Comcast DVR Service: Should You Upgrade to Xfinity X1?

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The Xfinity X1 DVR is filled with features that help you to take advantage of the new era of internet-enhanced television, including streaming, On Demand, and the ability to watch programs on your mobile device.

How Comcast's Xfinity X1 DVR Works

When you sign up for one of Comcast's cable packages that includes a DVR, you'll get access to the company's Xfinity X1 platform. Comcast still offers regular TV boxes for non-DVR customers, so you must select a DVR package if you want to take advantage of all of these services.

The Xfinity X1 AnyRoom DVR is the premier package, supporting these features:

  • Record and watch up to six shows at one time
  • Pause and rewind up to 60 minutes of live TV (if you don't change the channel)
  • Record and store up to 60 hours of HD programming and 300 hours of SD programming
  • Store up to 500GB of recorded programs in the cloud
  • Browse TV listings with visual menus similar to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu
  • Find Xfinity X1 DVR recordings with just your voice
  • Set up parental controls to block access and even hide mature audience programs from the guide
  • Download recorded programs from your DVR onto mobile devices for offline viewing
  • Use your phone or tablet as a remote to control the TV and DVR (with the remote app)
  • Watch and listen to Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora 
  • Start watching a recording on one TV and resume it on another
  • Access to the Xfinity Stream TV app that allows you to watch TV on your mobile device and manage DVR recordings

The Advantages of Xfinity's Cloud DVR Service 

It seems like everything is being saved to the "cloud" so it's only natural that our DVR recordings do the same. If you've been a longtime user of DVRs and have upgraded a few times, you can already see the advantage to this approach.

Unlike older DVRs, the Xfinity X1 has no internal hard drive, so your data is saved in the cloud. This storage design also allows Comcast to offer its customers up to 500GB of storage space, a significant improvement on the average 80GB on the old DVRs.

The other big perk to this cloud-based service is that because your DVR recordings are now stored online, it becomes a personal digital library. You can access it from smartphones and tablets — both iOS- and Android-based — and watch anything you've recorded from anywhere.

It really does run just like a library. Up to 10 programs can be "checked out" on each device and you need to "return" it to your DVR library before downloading that program on another device. This is perfect if you're taking a trip and want to get some offline viewing done on the way without using up your data plan allotment.

You'll also notice an improvement in program listings. Xfinity X1 learns what you enjoy watching and suggests shows and movies based on that profile. The on-screen browsing and search capabilities are also a nice improvement from standard cable services.

What You Need to Know About the Xfinity X1 Platform

A continuous internet connection is necessary to keep the service running smoothly. Comcast uses your internet connection to send updates to the DVR and these updates keep your service running smoothly. People who allow timely updates have reported few problems.

The X1 DVR restarts automatically every night. This is also key to keeping your service running smoothly. If you're watching a show during the restart, the device will let you postpone the reboot for a day.

The technology behind all of these great TV upgrades like Xfinity X1 requires regular updates, and Comcast will take care of that for you as long as the device has power and access to the internet. Customers who have forcefully stopped the updates or turned the DVR off have reported that when the service is turned back on, there is a backlog of updates. This is not a big deal, but it will delay your TV watching for a few minutes as the system takes care of that backlog.

If you have a great internet connection, enjoy watching certain TV shows and movies on your own schedule, and want to get the most out of your Comcast cable subscription, the Xfinity X1 service is a nice service. The extra capabilities bridge the gap between streaming TV and regular cable services and many customers find that it is actually a great value considering everything that's included.