. i was carried to the medical center operated by my wife’s insurance carrier. in walks
      the physican with an intern.

      he said robert, i am dr ——- and this dr———. i looked at the key physcians’ name tags and responded. “i’m glad to meet you john and
      and to the assisting physcian “im glad to meet you dr…….

      even today physicians almost always want some of my advise and i am glad to give it to them pro bono. a physcian’s manner can make or break his or her art.

      fr bob

  • Rick

    For those of us with little kids, It would be nice if there were a setting to disable the green button altogether. My son is drawn to it like a moth to a flame – doing a soft reset on the box in the middle of Colts games is his favorite hobby.

  • FrillArtist

    No Android app, no buy from me.

  • jimv1983

    I still have the old Comcast box because of some of the features missing from the X1 box like 30 second skip, a LIVE TV button and skip by days in the guide just to name a few. However, I may consider getting one anyways so that I can replace my current crappy box before the X2 comes out. I have ZERO interest in having all my recordings stored in the cloud.

  • Rachel Close-Sawyer

    I love Comcast! I have worked for them for two years and I can honestly say that we have the fastest, most reliable internet service, the clearest home phone sound, and of course an amazing new platform for your TV. I was a residential sales rep for a year and a half (I was promoted into their Advertising sales division called Spotlight)….their product literally sold itself. If any of you have been thinking of trying cable again, this is a great reason! All services come with a 30 day guaranty. You won’t pay a dime for installation or service if you try it and decide you don’t like it and disconnect (and return the equipment) before 30 days.
    Also, if any of you are wondering how they treat us employees….we are treated like gold. They invest an incredible amount into us for our training and our benefits are incredible. Prior to Comcast, I had never worked for a company that has this much integrity, opportunity, and care for their employees.
    Thanks for such a postiive review :)

  • Mary

    What I wish would be changed is the on demand app. I don’t see a reason to have the pictures of the movies. I would like it much better if you could at lease pick if you prefer it that way, or lists like I prefer. Much easier to find what you might want to watch. Click on it for info then.

  • disqus_6PpRNt4KQa

    Looks great if you can get it.

    They can’t even provide existing customers with the boxes because there is a shortage its a load of smoke and mirrors! Brian Roberts? Me and a buddy signed up for X1 service 3 months ago him a new customer and me an existing and neither have been able to aquire the new box. We were both put on a wait list. They are selling the service and the customer on the wiley promise that they will ship the equipment or it is easily obtainable from local branch offices all the while they know it’s not. Further I was told by one technician that it was still in it’s infancy and well know internally not yet a full rollout? It’s all hot air!!!

  • Dixon

    Comcast X1 was installed four months ago at my home. It has never worked correctly! They have sent technicians to my house five times, replaced every cable from the street to my house to each room, put on new signal amplifiers, and confirmed the signal strength is perfect in every room. But the product never works correctly. The satellite devices for the additional rooms fail every day. Telephone support people tell you to take the box back to the nearest location, but when you do they tell you they cannot accept it. Technicians come to the house and tell you it’s never the box’s fault and just Tinker with the cables more. To this day the satellite devices fail constantly. X1 is one big disaster in my house. We will soon be moving to some other product.

  • Dom Reidman

    I find it embarrassing (for you) that you went from a cord cutter to paying for triple-play. Why not just give comcast a percentage of your 401k while your at it.

  • Cindy Black

    After reading quite a bit, I still have NO IDEA what the X1 is. Is it a TV? Does it look like a TV? Do you have to plug it into your regular TV to get the programs to go into it? Can you really, like the TV ad says, watch it anywhere you want? I camp deep in the mts (mainly ski areas or trailheads) all the time and always watch stuff I recorded onto VHS tapes, on my little TV/VHS player that plugs into the car cigarette lighter. But after 15 years my TV/VHS player is starting to act up and I need a new solution. I am a Comcast subscriber at the lowest possible level; I just have the “box,” and I hate that because you can’t record from different channels unless you’re there to change the channels by hand (which I usually am not). But I only watch 2 or 3 local channels and I refuse to pay the big bucks for channels I never watch, just to get that stupid machine. Anyway, I like to RECORD my programs, so I can hold them in my hand and watch them whenever and where-ever I want, and keep them forever… I don’t want them stored in some machine that’s hooked to my home TV! But “streaming” (watching the show as it’s actually aired?) would be OK too I guess — especially if I could really watch it in the wilderness. Is that what this “X1″ does? Or maybe, is it like that Comcast box but you can take this one with you and watch stuff on it? (As you can see, I am totally non-tecchie). Any advice? Thanks from Cindy

  • ralph Indigo

    Good post. I just got X1 at home and one thing they do not provide is a good help area to figure out how everything works. It consists of three 2-3 minute videos, one of which is parental control, which does not apply to me. You can get more info on how to use x1 from the Internet.
    One thing I do not agree on is the idea of not recording shows to the hard drive and simply have everything in the cloud. Having shows on your local drive works much better than On Demand shows. I avoid using On Demand because of its quirkiness and limited functionality. Most importantly, if you watch a network show using On Demand, you do not have fast forward controls so you are stuck with all the commercials. Not acceptable. I only use On Demand to watch premium channels that do not have commercials. And even then,it is more of a hassle than having it on your hard drive. In the past, we only used On Demand when we missed recording a show because we were already recording two other shows at the same time. With X1, where you can record 4 shows at once, this is no longer an issue.

  • Tex Arcana

    Be nice to find out if I can get the service… But their website doesn’t work, it just keeps looping back to a “call” page.