Comcast has launched a new wireless streaming device – XiOne – that will become the company’s standard platform worldwide.
In Europe, XiOne is providing the first video service for Sky customers via the Internet Protocol. It is currently available to SkyQ subscribers in Italy and Germany, and Comcast has begun rolling out customers in the United States with the Exfinity Flex (its pre-generation streaming box for broadband-only subscribers). Comcast plans to make the device available to more channels and its Xfinity X1 subscribers and syndication partners in the future.
The new device is part of Comcast’s broader hardware strategy for its Internet and video customers on TV sets worldwide – and can better compete with Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Chromecast.
And Comcast is looking to make a bigger presence in the living room around the world: the company, along with Walmart and Hisense, is working to develop Comcast-branded TVs later this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. According to a protocol report, the brand name of Comcast TVs including Hisense will be “Exclusive TV”. Comcast chief Brian Roberts, referring to the project at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia conference a year ago, said: In the meantime, both Roku and Fire TV have partnered to connect their software stacks to partner TV sets, and Amazon has recently launched its own branded line of Fire TVs.
On the operational front, XiOne will also have a single integrated TV platform to help Comcast achieve economies of scale in its multiple service areas. Cable and entertainment giant XiOne is described as a plug-and-play device that speeds up processing and memory. The device supports Wi-Fi 6, 4K UHD, HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atoms, and has a voice-enabled remote that is smaller and easier to design than Comcast’s traditional themed TV remote.
When Comcast acquired Sky, the companies assembled its engineers to collaborate on product roadmaps and technology “to support our global customers,” said Charcast Herrin, president of Comcast’s technology, in a statement. “The launch of our new XiOne device is a direct result of this effort and highlights how our collaborative development approach can bring new and innovative streaming products to market faster and more efficiently.”