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Comcast Integrates YouTube Into Xfinity X1 Set-Top Box: Why It's Better Than Having YouTube As A Stand-Alone App

27 February 2017, 1:49 pm EST By Alexandra Burlacu Tech Times
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Comcast signed a new deal with Google to integrate YouTube into the Xfinity X1 set-top box, allowing users to watch it like a cable channel.

Having the YouTube application installed on the set-top box makes things easier and more convenient, and Comcast Xfinity X1 users will be able to launch the app simply by saying "YouTube" into the voice remote.

Comcast Xfiniti X1 YouTube Integration

With this new integration, Xfinity X1 users can search the entire library on YouTube, browse featured content, as well as sign in to get their personalized YouTube settings, recommendations, and subscriptions.

"We are excited to partner with Google to bring YouTube to X1 and provide our customers easier access to all the content they love in one place," says Sam Schwartz, Comcast's chief business development officer. "By integrating YouTube into the X1 experience, viewers can simply and effortlessly access videos on any topic, from cooking, to beauty and fitness with just their voice."

According to Comcast, roughly half of its 22.5 million Xfinity users have the X1 set-top box, so this new YouTube integration will benefit plenty of customers. The Xfinity X1 has already made an attractive proposition with its voice remote, DVR with 500 GB of storage, real-time scores for sports, and other neat features.

Moreover, Comcast also added Netflix to its Xfinity X1 services last year, taking a significant step toward combining traditional TV content with the modern online streaming trend. Having Netflix content merged into a single library with Xfinity on Demand programming made it seamless and convenient to switch between the two services, and the experience should be even smoother with YouTube in the mix as well.

Seamless Integration

Similarly to how Netflix works on the Xfinity X1, Comcast will also integrate YouTube in a special manner. Rather than having YouTube as a stand-alone app users can launch, like other apps such as Roku, Comcast will display YouTube content directly into the Xfinity X1 user interface. This way, YouTube content will appear alongside the shows available from the cable service and the recommendations will be relevant to the users.

Upon browsing cooking shows, for instance, the Xfinity X1 may showcase TV content such as Top Chef, as well as YouTube suggestions for cooking videos and shows.

This makes YouTube content more accessible and more natural on the big screen, allowing for a seamless integration rather than having it available separately as a stand-alone app.

YouTube And Xfinity X1 Voice Remote

The previously mentioned voice support is also a big plus for this integration, allowing users to access YouTube content just by uttering voice commands. For instance, users can say what they'd like to watch on YouTube either by speaking naturally such as "Show me cat videos on YouTube" or "Find the LEGO Movie trailer," or utter keyword triggers such as "launch" and "find" to access the desired content.

On the downside, while Comcast officially announced the YouTube Xfinity X1 integration now, the actual feature will not be available until later this year. Comcast has yet to offer a more specific time frame, but should announce more details soon enough.

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