Ever wish you could download your DVR’d TV shows to your iPad and take them on a plane with you? Comcast customers in the Philadelphia region will be able to do that starting today.
The new feature is part of an upgrade of the Xfinity’s software upgrade to its X1 platform, which already offers access to live, recorded, and on-demand television and movies. The upgrade also includes revisions to the platform’s on-screen guide to help users more easily find the shows and channels they desire out of the vast array of content available.
But customers will probably notice that they now have more options for viewing TV and movies than they did before. Over their home wifi network, for example, they’ll be able to view live TV and DVR recordings on multiple devices, using the Xfinity TV site for laptops and computers, or the brand-new Xfinity TV app for tablets and mobile devices. Using that app, users will also be able to “check out” up to 10 DVR-recorded videos — they won’t be available on the home DVR until the checkout is over — for offline viewing on the road, away from home.
The result? For the first time ever, one exec said, Dish Network and Tivo already made their DVR’d content available on mobile platforms, but this is Comcast’s arrival at that level of service; a previous app, Xfinity TV Go, offered (and still offers) much more limited live TV and video-on-demand options.
The new expansion to “cloud-based” service will give Comcast’s cable customers access, one exec said, almost “everything they pay for, in the palm of their hand.” And that helps make good on the promise of the X1 that Philly Mag’s Richard Rys lusted after when the platform was originally unveiled last year.
“Everything we do centers on providing our customers with the very best content wherever they want it; in- or out-of-home,” said Vito Forlenza, Senior Director of TV Everywhere Content & Product Strategy for the company.
Xfinity rolled out the X1 upgrade in the Boston market in February. Cable industry observers first began to notice the upgrades in the Philadelphia market — which includes portions of New Jersey and northern Delaware — in reports that began emerging last week, but Comcast didn’t officially announce the new product until today. Additional markets will receive the new services throughout the year.
Locally, the upgraded X1 will be immediately available to new Xfinity cable customers. Existing X1 users will able to download their DVR’d videos to the new Xfinity app immediately; they’ll see the in-home “live streaming” to computers and mobile devices within the next few weeks.
Follow @JoelMMathis on Twitter.