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I've noticed a lot of users in the forums seem to be frustrated with the new user interface update, also known as X2. I know a lot of it is simply due to being frustrated by change, but much of it is a valid concern and misunderstanding of the new interface. I've created this thread to serve as a portal where other customers can express their comments and feedback of what they like and would like to see changed as well as an overall outlook to clarify many misinterpreted concerns about the update from my perspective.
I'll be one to say that I've really come to enjoy it, and here's why.
User interface design trends are moving to flat design, making use of other elements such as subtle shadowing, translucency, and simple color pallets. This is all in an effort to make the UI simpler for most users, removing unnecessary ornamentation, and allow for a consistent experience on all platforms - your TV, tablet, phone, or computer. The new [Codename X2] UI is designed to integrate live and On Demand TV, web content, home control, a recommendations engine, and a growing number of apps into one, simple, consistent, universal user interface.
Trending complaints I've noticed on the forum and related X1 threads:
Sources: Forums, Official Comcast Employee Posts, Official Comast FAQs
1. "The small video window I used to have while browsing the UI is gone."
| The new UI allows for a more immersive experience when browsing the interface. Many users don't realize that you can see your content in its full screen behind the menus. If you have trouble seeing the content, you can change the translucency amount under settings. You can also get the small window back in the lower right hand corner by pressing the blue "B" key while browsing.
2. "The Mini Guide is gone."
| Press the right arrow on the remote to access the new mini guide, it's still there.
3. "The filter options are gone."
| There are now multiple guides to choose from instead of the filter options. These will improve over time I'm sure, as some are still missing that were shown in keynote about X2, such as the "recommended shows". This brings me to another point...
It's not done:
Sources: X2 keynote, Offical Comcast Employee Posts, Comcast Press Release
Many features are missing yet from what they originally showed in the X2 keynote.
The features are centered around an interface that can be used universally through a cloud based platform.
All planned features in the X2 software update include:
- New UI (Released, not finished - hence the term "preview". This is important, you're not required to use this yet as it's NOT finished. As the OP said, you can revert back to the old UI with the X-T-W-O remote code.)
- AnyRoom Cloud DVR Ability (confirmed expected to be available in all markets later this year, currently available in Boston)
- Watch on Any Screen (TV, Tablet, Phone, Computer) via the Cloud DVR Ability [See X1 Cloud FAQs]
- App Dashboard & Additional Apps
- The New Startscreen AKA "Welcome Back"
- New Social Integration (ie, Twitter Buzz, Rotten Tomatoes in Guide, etc.)
- Support for the new XR11 Voice Control Remote
- The Recommendations Engine
- The Accessibility Engine
I feel that it helps to understand the overall outlook of what X1 means for the future of services.
- The five (5) rows in the guide are insufficient. Make the text smaller here and add an additional row or two.
- Improve the speed. This one's huge, although according to this it just appears to be a release hiccup which should be ironed out shortly. Hopefully an Xfinity employee comments on this as it appears to be affecting many users.
- Add more audio codes to the XR2/XR5 remotes. I can't control my audio system's volume/power with it, really annoying!
- This one's a given, but fix the obvious bugs and add the rest of the features to make this complete. A lot of customers do get frustrated when they're given something incomplete. Rather than letting them upgrade to the new guide, make it obvious that they're using something that is still ultimately in beta, whether you'd like to admit it or not.
Source: Comcast technicians
Comcast is ultimately planning on deploying the platform with a simple overall system in mind.
There will be the main gateway, known as the XG5 Media Gateway, as well as the Xi3 IP-only clients. The main gateway will supply the home with everything it needs to function the X1 system - Internet, Phone, and Video in one headless (ie, not connected to a TV) box (XG5). The client boxes will be tuner-less, and attached to each TV in the home running the cloud based X1 software. See more information about this here: Xfinity X1 FAQ's via an external site.
I hope these points give consumers clarity and summarize where Comcast currently is with the new X2 user interface update so they're less frustrated and understand the future of the X1 platform.
For more information about the new update to the X1 platform and to see where Xfinity is going with the platform, feel free to watch the X2 keynote on YouTube in its entirety, and read the official press release.
It's not very often I feel compelled to respond in detail to a post in this forum that is as long as yours but yours is interesting and I will respond in full when I am awake enough to do so.
I appreciate what you have written here and I think much of it is accurate. HOWEVER you seem to have bought into the speculation and hype that other have bought into:
1. The XR11 is vapor ware at this point. It doesn't exist in the real world. Voice control won't matter until it can control an entire AV system.
2. Comcast's press releases and "keynote speeches" have been vague, misleading and inaccurate. If all the hype and speculation were to be believed, as of the Winter Olympics every Comcast customer in the USA would have X1 with cloud technology by now.
3. I contend that Comcast has over simplyfied X1 and tried to eliminate too many buttons from the remote and they are now paying a huge price. They should have consulted people in the AV industry before they launched this product. We could have fixed many things.
4. I don't think you are a Comcast employee but you seem to have some inside affiliations with Comcast as I do. What are your sources?
Thanks for your efforts. I like what you wrote here. However if you have sources of information over and beyond the norm, I think you should provide more detail.
Rick G. in MSP
PS. I happen to like the Preview guide for the simple reason it navigates more intuitively and that matters more to me than the missing features.
Thanks for the reply. All the information I've gathered is from the X2 keynote and hands on experience (personally attended the NCTA conference for university purposes at the time). I do agree that they're not always the best source for future updates from Comcast, but after all things considered it was the most detailed source so I summarized everything based off of the points given in the keynote in hopes of clarifying other user's concerns. I know it's not perfect, but I'd love to hear everyone else's feedback as well. As I said, I'm just a Comcast customer that's done a bit of research and felt compelled to make this post after noticing the trend of frustrated customers regarding the update on the forum.
Sorry my friend but I found the keynote speeches to be incredibly vague. Mr. Roberts totally lost me when he help up a box that he led everyone to believe was X2 then said it was an "engineering sample". It hasn't been seen since.
Comcast is trying to slow down he momentum that Genie, Hopper and Roamio have achieved. They have reduced themselves to vaporware press releases. I want X1/X1.5 and X2 to work and be successful. I do not want a dish on my roof. But I have learned not to buy into Comcast's press releases.
If X1 with cloud technology isn't going to roll out nationally until the end of 2014, how far away is X2, X5 or what ever is next? I am not optimistic and I have history to back me.
Yeah I've realized this, so I've added more sources. Some information was gained from more than just the keynote, although still related to it. In contrast to your point, the XR11 voice remote, XG5, and XiV boxes are indeed coming, confirmed by a technician that shipments are planned for late March (YMMV) in my market and they're currently being trained. The new X2 interface that's been released as a preview has looked very similar to what was demoed at the keynote. Comcast has disappointed with the vaporware scenarios in the past, but the future seems somewhat promising this time due to the momentum of development. I'd argue to say that most of what was demoed has been and is set to be released based on the current short term track record. Again, this is just an overall summary of what to expect at the very best.
Understood but the pot that you are stirring has been stirred many times in this forum. Others have jumped into this forum thinking Comcast's press releases are Gospel and written in stone. I would suggest that before you post in this forum you may want to do some research first. There is very little that hasn't been discussed many times.
Be patient and read what the veterans of this forum have to say. There are some very good, very smart and very knowledgeable people here...
Completely understand. I appreciate Comcast as a company and understand their long track record too. I wrote this to serve as a detailed summary of what to expect from the future of X1 based on what we know right now from the most official sources possible. It's not intended to be anymore or less accurate than the sources themself and I'm aware of that. It's something that can help clarify consumers as best as possible right now as well as start interesting conversations related to it. I look forward to what everyone else has to say!
In summary, the current "new" guide is step backwards for now. Lets hope they get it together soon.
Some of what you mentioned will bring the fun back. Thats why I rag on the "new" guide so much. It is zero fun.
I love your optimism and your hopes for the best Comcast has to offer. But we need to remember this is Comcast. Recently voted as one of the worst large companies for customer service.
When I first joined this forum I was fresh and optimistic like you are. It is my basic nature and I guess it is yours. But lets revisit this six months from now and see if you are still so optimistic...
I don't mean to spam the thread here, but I know we're talking about Comcast. The hassle I went through to actually get X1 was rediculous. More specifically though, I'm talking about a new platform that seems to be developing rather quickly with a lot of motivation and a new team behind it, unlike anything Comcast has done before. They're starting to feel more like a true technology company with the X1, and it's really because of this that I became active in the forums again. I never used to expect much from Comcast, but things are looking better recently.
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