PHILADELPHIA—Comcast has entered the streaming device wars with the launch of XiOne, a new 4K, WiFi 6 streaming device that it plans to make available to all of Comcast’s Xfinity and Sky operations, as well as its syndication partners in the U.S. and Europe.
The XiOne is a plug-and-play device that features faster processing and increased memory, to enable swift switching and navigation in and out of apps, Comcast said. The device supports WiFi 6, 4K UHD, HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos and comes with a new simpler and smaller voice remote designed with streamers in mind.
The device is currently available in Italy and Germany to Sky Q customers and is beginning its rollout to new Xfinity Flex customers, with plans to make the device available across more channels and to its Xfinity X1 customers and syndication partners in the future, Comcast said.
“When Sky joined the Comcast family, we brought together our engineers to share insights, roadmaps, talent, and technology to support our global customers,” said Charlie Herrin, president of technology for Comcast. “The launch of our new XiOne device is a direct result of these efforts and underscores how our collaborative development approach can bring new and innovative streaming products to markets faster and more efficiently.”
The move comes at a time when there have been reports of Comcast’s plans to develop its own TVs, which would likely use the same operating systems.
The streaming device launch also highlights the importance of broadband services for cable operators. As more people ditch traditional pay TV video services, a streaming device could help operators retain their broadband subscribers and sell them additional streaming services or content.
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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