#1 Edited by joshwent (2329 posts) -

So I heard an Xfinity ad on the radio talking about their new "X1" interface. I assumed it was some sort of early roll out of XBox One features preparing subscribers for eventual console integration. Cool enough. Makes sense. But when I looked it up, it seems like this a totally separate system, using their own cable box, and offering many of the TV features that the XBox One claims to have.

"Smart" search with recommendations, voice controls through a universal app (iPhones!), "apps" that pop up while a show is still on screen, sports whatever stuff, oh... and DVR, which the XOne doesn't have.

Maybe it's just me, but this really seems like Comcast trying to push an alternative to watching TV through an XBox. I think we all assumed that Microsoft has been working with cable companies for the past few years to try and make themselves a viable alternative to cable boxes, and maybe even make some deals for a subscription payment plan including cable for the XBox One. But here's the biggest cable company in the US launching their own "Entertainment Operating System" just 6 months before the new console releases. And it's name is the same as the gizmo that's being sold as an alternative to it! Wha?!?!?

Seems like they're intentionally competing, or at least clearly not looking to integrate with the XBox.

Or maybe X1 will just gradually change to XOne in November?

Whadda you think?

#2 Posted by YukoAsho (2106 posts) -

I still don't get why cable box search functions aren't good enough. Is Comcast THAT much worse than AT&T?

#3 Posted by joshwent (2329 posts) -

@yukoasho: I haven't had cable for a while so things have probably changed, but like 3 years ago the Comcast interface was pretty frustrating. Tons of menus that weren't at all intuitive and had a lot of the same things in different lists. Also, if I'm remembering correctly, no search results would come up unless a word/name was spelled absolutely correctly, which is a pain if you're trying to find directors who's names you're not sure how to spell in the first place. Also, the On-Demand menus would go like 5 categories deep, and when your program was over, even if it was like a 1 minute G4 video, it would spit you out to the main menu leaving you to have to navigate the whole laggy thing every time.

Not the end of the world, but LOTS of room for improvement.

#4 Posted by joshwent (2329 posts) -

Still curious if anyone else has seen these ads/has any opinions? As lots of people (Ryan Davis) have said that they're mainly interested in the XBox One an easy way to navigate TV, this "X1" thing could have a big impact...

#5 Edited by Veiasma (194 posts) -

@joshwent said:

Still curious if anyone else has seen these ads/has any opinions? As lots of people (Ryan Davis) have said that they're mainly interested in the XBox One an easy way to navigate TV, this "X1" thing could have a big impact...

It could be cool, but it's Comcast.

I don't have a lot of faith the Operating System will be very speedy, or it will be even affordable since I'm sure there will be an additional monthly charge for this functionality.

But that's just me, a Comcast customer who has no other competing cable options in my location, so I couldn't even switch if I wanted to.

#6 Edited by Beforet (2931 posts) -

so...how long until EA has their own cable box that just runs Origin?

#7 Posted by MildMolasses (3228 posts) -

@yukoasho said:

I still don't get why cable box search functions aren't good enough. Is Comcast THAT much worse than AT&T?

From my experience, a major factor is speed. The one currently in my home is extremely slow. If the xbox one offered a substantial performance boost over the very sluggish system already in place, that could be very appealing

#8 Posted by HurricaneIvan29 (672 posts) -

Now THIS is a something... Pricing and marketing is going to be the big factor when going after non-gaming family consumers. Does MS market the Xbone as an Entertainment System for those consumers or market it as a gaming platform that has these features while risking losing the uninformed non-gaming family consumers who might say "oh that's a gaming system we don't want that." This would lose their non-gaming consumers to this new X1. Ooooh this is good. I can't wait to see how this all plays out. Things are a brewin!

I wonder if GB will notice and highlight this.

#9 Posted by isomeri (1388 posts) -

The way service providers work in the United States seems totally bonkers. And this looks like an attempt to further close customers into the "Comcast ecosystem" and shut out competition like Netflix which would be available on the Xbox One or PS4.

#10 Edited by BigJeffrey (5145 posts) -

Does it run Call Of Duty? No, then it's nothing to shine a light on.

#11 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5903 posts) -

TV ya'll.

#12 Edited by Otleaz (45 posts) -

@bigjeffrey: I think the point was that if you were interested in television features for your gaming console for whatever reason(I can't stress this more without being offensive(I added this so I could still be passively offensive)) then you can just get this to go with your PS4 or computer, that way you don't need to deal with the Xbox One.

#13 Edited by Monkeyman04 (1192 posts) -

So, would this be a firmware update or would people have to get a new comcast box?

#14 Edited by ADAMWD (615 posts) -

@monkeyman04: Knowing Comcast, even if it could be a firmware update, they'd force you to get a new box just to squeeze an extra $60 out of you, or whatever they're charging for boxes now.

#15 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1859 posts) -

@beforet said:

so...how long until EA has their own cable box that just runs Origin?

You, sir, made me laugh up my tea.

#16 Posted by Aegon (5769 posts) -

That's Kyle.

#17 Posted by mlarrabee (3031 posts) -

The name is a little on the nose, but I'm sure neither company waited until the last minute to file for trademark so I'm guessing a judge somewhere ruled that neither infringed upon the other.

#18 Edited by joshwent (2329 posts) -

So, would this be a firmware update or would people have to get a new comcast box?

It is a new box. Because its main feature is DVR stuff it probably has more storage (and faster write speeds?) that an old box wouldn't have. Also, though, comcast charges a fee for DVR so this X1 stuff is still optional and doesn't apply to every comcast subscriber at all. So the impact versus something like the XBox might be less significant than I initially thought.

Still, if non-gaming folks are interested in voice controls, better searches, apps, etc. I could see them being more comfortable going with the company they already use, rather than getting an XBox which they may not even understand.

#19 Posted by JakeBOS (1 posts) -

@joshwent:

Wait what? X1 from Comcast has nothing to do with XBOX. I live in downtown Boston and have had the X1 platform for over a year now and recently just upgraded to the new version X2. It's just all IP based and DVR shows are all in the cloud. I mean it's pretty awesome, especially when compared to other cable platforms, but it definitely has nothing to do with XBOX nor the XBOX ONE console. Actually my X1 and now my X2 does not work with my XBOX 360 when before getting X1 it did. It's nice to not have a cable box (my TVs have the IP built in) but it kinda sucks it doesn't pipe through my XBOX console anymore.

#20 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

I wonder what kind of logistical nightmares the Xbone will have once it hits my "Tier 2" country in March. Half of the tv-features won't even work and our state-run TV-department's lawyers will have a field day with the MS ads due to licensing fees for all TVs and tuners.(No ads on those channels)

I just want a console, not a damn DVR. I hope MS learns from this and strips out the non-gaming(read: TV-tuner etc) hardware and features and releases a barebones GAMING machine model a few years down the line.

#21 Posted by xfuturesx (31 posts) -

@monkeyman04: They'll give you a different settop box. Also I think there is an additional charge for the service.

#22 Posted by joshwent (2329 posts) -

@jakebos: Did you read my OP? I thought it was pretty clear that, yes, they're two completely separate things. My point was that, them being separate, it seems like Comcast has already implemented features that the XOne claimed to be revolutionary, and that maybe Comcast is even actively trying to fight against Microsoft's bid to be the gizmo your TV streams through.

#23 Posted by THRICE_604 (210 posts) -

Xbox One's TV features wouldn't be needed if cable companies especially Comcast would have just upgraded their tech. My cable box interface today looks the same as it did over 10 years ago when I first got digital cable.

#24 Posted by xfuturesx (31 posts) -

This isn't something that gets made overnight. I think it's just more that Comcast is trying to offer something that has a feature set more similar to services like Hulu, Netflix, etc. that people are canceling their Comcast service and using.

#25 Edited by Humanity (9867 posts) -

I think the internet is pretty good at making any xbo feature useless already

#26 Posted by agentboolen (1832 posts) -

@joshwent: Ummm this is a cable box not a gaming system... My current Fios cable box has most of these features already and cablevision currently lets you record 10 channels at once. The Xbox One is a system for gaming with a lot of extra shit thrown in, this is a freaking cable box!! I don't even think it has Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime (weather isn't a big deal for a app), its just a cable box that has a microphone so there users can be like xbox users and shout at there tv because there too lazy to use a remote.

Again if your not getting this, this is NOOOOOO WAAAAY competes with any current or next gen system, thanks for wasting 5 minutes of my time marketing a Cablebox.

#28 Posted by joshwent (2329 posts) -
#29 Posted by TheLastGunslinger (291 posts) -

The thing about the X1 box, at least in my area, is you can only get it if you subscribe to their phone/TV/internet plan. Like most people my age, I never plan on having a land phone line. I only use their cable/Internet so I'm stuck with the same awful interface Comcast has always had.

Also, one of the key things about the Xbox one is how it integrates a gaming console and app platform into the TV stuff. It's all in one place without having to change inputs, meaning you get gaming notifications, skype calls, etc. all in one place.

#30 Edited by leftie68 (215 posts) -

@thelastgunslinger: I agree, but the main detriment about the Xbox One is that it cannot search through or control the DVR function of your DVR box, thus totally negating the all in one functionality of the xbox one. Customers still have to pull out the old cable box remote to control the most used function of most cable boxes. Who watches live TV anymore?

#31 Posted by Anarchy81 (1 posts) -

The X1, in no way, renders the Xbox One's tv features useless. First, the Xbox's tv functions are centered around handfree, voice & gesture controls, in order to issue voice commands to the X1 you need to have your tablet or smartphone at the ready, with the "Xfinity X1 Remote" app running. Next, connecting your cable box to your Xbox is about unifying the two experiences and making seamless transitions between them (instant switching). I have the X1 dvr and I can tell you, it's pretty cool, but when you put it's features head to head against the Xbox's tv features, there's no comparison.

#32 Posted by MildMolasses (3228 posts) -

The X1, in no way, renders the Xbox One's tv features useless. First, the Xbox's tv functions are centered around handfree, voice & gesture controls, in order to issue voice commands to the X1 you need to have your tablet or smartphone at the ready, with the "Xfinity X1 Remote" app running. Next, connecting your cable box to your Xbox is about unifying the two experiences and making seamless transitions between them (instant switching). I have the X1 dvr and I can tell you, it's pretty cool, but when you put it's features head to head against the Xbox's tv features, there's no comparison.

Nope, nothing unusual at all about this post.

connecting your cable box to your Xbox is about unifying the two experiences and making seamless transitions between them

This is totally how real people talk to each other

#33 Edited by GERALTITUDE (3511 posts) -

All I want to know is who is still watching TV?

@humanity said:

I think the internet is pretty good at making any xbo feature useless already

internet + usb stick = XBO TV features. Sprinkle some netflix or hulu on top and you're pretty much set.

#34 Posted by Milkman (17200 posts) -

The X1, in no way, renders the Xbox One's tv features useless. First, the Xbox's tv functions are centered around handfree, voice & gesture controls, in order to issue voice commands to the X1 you need to have your tablet or smartphone at the ready, with the "Xfinity X1 Remote" app running. Next, connecting your cable box to your Xbox is about unifying the two experiences and making seamless transitions between them (instant switching). I have the X1 dvr and I can tell you, it's pretty cool, but when you put it's features head to head against the Xbox's tv features, there's no comparison.

This is great.

#35 Posted by GorillaMoPena (2285 posts) -

All I want to know is who is still watching TV?

@humanity said:

I think the internet is pretty good at making any xbo feature useless already

internet + usb stick = XBO TV features. Sprinkle some netflix or hulu on top and you're pretty much set.

Sports are still nearly impossible/expensive without cable.

#36 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3511 posts) -

@geraltitude said:

All I want to know is who is still watching TV?

@humanity said:

I think the internet is pretty good at making any xbo feature useless already

internet + usb stick = XBO TV features. Sprinkle some netflix or hulu on top and you're pretty much set.

Sports are still nearly impossible/expensive without cable.

It's hard to stream, I'll give you that, and not really worth the effort. I guess when it comes to sports usually I watch it at a bar or someone has that NHL or NFL app. Don't have Sunday Ticket in Canada I think. But ok, sure - probably cable is the best way to get a good sports package.

I've actually really been into reading/listening to sports coverage rather than watching it recently.

#37 Posted by RoarImaDinosaur (191 posts) -

but does it play Halo?