Comcast Reportedly Restricting X1 Cloud DVR to New Customers

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Xfinity X1Recently, Comcast took the wraps off its new, slimline X1 cloud based cable boxes. Unlike traditional boxes, X1 moves almost everything to Comcast’s cloud, including DVR storage. That’s all well and good, but there’s just one problem: It’s simply too popular. Shortages of the new devices are causing Comcast to take some internal measures that may not make existing audience too happy. According to a leaked document, the company is restricting the boxes — at least in certain areas — to new customers of its Triple-Play TV/Internet/Phone plans.

Since not everyone who wants one can get the upgraded tech, Comcast says it is “taking short-term steps to ensure we’re managing available inventory against business needs through the holiday season.”

Thus, X1 is only being offered — at least in the Freedom Region — to new Triple-Play customers, meaning new customers who don’t want to pay for a telephone they don’t need (because people don’t even talk on their cellphones anymore) won’t get the X1 tech that Comcast has been promising in its ads.

The document also specifically states that it will “temporarily discontinue deployment of X1 to existing customers.”

As annoying as it is, this makes a bit of sense from Comcast’s perspective. The company is trying to use this hot new tech as a method to entice new customers with swanky new features like voice commands and internet integration, and let’s face it: if you’re already a Comcast subscriber, they already have you. But don’t think you’re alone; Comcast’s own employees are the first on the line for getting denied the X1 upgrade.

X1 represents a paradigm shift in how cable companies are approaching their technology. The X1 boxes are much cheaper to manufacture and offer a lot of new features, but more importantly, they also represent a potential end to your paying a fortune to rent the devices. With the software based back-end, devices like SmartTV, Blu-ray players, Apple TV, etc., could be your cable box. And when you watch the commercial below, do you notice anything familiar? I’m not the only one seeing the Xbox One  here, and since the upcoming gaming system is capable of running multiple apps even during gaming sessions, your TV can be one of them. So while you may get denied your upgrade based on availability in the near future, how much longer that’s going to matter could depend almost as much on how fast Comcast finds partners for apps.

Via: [The Consumerist]

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