Comcast XFINITY X1 Review

XFINITY X1 gives you control of TV, internet, and phone in one device. Read our review to get the details.

X1 DVR
XFINITY X1 gives you control of TV, internet, and phone in one device. Read our review to get the details.
Overall Rating3.5 out of 5
Storage capacity:
500 GB
Recording capacity:
6 shows at once
Voice remote control:
Yes
On Demand library:
163,000+

Check out our Comcast XFINITY TV service review or XFINITY internet review for TV and Internet specific details. Continue below for our in-depth review of the XFINITY X1 Platform.

The X1 platform from Comcast XFINITY lives up to the hype as one of the coolest pieces of set-top technology to date. Features like intuitive voice control, cloud storage, and universal searching for live TV, On Demand programming, DVR recordings, AND Netflix make the X1 more convenient than your average receiver. It also merges home services like TV, internet, and phone.

Pros

  • TV on your schedule
  • Catch your favorite shows whenever you want
  • Voice control
  • Search across multiple devices

Cons

  • Requires bundling TV + internet
  • Rewinding/fast-forwarding causes lag
  • Voice control not foolproof
  • Installation is not free

XFINTY X1 vs. DISH Hopper 3 w/Sling

XFINITY X1DISH Hopper 3
ProductX1 DVRDISH Hopper 3
DVR serviceIncluded$15/month
Storage capacity500 GB2 TB
Simultaneous recording616
Voice remote controlYesYes
On Demand Titles163,000+93,000+
Netflix integrationYesYes
Manage DVR anywhereYesYes
Download to deviceYesYes
DetailsView PlansView Plans

XFINITY X1 vs. DIRECTV Genie

XFINITY X1DIRECTV Genie
ProductX1 DVRGenie DVR
DVR serviceIncluded$15/month
Storage capacity500 GB1 TB
Simultaneous recording65
Voice remote controlYesYes (with app)
On Demand Titles163,000+41,000+
Netflix integrationYesNo
Manage DVR anywhereYesYes
Download to deviceYesYes
DetailsView PlansView Plans

Do we recommend the XFINITY X1 platform? YES.

For anyone who watches TV on a regular basis, or for those who don’t adhere to a strict TV time schedule, it frees up many concerns regarding TV and makes the experience an overall pleasure rather than a nuisance. Although it’s not perfect, it’s great for the majority of the TV crowd.

What’s the X1 Platform?

X1 DVR

XFINITY’s X1 Entertainment Operating System is an interactive platform that combines universal search results from live TV, Comcast’s On Demand programming, and DVR recordings, in addition to personalized recommendations, apps, and even Netflix. It’s Comcast’s best offering—their chance to show off some cutting-edge technology that will help shape industry standards.

The X1, at its most basic level, is the receiver for your digital cable signal. It’s your cable box

The X1, at its most basic level, is the receiver for your digital cable signal. It’s your cable box, or in other words, it’s how you get television programming from Comcast.

It displays a visual directory (or channel guide) that allows you to select shows based on titles and descriptions instead of channel surfing by the numbers. It provides showtimes and other information like episode summaries, parental guidance ratings, release dates, and cast and crew credits.

The app-like interface searches universally, so you don’t have to check multiple sources for what you want to watch; type a few letters and the suggestions will conveniently appear. The X1 also learns your preferences and displays your top 100 programs, allowing you to get straight into your favorite shows.

In my experience, Comcast’s interface and equipment have always been clunky and problematic. Not so with the X1—the interface glides along easily and is very reminiscent of an app on a fresh device. It displays selections quickly, and the menu makes sense (even to my aging parents who recently upgraded). The ability to search for various terms (channels, actors, directors, genres, etc.) is intuitive enough for the average person to find what he or she wants without much hassle.

See if Comcast has the channels you want here.

Heads up exclamation Heads up exclamation

Heads up:

Heads up:

The following markets do not have access to the X1 Cloud DVR service as of this writing: Michigan (including the Detroit Metro Area); Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN; and Independence, MO.

How does the X1 work?

Beyond supplying your programming, the X1 also operates as your DVR, allowing you to record a single show or an entire series up to two weeks in advance, with the option to manage your recording schedules online via the XFINITY TV Go website or the XFINITY TV app. You can access all your TV content from your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

The DVR (digital video recorder) portion of the X1 lets you record and watch up to six shows at once. With 500 GB of storage, you should be okay to record entire series of shows in HD without constant maintenance (or you can always record in Standard Definition to save space).

With the help of the XFINITY TV app, the DVR is easy to control and pretty convenient.

The DVR aspect also allows you to control time: you can pause and rewind live TV up to 60 minutes. This is where the X1 could improve the most. When navigating through a show with rewind/fast-forward, it was a glitchy and required some guesswork to compensate for the lag. It’s not clear whether having a lot more bandwidth would eliminate the lag; it’s also possible that this is just the current level of streaming capability. We hope this feature improves with updates.

If you’ve never had a DVR, it’s amazing how stress-free it makes staying on top of watching your favorite shows. My family usually gathers Sunday Night for Game of Thrones, but with vastly different schedules, we take advantage of the 60 minute window you can pause live TV, assuming you forgot to record in the first place. You can schedule recordings in advance and record entire seasons.

With the help of the XFINITY TV app, the DVR is easy to control and pretty convenient. You may also download programming from the X1 Cloud to your device via Wi-Fi or mobile network, so you can watch it anywhere without an internet connection.

Find out more about bundling TV and internet together to get X1’s DVR features here.

Info box icon Info box icon

Note:

Note:

You will need to activate your device and add it to your XFINITY TV account from Comcast’s website. You need to have the Cloud DVR rate code added to your account—call Comcast’s billing department to activate it There is no charge for the Cloud DVR rate code).

What makes the X1 special?

The power of your voice

The coolest feature of the Comcast XFINITY X1 platform is its universal voice control remote. With the press of a button, you can simply say what you want to watch and have the X1 suggest programming. For example, with the Olympics coming up, you can search for certain countries or sports to hop between events—simply say “USA Track and Field” or “Brazilian swimming” to save time. Whether searching by show title, director or actor names, network, or movie genre, you can find what you’re looking for in a variety of ways. Voice control may not work quite like Siri or Cortana (you can’t search the web with it or have it do math calculations), but it is great for accessing your shows quickly.

It’s important to note that voice control isn’t foolproof: when I tried “NBA finals,” no search results came up, but the simplified “NBA” ended up working. While some searches may be a little nuanced for the speech recognition to pick up, at other times it operated better than we expected. When searching for the show Reign, the screen displayed “Rain” and searched for results with that spelling in the title, but still found The CW show about Mary, Queen of Scots. If you’re having trouble with voice search, simplify your command or think of alternate keywords.

XFINITY X1 voice remote specifications

  • Voice control: 
    • Recommendations.
    • Search for shows or movies.
    • See what’s on now.
    • Find your favorite team, actor, or artists.
  • Aim anywhere: 
    • No direct line of sight needed
  • Backlit keypad: 
    • Makes it easy to see

Phone it in

Speaking of using your voice—your phone will become even more useful. The X1 platform actually allows you to stream video straight from your phone. It’s similar to using FaceTime or Skype, but it’s beamed to your DVR so you and your family and friends can stay connected in another convenient way. Sick for your son’s soccer game? Watch it from your living room. Drop a knife on your foot and can’t make it to the arts festival? No problem, shop like an elitist snob from home. Even down to finding out if you need milk from the grocery store while the kids are watching a movie, this phone to video streaming service could find a lot of uses.

Although other providers also have VoIP (Voice over IP, a fancy way of saying “using your internet as a phone line”), we haven’t seen any other cable box integrate your smartphone and TV quite like this.

Is it worth it to upgrade to the XFINITY X1?

New customers should definitely seek out a Double Play or Triple Play package if they’re going with Comcast for TV. Based on user reviews, it seems as if most existing customers faced an upgrade fee of $20 per month, which is a pretty average rate for other companies’ DVRs with far fewer features. It’s definitely worth the money.

Ready to get the XFINITY X1? Check out these offers.

XFINITY X1 FAQs:

Can the XFINITY X1 stream Netflix directly?

Comcast has made a deal with Netflix that will allow users to log in and stream directly from the X1. This will extend the universal search function to include Netflix titles in late 2016.

What is required for the X1 platform?

You need at least a TV + Internet Double Play Package in order to get the X1. You may also get the X1 with a Triple Play Package.

Installation costs will run $14.99 for the self-install kit and $89.99 for a professional installation.

For phone integration, it is also required that you have a Digital Voice Modem, which Comcast leases for $10 per month.

Does the X1 have to be hooked up to the internet to work?

Yes: if the X1 box is offline, it simply displays an error message. Although the X1 has an internal hard drive, you must have a data connection to access any programming.

Still have questions? Click here for more info on the X1’s specs.

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  • http://www.steveberlinmusic.com smb

    Its not exactly what they promise- there are only a ridiculous subset of channels available when not on your home server- like almost useless. The DVR quality is mediocre to horrible- by no means is it ever HD or even Tivo quality by a long, long shot. Their own people seem to have no clue what it does and doesn’t do so I have been told diametrically opposed things/lies by salespeople and techs. It is still Comcast so prepare for horrendous customer service. I switched from a legacy/Tivo combo which worked way better all around and I am considering switching back

  • prisoner223

    Those are all features that are part of X1, and have been for quite some time. Not exactly sure what you’re suggesting we need to catch up on. The X1 platform is by far the most connected and integrated platform of any TV/phone/internet provider in the world. Nothing else even comes close.

    • rudeboyrg

      “The X1 platform is by far the most connected and integrated platform of any TV/phone/internet provider in the world. Nothing else even comes close.” You didn’t really say this with a straight face did you? PS VUE as a streaming service destroys the DVR functionality. Dish satellite kills it and even Uverse tops this system. X1 is considered by many as by far the worst when it comes to integration, and DVR capabilities. It loses in virtually all areas.

  • Squidly 🇺🇸

    Because we’re the greatest country this planet has ever known. Now zip it or we’ll invade and occupy your stupid country because of your back talking big mouth! Lol.

  • Thoughtfully Yours

    So Delores…have you ever lived in another country? Lived there and not just visited? I actually don’t care, but you sound rather naïve about international affairs. A statement like “no countries are SUPERIOR….only DIFFERENT” appears to be the kind of nonsense spouted by a person who doesn’t understand the United States of America and our role in a very real, very wonderful, and yet, very dangerous world.
    At it’s most basic level, America (USA) is internationally accepted as a “super power”. We did not make that up. It’s a simple fact like gravity, and for good reasons. We are superior economically, academically, politically, technologically, socially, intellectually, etc. Yes, I am proud of this country. Not so much because of our superior attributes but how we came by them.
    The key to understanding the USA is in knowing the value we place on freedom. Freedom is the heart and soul of the USA. Because of this, this American will always support (even fight for) your right to say whatever you want without fear of retaliation, prosecution, or humiliation even when we disagree. Our freedom is what makes us different in the world. It is our freedom and our success in promoting and defending it is what makes us superior and different in the world.
    I bid you peace.

    • Jordan Ketterer

      Have you ever noticed that Canada is just a free, and lets be honest, more free in many ways. and to say that the usa is superior “economically, academically, politically, technologically, socially, intellectually, etc” is just naive.
      American citizens are the most in debt persons on the planet, and the country as a whole is not much different.
      Academically things are only superior because you don;t allow any others standards have meaning in your countries. countries all over the world have higher rates of academic success. see in other countries you don’t need to give an arm and a leg and the first two children to go to school, and the standards are actually higher because everyone is working together to accomplish something rather then against each other.
      politically? well you kind of have to understand that this would be very subjective. By this i mean you will think that your politics are the best if you think that you are the best. Americans are so afraid of socialism that they are breaking the capitalism just to stay away from it.
      Technology, ha ha this is laughable, maybe just if your talking about military tech. Look at some other counties, like japan, and many European countries. Here in Canada, we have used and trusted chip and pin tech for years and tap(nfc payments) for just about as long. Look at the cellular systems in place around the world (and interestingly how the usa’s 4 company monopoly and locked phones make the whole statement of “Freedom is the heart and soul of the USA” kind of funny. you have so many monopolies and allow corporations to take away your “FREEDOM”.
      As for socially, I don’t really know if you mean you have social get together and parties or you mean socialism and working together for a common good.
      Intellectually you do have an edge in some things, but remember you also have some of the most nonintellectual people also. and i don’t know why you wanted to mention academic and intellectually.

  • http://www.sharadkantpatel.com ufoclub1977

    Just got of the chat with Xfinity support, and they are telling me to take my new x1 boxes and trade them in for standard x1 boxes. The reason? The newest x1 boxes have a type of digital noise reduction or skin smoothing effect built in that you cannot turn off! It makes skin and faces and other areas of the image lose detail. Erases blemishes and pores… that you should be seeing in 1080 HD! There’s an example right on their own message board if your scroll down: http://forums.xfinity.com/t5/X1/X1-Video-quality-seems-poor/m-p/2966822#M136521

    I noticed it immediately watching these last episodes of Game of Thrones on HBO… thought I was losing my sight! I think Xfinity is aware of this. They took away all the detailed menu options for customers to turn off stuff like this on the new boxes. 🙁

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