By Edward Cardenas
PLYMOUTH (CBS Detroit) – Comcast has launched two new features for the X1 Entertainment Operating System which brings streaming video to home television screens and a voice-activated remote control which makes finding shows easier.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Fighting for Inclusion, Detroit's Place in Civil Rights History
The new features on the X1 system further integrates Comcast devices and services, and connect customers.
Xfinity customers who own iOS and Android smart phones can download the company’s new Xfinity Share app and stream live, or recorded, moments such as Little League games or dance recitals over the Internet from their smart phone with friends and family.
“We know this technology exists in other ways. We are just trying to give it another application,” said Michelle Gilbert, Vice President, Public Relations, Heartland Region, who said the Share App allows friends and family “to watch as if they are there.”
“This is the biggest screen in your house,” she added.
The videos, photos and live-streams can be sent to mobile phones or X1 receivers connected to a home television. Both the sender and receiver must be Xfinity Triple Play customers with X1 DVR capable set-top boxes.
This new service is similar to Apple’s FaceTime feature, which allows users to video chat, or Twitter’s Periscope live stream feature. But instead of broadcasting the video to a wide-range of followers, the videos are shared with only friends, family and select X1 customers. And by sending it to X1 boxes, those receiving the videos can watch it on big screen televisions.READ MORE: Karen Carter, and Others Metro Detroiters Chipped In To Help Salvation Army’s Bed and Bread Radiothon
To view the stream on a television, users can open the Xfinity Share app and select “Stream Live” and accept the notification that appears on the screen.
Additional features, which may be released in the coming months, include the ability to share content by sending a URL via email; group messaging to up to five people at the same time; stop, pause and rewind a live stream and store a live stream in the X1 Photos app.
Comcast also launched a new remote for its X1 platform, which gives customers the ability to use voice commands to search for networks, shows and movies; set DVR recordings and search OnDemand.
The hi-tech remote – which offers backlit, illuminated buttons for easier nighttime use – has a small microphone on the top of the device, which is activated when users push the blue speaker button.
The voice remote is available to all eligible X1 customers, and new customers will get the remote during their installation. Existing customers can either go to an Xfinity Store to pick one up for free or order online at xfinity.com/voiceremote.
Comcast also recently launched a “talking guide” for customers with a visual disability.
With the X1 platform, Xfinity customers now have opportunities to integrate the phone, television and wireless services across multiple devices. And with these enhancements, it even includes the home television.MORE NEWS: Granholm Confirmed By Senate To Be Next Energy Secretary
“A lot of times people forget about the TV,” said Lisa Kocsis-LeCureux, Comcast senior director, engineering. “(X1) brings the ability to make it a user interface, more like a computer … making everything smart.”