Economy

Comcast's X1 set-top box gets a YouTube app with voice control

Comcast's X1 set-top box gets a YouTube app with voice control”

Like its rivals, Comcast has been leveraging its voice remote to offer traditional TV viewers similar voice control capabilities.

YouTube joins several other X1 internet apps including Netflix, Pandora, CBS Fantasy Football, and Watchable.

The cable operator is launching YouTube on X1 across its US footprint, providing access to YouTube videos using the X1 voice-enabled remote. Not only can customers use a voice command to launch the YouTube app, but they can also search the online video platform by speaking. "We doubt many college kids are making that call anymore". The point here being: why bother with a streaming music and video subscription from Apple, when you can just access all this content via YouTube instead, right from your cable TV box?

In addition, the "Music" section of Xfinity on Demand will include YouTube music videos and live streams from events and festivals such as the CMA Fest and American Music Awards.

YouTube's content will be woven throughout the Xfinity On Demand menu. For instance, Google said in February that people were now watching 1 billion hours of YouTube videos per day.

The voice remote is perhaps the most unique part of X1, and it's one that Comcast is really pushing.

Media and pay-TV stocks shuddered last Thursday when Comcast Corp. executive Matt Strauss told analysts at a California investor conference that the nation's largest cable-TV company would lose 100,000 to 150,000 TV subscribers this quarter, broadly missing analysts projections that Comcast would add 9,000 customers.

Strauss blamed both increased competition in the US and Hurricane Harvey for the expected losses. Comcast lost a net 45,000 residential video customers during the second quarter of 2017, to stand at 21.48 million video subs at the end of June (55% of whom had X1). In the VOD section, there will also be themed categories covering eSports, music, entertainment and local news.



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