Comcast DVR Service: Should You Upgrade to Xfinity X1?

Explore your cable TV package options from Comcast

If you're currently a Comcast customer, then you should upgrade to the Xfinity X1 DVR service if you wish to take advantage of internet-enhanced features like on-demand streaming 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 include 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 internet-enhanced TV services.

Comcast Cable Box
cassini83 / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

The Xfinity X1 AnyRoom DVR is the premier package, and it supports the following 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

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

Since your DVR recordings are stored online, your personal digital library is accessible via your smartphone or tablet. Whether you have an iOS or Android device, you can now watch anything you've recorded from anywhere.

Up to 10 programs can be "checked out" on each device, and you must "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 your tastes. The on-screen browsing and search capabilities are also a nice improvement from standard cable services.

Disadvantages of the Xfinity X1 Platform

The X1 DVR restarts automatically every night. This process is 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.

Customers who have forcefully stopped the updates or turned off the DVR have reported that there is a backlog of updates when the service is turned back on. 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.

Should I Upgrade to Xfinity X1?

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 are necessary to keep your service running smoothly. People who allow timely updates have reported few problems.

If you have a speedy 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 worth the upgrade. The extra capabilities bridge the gap between streaming TV and regular cable services, and many customers find it to be a great value considering everything that's included.