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Comcast's X1 cable boxes now serve up YouTube videos alongside traditional TV

Comcast's X1 cable boxes now serve up YouTube videos alongside traditional TV
From TechCrunch - September 12, 2017

Comcasts cable boxes are getting YouTube. The cable TV company and Google today announced the addition of a YouTube app across ComcastsXfinity X1service nationwide, which will allow customers to watch YouTube content alongside traditional TV programming. YouTube videos will also be featured in Xfinity on Demand, and will be accessible via the X1 voice remote.

The ability to voice control TV and video content is something a number of streaming media players favored by cord cutters offer, including Amazons Fire TV and Stick (via Alexa), Android TV (via Google Assistant), Roku, and Apple TV (via Siri), for example. More recently, traditional pay TV operators have been getting into the game as well, as Dish did earlier this year when it announced the ability to integrate with Amazon Alexa for hands-free TV.

Like its rivals, Comcast has been leveraging its voice remote to offer traditional TV viewers similar voice control capabilities. Last year, it added Netflix to its Xfinity X1 devices, also with voice control, and today also offers apps for other popular services, like Pandora, Instagram, and Facebook.

With the addition of YouTube to its lineup, X1 customers can launch the video app just by saying YouTube to their voice remote. They can also then search the billions of videos on YouTubes service by asking for content using natural speech. For example, you can say things like YouTube, show me make-up tutorials, or Find party dip recipes on YouTube, says Comcast.

More specific videos can be called up, as well, by referencing them by name. The idea here is that YouTube often serves as a source of supplemental content related to what TV viewers are watchingthat is, it can serve up things like trailers, teasers, clips, interviews, and other content. For instance, Comcast suggests you could say something like Show me clips from Empire on YouTube.

The cable operator also cheekily suggests you can ask to watch Carpool Karaoke on YouTubea funny example, given that the Carpool Karaoke spinoff is one of Apple Musics flagship shows. 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?

Related to that, Comcast notes that the YouTube app can serve up live streams, like those from concerts and big music events like Coachella, or other notable events, like the 2017 Grammys. Music videos and live streams will be in Xfinitys On Demand section, too, as will eSports, other entertainment clips, local news, interviews, and more.

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