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External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

To the best of my knowledge, that is the case. It seems to be something controlled in the firmware on each box (as opposed to a physical switch.) I don't know whether Comcast has the ability to turn ESATA (ar ANY form of external storage connection) on for an individual user. If they do, you can bet they're keeping quiet about it!

 

Pizza, did you ever find out what area of California your multi-DVR friend lives in?

 

gb

Regular Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@gb2K wrote:

To the best of my knowledge, that is the case. It seems to be something controlled in the firmware on each box (as opposed to a physical switch.)


If that's the case, a software update could certainly enable the port.

 

Dave

Regular Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@gb2K wrote:

To the best of my knowledge, that is the case. It seems to be something controlled in the firmware on each box (as opposed to a physical switch.) I don't know whether Comcast has the ability to turn ESATA (ar ANY form of external storage connection) on for an individual user. If they do, you can bet they're keeping quiet about it!

 

Pizza, did you ever find out what area of California your multi-DVR friend lives in?

 

gb


gb..

 

Isn't that how they're doing it with the older boxes?  People are swapping out those for newer - older boxes..  I'm talking about the older DCT type Motorolas that now support external storage..

 

Jay S.

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

I'm seriously considering "downgrading" back to the old Motorola HD box.  1.5 TB of storage (combined with the WD DVR Expander) compared to the 500 GB X1.  I do like the layout of the X1 and the ability to watch in any room with a slave hookup, so just trying to weigh the positives versus the BIG negative.  I surmise it will be at least a year before I have the option for expanded cloud storage here in Minneapolis.  I'm not holding my breath at this point.

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@JaySinCT wrote:

gb..

Isn't that how they're doing it with the older boxes?  People are swapping out those for newer - older boxes..  I'm talking about the older DCT type Motorolas that now support external storage..

Jay S.


To the best of my knowledge, Comcast can get either box configured any way they frickin' want. If Comcast said to Motorola, "we want to be able to shut off access to external hard disks", Motorola would say, "Sure! Here's your firmware..." (Comcast's numbers carry a lot of weight.) Of course, as a practical matter, Comcast would be responsible for propagating this firmware; but it could probably done through a regular remote update process. Remember, too, that it's not just a matter of obtaining the physical hardware. The way the system is set up, neither DCT nor X1 hardware will operate unless Comcast sets up their system software (on the account level) to enable the box (along with a selective set of features.)

Apparently, for the Motorola boxes, it hasn't occured to Comcast to shut off access to the external hard disk. Instead, in any area where "X1" is offered, they are slowly pressuring people to upgrade to X1 (i.e. if your Motorola DVR box craps out, you will likely be REQUIRED to upgrade to an X1 DVR, and they will cheerfully "upgrade" any STBs you might have at the same time.) The X1 boxes merely have external storage communication turned off. Comcast has seen the opportunity to charge people for cloud storage, and even though they can't even OFFER it yet, they are content to just let people wait in the meantime for decent storage. Looked at from any external perspective, this is insane; but to Comcast's bean-counters, it makes perfect sense. This is why they are in the bottom three (or two) in terms of customer service and satisfaction.

 

Tre, assuming that X1 is currently offered in your area, you would probably have to take a Comcast exec hostage in order to get them to give you the old DCT technology. Even if you currently HAD an old Comcast DCT box, they would eventually try to replace it with an X1 as described above. By all means, give it your best shot, and let us know how you do!

 

(I am in no way endorsing anyone taking a Comcast executive hostage in oder to force them to enable external storage on the X1 platform...I mean, if you WERE to do that, it would be totally your own idea...)

 

gb

Gold Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

TreCool,

There is something else going on you may want to consider. I have been told by two different Comcast sources there is no timetable for cloud DVR to roll out in the Twin Cities. I think I know why. You may have heard that Comcast is acquiring Time Warner. As part of the merger (monopoly) Comcast has offered to give up three markets to help push the merger through. The last I heard those three markets include the Twin Cities. We might be Charter customers very soon....

Soooo, if you were Comcast, would you spend any money on a market you were planning to hand over to another company? I think not. If Comcast were truly interested in the Twin Cities market, wouldn't they be doing something to combat CenturyLink's 1GB internet roll out?

Unless someone cares to prove me otherwise, I think the Twin Cities is now and EXTREMELY low priority for Comcast...


@TreCool883 wrote:

I'm seriously considering "downgrading" back to the old Motorola HD box.  1.5 TB of storage (combined with the WD DVR Expander) compared to the 500 GB X1.  I do like the layout of the X1 and the ability to watch in any room with a slave hookup, so just trying to weigh the positives versus the BIG negative.  I surmise it will be at least a year before I have the option for expanded cloud storage here in Minneapolis.  I'm not holding my breath at this point.






 

 

 

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Thanks for all the great info, guys.  It's much appreciated.  I'll post if I decide to try to talk them into an older box setup.

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@RickGr4 wrote:

TreCool,

There is something else going on you may want to consider. I have been told by two different Comcast sources there is no timetable for cloud DVR to roll out in the Twin Cities. I think I know why. You may have heard that Comcast is acquiring Time Warner. As part of the merger (monopoly) Comcast has offered to give up three markets to help push the merger through. The last I heard those three markets include the Twin Cities. We might be Charter customers very soon....

Soooo, if you were Comcast, would you spend any money on a market you were planning to hand over to another company? I think not. If Comcast were truly interested in the Twin Cities market, wouldn't they be doing something to combat CenturyLink's 1GB internet roll out?

Unless someone cares to prove me otherwise, I think the Twin Cities is now an EXTREMELY low priority for Comcast...


Hi Rick,

Discussion of the merger is probably considered WAY off-topic for this thread; but I think it has some relevance, as you cited to Tre.

 

About a month ago, I heard from one of the late-night talk show hosts (Seth Meyers, I think) that Rupert Murdoch had decided he wasn't interested in Comcast after all. I really don't have time to follow these things, but I thought the merger was dead (which was good news as far as I'm concerned.)

 

I really don't have any skill at searching out the financial sites and finding cogent analysis of stock/merger/buyout issues. I did find one page from Sept. 2, which seems to have a useful view of the issue: http://www.greentargetblog.com/rupert-murdochs-bid-for-time-warner-shows-content-is-king/   Sadly, what I take from that article is that ANY company is theoretically available to be purchased at any time; and if a company wants to use that as an excuse for letting their facilities lapse and customer service suffer, the excuse is ALWAYS there to use. Given that, I don't know if the much-whispered merger has any particular effect on the Twin Cities at this point, or if it's just (bad) business as usual for Comcast.

 

Another interesting point if you care to research it: apparenty, both Comcast and TimeWarner have bought off Democrats (including the President) who would otherwise be strongly opposed to this merger. http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Comcast-TimeWarner-Democrats-merger/2014/04/07/id/564039/  I still believe that Comcast's services (including storage) will not improve until the government steps in to force them to do so, especially in geographic areas where there is only one choice of cable/fast internet provider (which is MOST of the country.) The providers have the consumers by the short hairs, because the "consumers" have no real choices of where to "consume". (Some people get by with Dishes; but that doesn't get you decent internet speeds.) I say write to the FCC and write to your Congressional representatives. It can't be any MORE futile than writing to Comcast!!!

 

gb

Official Employee

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@gb2K wrote:

@JaySinCT wrote:

gb..

Isn't that how they're doing it with the older boxes?  People are swapping out those for newer - older boxes..  I'm talking about the older DCT type Motorolas that now support external storage..

Jay S.


 

Apparently, for the Motorola boxes, it hasn't occured to Comcast to shut off access to the external hard disk. Instead, in any area where "X1" is offered, they are slowly pressuring people to upgrade to X1 (i.e. if your Motorola DVR box craps out, you will likely be REQUIRED to upgrade to an X1 DVR, and they will cheerfully "upgrade" any STBs you might have at the same time.) The X1 boxes merely have external storage communication turned off. Comcast has seen the opportunity to charge people for cloud storage, and even though they can't even OFFER it yet, they are content to just let people wait in the meantime for decent storage. Looked at from any external perspective, this is insane; but to Comcast's bean-counters, it makes perfect sense. This is why they are in the bottom three (or two) in terms of customer service and satisfaction.

 


To clarify, we pro-actively (and at no additional charge to our customers) added and activated the firmware and software to turn on the e-SATA port for external storage use on the Motorola DVRs. This project began in 2012 (only Florida remains to be activated for this feature). Customers can purchase their own device and connect most any external DVR via e-SATA (currently up to 1 TB on the external drive).    

 

Our Scientific-Atlanta and Cisco branded cable boxes have always had this capability.

 

 

The use of external hard drives via the e-SATA port on our X1 platform is on the product roadmap. Right now the X1 team is understandably focused on cloud DVR which allows for additional viewing of DVR content on additional devices both inside and outside of the home and live TV inside the home.

As a reminder, the X1 DVRs have a 500 GB hard drive.  

 

At the risk of repeating -- our intent is to be able to use the cloud for DVR recordings in more and more areas this year. The cloud DVR feature was just turned on in the bay areas this week. 

 

In many areas, the X1 Experience has a cloud DVR opportunity where individual DVR recordings are not stored on the in-home device. This cloud DVR experience would really negate the need for a limited and physically in-the-home external hard drive and all boxes could be AnyRoom DVRs.

 

Plus the opportunity to retain your DVR recordings should you move or you need to replace the DVR. And the opportunity to access and playback your recordings from any internet-enabled device.

 

The packaging strategy for additional storage space for X1 devices has not yet been announced.

 

Enabling the e-SATA port on the X1 platform for external hard drives is on the X1 product roadmap. There have not been timelines announced publicly for that specific feature.

 

I have shared your feedback above directly with our X1 Product Management team. Also, in most areas, you can have up to three separate true DVRs on your account with the X1 Platform.

 

Thanks again for your patience and feedback as we continue to work to improve the experience.

 

 


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Official Employee

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@TreCool883 wrote:

So just to be clear, there are zero X1 boxes with ESATA support, correct?


Correct. See my post above this one. 


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Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@gotpizza wrote:

cloud service would not give you more space!


Correct. Not yet. The packaging strategy for additional storage space for X1 devices using the cloud has not yet been announced. 


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Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Thanks for the response, ComcastTeds. It's just really disappointing. 500 gb is not enough space, in my opinion. I'm ready to just throw in the towel and switch to TiVo instead.
Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@TreCool883 wrote:

So just to be clear, there are zero X1 boxes with ESATA support, correct?


Correct. See my post above this one. 


And those of us who want to keep our recordings on a hdd will still be able at that point? or will we be forced to go full cloud?

Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@TreCool883 wrote:
Thanks for the response,ComcastTeds. It's just really disappointing. 500gb is not enough space, in my opinion. I'm ready to just throw in the towel and switch toTiVo instead.

Ted Are your market researchers aware that most providers have been using a 2tb for about three years now?

Frequent Visitor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

I would like to move to the X1 platform, but 500GB is not enough.  My package includes the X1, but I am using a standard DVR with an external drive instead because of the storage space issue.

Official Employee

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@TreCool883 wrote:
Thanks for the response,ComcastTeds. It's just really disappointing. 500gb is not enough space, in my opinion. I'm ready to just throw in the towel and switch toTiVo instead.

You can never have enough space, truth be told.

 

An upcoming phase of Cloud DVR is expected to include options for additional DVR storage space 


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Official Employee

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@gotpizza wrote:

@TreCool883 wrote:
Thanks for the response,ComcastTeds. It's just really disappointing.500gb is not enough space, in my opinion. I'm ready to just throw in the towelandswitchtoTiVo instead.

Ted Are your market researchers aware that most providers have been using a 2tb for about three years now?


Our teams are also aware of the dramatic price drop of a 2TB drive over the past three years.

 

We are always looking at DVR storage data, research, options and solutions that make sense. 

We will have the opportunity to support a 2TB external HD option in many areas this year (and more in early 2015) with our A31 guide update (not related to X1). Thanks for your patience. 

 

For X1 - as mentioned above, an upcoming phase of Cloud DVR is expected to include options for additional DVR storage space 


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Official Employee

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@gotpizza wrote:

@ComcastTeds wrote:

@TreCool883 wrote:

So just to be clear, there are zero X1 boxes with ESATA support, correct?


Correct. See my post above this one. 


And those of us who want to keep our recordings on a hdd will still be able at that point? or will we be forced to go full cloud?


If you have a non-X1 box, then all remains as it is today. 

X1 plans in regards to additional storage (external and-or cloud and-or combination) are still being formulated.

 

No one is forcing anyone to use the cloud.

 

It is an optional add-on service http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/x1-dvr-cloud-technology-general-faqs/

 

Will the new X1 DVR with Cloud Technology be available to existing X1 customers with DVR service?
Yes, in markets where the new service is launched, existing X1 customers with DVR service are able to upgrade to X1 DVR with Cloud Technology, but you need to request the new functionality. If you don't currently subscribe to AnyRoom DVR service, additional charges will apply.

 


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Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

That's the unfortunate part of all of this.  I really do like the new X1 platform, but going from 1.5 TB of storage (my Motorola DVR combined with the Western Digital DVR Expander) to 500 GB is very noticable.  I just wish I had never upgraded to X1 so then I wouldn't know what I'd be missing had I just stuck with what I had.  Really don't want to go the TiVo route, but Comcast is kind of forcing my hand.

Official Employee

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@murraygorson wrote:

I would like to move to the X1 platform, but 500GB is not enough.  My package includes the X1, but I am using a standard DVR with an external drive instead because of the storage space issue.


An upcoming phase of Cloud DVR is expected to include options for additional DVR storage space 


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Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Ted thanks for all of your help! I am just trying to figure out if I should buy some tivo units. Trying to get a feel for what direction this is all going. I just can't see how putting the data on a server will function the same way as a traditional dvr. On the other hand I see how going this way will be much faster than trying to swap every customer with full dvr equipment. I repsect that Comcast is a for profit company and has the responsibility to its shareholders!

 

Shane out!

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@murraygorson wrote:

I would like to move to the X1 platform, but 500GB is not enough.  My package includes the X1, but I am using a standard DVR with an external drive instead because of the storage space issue.


An upcoming phase of Cloud DVR is expected to include options for additional DVR storage space 


ComcastTeds, any idea what that phase would be rolled out in the Minneapolis, MN area?  If it's soon, then I don't have to shop for a TiVo.  You'd save me a lot of money.  :-)

 

Thanks again for your input on this forum.  It really is much appreciated.

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Expanded storage is one of the main features missing from X1. If I could get an extra 500gb+ that would make things much easier.

 

I'm surprised people mentioning TiVo. Unless I am missing something, a comparable TiVo is around $350, then you add the $15 a month for a subscription. Seems like too much added cost for extra recording space. Replacing the X1 with a TiVo box doesn't mean paying less for your Comcast bill, correct?

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@theaircobra wrote:

Expanded storage is one of the main features missing from X1. If I could get an extra 500gb+ that would make things much easier.

 

I'm surprised people mentioning TiVo. Unless I am missing something, a comparable TiVo is around $350, then you add the $15 a month for a subscription. Seems like too much added cost for extra recording space. Replacing the X1 with a TiVo box doesn't mean paying less for your Comcast bill, correct?


Definitely more expensive, but I would think you'd be able to shed Comcast's DVR-related costs from your bill, which should easily make up for the $15/month, if not quite a bit more.  But yes, the upfront cost is spendy, for sure.  

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Not to mention, you can typically find used TiVo Roamio's on Ebay or Craigslist for quite a bit less than retail.  I'm almost talking myself into it.  LOL. 

Gold Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Extra cost options I am sure...???

 


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@murraygorson wrote:

I would like to move to the X1 platform, but 500GB is not enough.  My package includes the X1, but I am using a standard DVR with an external drive instead because of the storage space issue.


An upcoming phase of Cloud DVR is expected to include options for additional DVR storage space 


 

Expert

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@gotpizza wrote:

@ComcastTeds wrote:

@TreCool883 wrote:

So just to be clear, there are zero X1 boxes with ESATA support, correct?


Correct. See my post above this one. 


And those of us who want to keep our recordings on a hdd will still be able at that point? or will we be forced to go full cloud?


If you have a non-X1 box, then all remains as it is today. 

X1 plans in regards to additional storage (external and-or cloud and-or combination) are still being formulated.

 

No one is forcing anyone to use the cloud.

 

It is an optional add-on service http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/x1-dvr-cloud-technology-general-faqs/

 

Will the new X1 DVR with Cloud Technology be available to existing X1 customers with DVR service?
Yes, in markets where the new service is launched, existing X1 customers with DVR service are able to upgrade to X1 DVR with Cloud Technology, but you need to request the new functionality. If you don't currently subscribe to AnyRoom DVR service, additional charges will apply.

 


Comcast changed X1 to include Anyroom more than a month ago per many posts. That is, the X1 platform includes by default anyroom with filter(s) (MoCA) required to stop them from seeing and accessing recordings on each other. So does that mean there will be no anyroom charges?



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Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Here's the thing, DanS: Comcast has been saying that cloud service will be available "next month" for over a year -- maybe longer in some areas. "Fool me once...". I don't think anybody really believes that cloud service will reach them for at least ANOTHER year, unless they live in a huge population center (i.e. San Francisco/Bay Area.)

 

Compared to the task of setting up cloud service and getting it to work right, the programming time necessary to enable the eSATA hardware WHICH IS ALREADY THERE is miniscule. (And as you acknowleged, Comcast KNOWS how to do this, since they did it for the Motorola boxes. [I stand corrected.]) Maybe a lot of customers won't want to mess with obtaining their own drive and connecting it, and will be content to wait forever until the cloud reaches them. However, for those of us who ARE interested, it clearly would not be a big deal for Comcast to make the effort in this direction -- at least until they can actually deliver on their cloud promises. I've said it before: if the cloud product turns out to have advantages, people will sign up for it (with or without their 4 TB local drives) and pay for it. It just doesn't seem fair to deny us the option for more storage in the meantime. People will dump their X1 service in favor of TiVos, despite the early startup costs. Over time, they will recoup the costs of a TiVo system in the savings they reap by not paying for an X1 system which doesn't work well and appears to be poorly supported by Comcast. (Anybody have time to run some figures on this? How long to pay off TiVo?)

 

As far as Comcast's "timetable" for implementing either eSATA or cloud: they seem to have PLENTY of programming time available to develop new DVR gimmicks to market networks and pay-for services. I see updates all the time (like the one last night, which caused my DVR to need to be rebooted TWICE, and overwrote many settings.) If they devoted 1/100th (1%) of these commercial programming efforts to instead activating eSATA, it would be done next week.

 

Please pass these comments "up the line" as well.

 

gb

Regular Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@murraygorson wrote:

I would like to move to the X1 platform, but 500GB is not enough.  My package includes the X1, but I am using a standard DVR with an external drive instead because of the storage space issue.


An upcoming phase of Cloud DVR is expected to include options for additional DVR storage space 


Ted..


Thanks for jumping back in.  Regarding the above statement on Cloud DVR.  Certainly there are "access anywhere on anything" type benefits.  That said, the issue on the table and one that has been repeated over and over, is that if Cloud IS a cost feature, the noise from X1 users will grow even louder.  We already pay a premium for X1, we've watched, even as you described, older Comcast technology get enabled with external storage devices for in home use, at zero additional cost (except the cost of a drive and enclosure).

I've been told by one Comcast agent that X1 Cloud DVR would include 500GB at no cost (if there are additional steps that might have a cost it wasn't discussed).  If on the other that 500GB, 1TB, etc, Cloud storage are incremental monthly charges, and the e-sata connector remains turned off, then Comcast is turning its back on those of us who made the jump to the new technology.  Please try to convey not only the techological aspect of this, but the customer satisfaction aspect of it.  Again, we're on the "bleeding" edge, for many, pay more, yet watch others get additional benefits we, who have more recording ability, need desperately.

The X1 Arris box is a Motorola manufactured box to my understanding.  How different is the firmware (not the X1 code) to turn this port on.  If they can figure out how to do it on older technology, why is there not an equal push for the latest technology?  No one is blaming you for strategy decisions, but it is such a glaring hole in the thought process that it boggles the mind..


Appreciate all help in escalating and accelerating the plan..

Jay S.

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Oh Jay, you're so NICE to DanS!!   :-)

 

As far as "developing software/firmware", I would guess that this is the situation (substitute your box's manufacturer for "Pace" below):

 

Pace develops a standard DVR box, that they want to sell in the hundreds of thousands, to many different cable providers around the world. In order to do this, logically they would provide a "code library" to run the boxes, and turn various features on and off. So in this code library, there would be a section denoted "enable/disble eSATA port" (and also "network port", "USB port", etc.), in most of the popular programming languages. So a Comcast programmer just has to:

 - Highlight

 - Copy

 - Paste

 - Beta-test and debug the heck out of it.

 

(FWIW: if I had to choose only one, I would really prefer to see the USB port (and USB external drives) turned on. USB hard drive units are much easier for most people to find. But if they're going to enable ONE, why not all of them?)

 

The technology really isn't an issue; the issue is Comcast's will (or lack thereof) to provide this, and thus satisfy at least a few of its bleeding-edge customers like us.

 

gb

Expert

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@gb2K wrote:

Oh Jay, you're so NICE to DanS!!   :-)

 

As far as "developing software/firmware", I would guess that this is the situation (substitute your box's manufacturer for "Pace" below):

 

Pace develops a standard DVR box, that they want to sell in the hundreds of thousands, to many different cable providers around the world. In order to do this, logically they would provide a "code library" to run the boxes, and turn various features on and off. So in this code library, there would be a section denoted "enable/disble eSATA port" (and also "network port", "USB port", etc.), in most of the popular programming languages. So a Comcast programmer just has to:

 - Highlight

 - Copy

 - Paste

 - Beta-test and debug the heck out of it.

 

(FWIW: if I had to choose only one, I would really prefer to see the USB port (and USB external drives) turned on. USB hard drive units are much easier for most people to find. But if they're going to enable ONE, why not all of them?)

 

The technology really isn't an issue; the issue is Comcast's will (or lack thereof) to provide this, and thus satisfy at least a few of its bleeding-edge customers like us.

 

gb


the eSATA transfer rate is faster than providing data by USB



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Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@Rustyben wrote:

@gb2K wrote:

Oh Jay, you're so NICE to DanS!!   :-)

 

As far as "developing software/firmware", I would guess that this is the situation (substitute your box's manufacturer for "Pace" below):

 

Pace develops a standard DVR box, that they want to sell in the hundreds of thousands, to many different cable providers around the world. In order to do this, logically they would provide a "code library" to run the boxes, and turn various features on and off. So in this code library, there would be a section denoted "enable/disble eSATA port" (and also "network port", "USB port", etc.), in most of the popular programming languages. So a Comcast programmer just has to:

 - Highlight

 - Copy

 - Paste

 - Beta-test and debug the heck out of it.

 

(FWIW: if I had to choose only one, I would really prefer to see the USB port (and USB external drives) turned on. USB hard drive units are much easier for most people to find. But if they're going to enable ONE, why not all of them?)

 

The technology really isn't an issue; the issue is Comcast's will (or lack thereof) to provide this, and thus satisfy at least a few of its bleeding-edge customers like us.

 

gb


the eSATA transfer rate is faster than providing data by USB


Guys I don't have skin in the game as you do. I have two dvrs and my pc is hooked up to my projector, so I can use programs on there too. I will say this, I think the issue here is money. They think that they will get you to hold out until the cloud is here and then charge you for it! The other thing is what Ted said, they don't want public backlash from people who got a hdd and then becomes a paper weight!

Regular Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@gotpizza wrote:

@Rustyben wrote:

@gb2K wrote:

Oh Jay, you're so NICE to DanS!!   :-)

 

As far as "developing software/firmware", I would guess that this is the situation (substitute your box's manufacturer for "Pace" below):

 

Pace develops a standard DVR box, that they want to sell in the hundreds of thousands, to many different cable providers around the world. In order to do this, logically they would provide a "code library" to run the boxes, and turn various features on and off. So in this code library, there would be a section denoted "enable/disble eSATA port" (and also "network port", "USB port", etc.), in most of the popular programming languages. So a Comcast programmer just has to:

 - Highlight

 - Copy

 - Paste

 - Beta-test and debug the heck out of it.

 

(FWIW: if I had to choose only one, I would really prefer to see the USB port (and USB external drives) turned on. USB hard drive units are much easier for most people to find. But if they're going to enable ONE, why not all of them?)

 

The technology really isn't an issue; the issue is Comcast's will (or lack thereof) to provide this, and thus satisfy at least a few of its bleeding-edge customers like us.

 

gb


the eSATA transfer rate is faster than providing data by USB


Guys I don't have skin in the game as you do. I have two dvrs and my pc is hooked up to my projector, so I can use programs on there too. I will say this, I think the issue here is money. They think that they will get you to hold out until the cloud is here and then charge you for it! The other thing is what Ted said, they don't want public backlash from people who got a hdd and then becomes a paper weight!


GB...

Try never to "shoot the messenger" ..  Never seen it help anything.  :-)   Turning e-sata (or USB (subnote.. is X1 box USB 2 or 3?)) I don't believe is hard.. I think, as you're saying it is more a matter of flipping a switch.. In reality, the harder part is Comcast marrying the X1 code's DVR function to look for an interact with an external box..  I'll grant them that.  That said, we're supposedly on the "premium" experience and offering and other than the comments that it is on the roadmap we don't have much of anything to go on.. My take from those comments is Cloud first, HDD (or SSD) later... and who knows which X1 box that will be by that time.

Rustyben...

Agree e-sata is faster, but rapidly becomming a dinosaur as far as connections go (right, wrong, or otherwise)..  Clearly USB 3.0 is close, USB is much more universal, and quite frankly the connection is more solid.. I'm not a fan of the fact the e-sata just kind of slides in with a very thin connector.

Gotpizza..


It's always money.. for any company..  No one is really in business to give away anything.  :-)  There's another thought that crossed my mind as far as "why" Comcast may be approaching cloud first.  I'm going to make an assumption that the older boxes, while perhaps getting external storage, will not be able to play in a Cloud solution, and that Cloud will be an X1 exclusive.  I could be wrong, but I don't think they're going to go back to the old boxes to provide them an advanced cloud feature, so, to address the lack of storage, by necessity, external storage would have to be used.  I think Comcast will try to position, marketing wise, as the next great reason to migrate to X1.. access your programs anywhere, anytime (outside the home).

To pull that off, the assumption is that a large percentage of the population wants or is projected to want that ablity.. We see it being offered on phones for standard programming, only DVR is missing..  It's a much easier connection from Comcast to provide you access from a central Cloud vs. somehow accessing a HDD on your X1 box, routing that back up and out and guarantee no break ups..  given the nature of external storage. that could be a tall order..  That's why I think it will be Cloud first, external second for X1, with perhaps an ability (far down the road) to migrate programs between them.  That to me would be something worthwhile..  (listening Comcast)..  Having the ability to have a local library at home, and have the ability to load up the Cloud with programming I want to see I may have kept, etc..  Even better, be able to populate local storage with items of my choosing and be able to play them elsewhere.. images, personal video, etc..

Jay S.

 

Expert

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@JaySinCT wrote:

@gotpizza wrote:

@Rustyben wrote:

@gb2K wrote:

Oh Jay, you're so NICE to DanS!!   :-)

 

As far as "developing software/firmware", I would guess that this is the situation (substitute your box's manufacturer for "Pace" below):

 

Pace develops a standard DVR box, that they want to sell in the hundreds of thousands, to many different cable providers around the world. In order to do this, logically they would provide a "code library" to run the boxes, and turn various features on and off. So in this code library, there would be a section denoted "enable/disble eSATA port" (and also "network port", "USB port", etc.), in most of the popular programming languages. So a Comcast programmer just has to:

 - Highlight

 - Copy

 - Paste

 - Beta-test and debug the heck out of it.

 

(FWIW: if I had to choose only one, I would really prefer to see the USB port (and USB external drives) turned on. USB hard drive units are much easier for most people to find. But if they're going to enable ONE, why not all of them?)

 

The technology really isn't an issue; the issue is Comcast's will (or lack thereof) to provide this, and thus satisfy at least a few of its bleeding-edge customers like us.

 

gb


the eSATA transfer rate is faster than providing data by USB


Guys I don't have skin in the game as you do. I have two dvrs and my pc is hooked up to my projector, so I can use programs on there too. I will say this, I think the issue here is money. They think that they will get you to hold out until the cloud is here and then charge you for it! The other thing is what Ted said, they don't want public backlash from people who got a hdd and then becomes a paper weight!


GB...

Try never to "shoot the messenger" ..  Never seen it help anything.  :-)   Turning e-sata (or USB (subnote.. is X1 box USB 2 or 3?)) I don't believe is hard.. I think, as you're saying it is more a matter of flipping a switch.. In reality, the harder part is Comcast marrying the X1 code's DVR function to look for an interact with an external box..  I'll grant them that.  That said, we're supposedly on the "premium" experience and offering and other than the comments that it is on the roadmap we don't have much of anything to go on.. My take from those comments is Cloud first, HDD (or SSD) later... and who knows which X1 box that will be by that time.

Rustyben...

Agree e-sata is faster, but rapidly becomming a dinosaur as far as connections go (right, wrong, or otherwise)..  Clearly USB 3.0 is close, USB is much more universal, and quite frankly the connection is more solid.. I'm not a fan of the fact the e-sata just kind of slides in with a very thin connector.

Gotpizza..


It's always money.. for any company..  No one is really in business to give away anything.  :-)  There's another thought that crossed my mind as far as "why" Comcast may be approaching cloud first.  I'm going to make an assumption that the older boxes, while perhaps getting external storage, will not be able to play in a Cloud solution, and that Cloud will be an X1 exclusive.  I could be wrong, but I don't think they're going to go back to the old boxes to provide them an advanced cloud feature, so, to address the lack of storage, by necessity, external storage would have to be used.  I think Comcast will try to position, marketing wise, as the next great reason to migrate to X1.. access your programs anywhere, anytime (outside the home).

To pull that off, the assumption is that a large percentage of the population wants or is projected to want that ablity.. We see it being offered on phones for standard programming, only DVR is missing..  It's a much easier connection from Comcast to provide you access from a central Cloud vs. somehow accessing a HDD on your X1 box, routing that back up and out and guarantee no break ups..  given the nature of external storage. that could be a tall order..  That's why I think it will be Cloud first, external second for X1, with perhaps an ability (far down the road) to migrate programs between them.  That to me would be something worthwhile..  (listening Comcast)..  Having the ability to have a local library at home, and have the ability to load up the Cloud with programming I want to see I may have kept, etc..  Even better, be able to populate local storage with items of my choosing and be able to play them elsewhere.. images, personal video, etc..

Jay S.

 


re: eSATA i was pointing out that the WD specific box/model required eSATA and that that may be the cable box standard of external firm/software interface.

I can't agree about the 'money' because the model for cable revenue is on the verge of massive changes. Viacom (CBS's channels) have announced cable unbundling meaning they will be selling to the cord cutters all their programming in streaming apps. The unbundling will really put cable back into competititon and they will be worried about subscription retention and preserving those data streams.

I have also done some cord cutting (obihai VOIP with google voice porting of my home phone number) and it isn't that painful at all. the phone bill went from 50 (including taxes fees fcc etc) to zip/nada. Cable has to see that train coming and adapt to keep us as customers. Xfinity surely has been doing that at least for me, and these forums are perhaps part of that feeling that they do care.



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Official Employee

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@RickGr4 wrote:

Extra cost options I am sure...???

 


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@murraygorson wrote:

I would like to move to the X1 platform, but 500GB is not enough.  My package includes the X1, but I am using a standard DVR with an external drive instead because of the storage space issue.


An upcoming phase of Cloud DVR is expected to include options for additional DVR storage space 


 


X1 plans in regards to additional storage (external and-or cloud and-or combination) are still being formulated.

 

Pricing (if any) and specific additional cloud storage plans above the already existing 500 GB have not yet been determined. 


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Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@Rustyben wrote:

@ComcastTeds wrote:

@gotpizza wrote:

@ComcastTeds wrote:

@TreCool883 wrote:

So just to be clear, there are zero X1 boxes with ESATA support, correct?


Correct. See my post above this one. 


And those of us who want to keep our recordings on a hdd will still be able at that point? or will we be forced to go full cloud?


If you have a non-X1 box, then all remains as it is today. 

X1 plans in regards to additional storage (external and-or cloud and-or combination) are still being formulated.

 

No one is forcing anyone to use the cloud.

 

It is an optional add-on service http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/x1-dvr-cloud-technology-general-faqs/

 

Will the new X1 DVR with Cloud Technology be available to existing X1 customers with DVR service?
Yes, in markets where the new service is launched, existing X1 customers with DVR service are able to upgrade to X1 DVR with Cloud Technology, but you need to request the new functionality. If you don't currently subscribe to AnyRoom DVR service, additional charges will apply.

 


Comcast changed X1 to include Anyroom more than a month ago per many posts. That is, the X1 platform includes by default anyroom with filter(s) (MoCA) required to stop them from seeing and accessing recordings on each other. So does that mean there will be no anyroom charges?


Does not mean that at all.

 

AnyRoom and Cloud DVR are two different yet very compatible products available via our X1 platform.

 

The MoCA filters are in place to keep your DVR recordings from being shared (accidentally or intentionally)outside of your home to another X1 cable box not on your account.

 

More info on what MOca does and is (and is not):   http://www.mocalliance.org/

 

Cloud DVR is not yet available in all areas. Where it is available, there is currently no additional charge for this feature.  


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Gold Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

We ALWAYS appreciate any additional feedback from Comcast.

Thank you Teds.


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@RickGr4 wrote:

Extra cost options I am sure...???

 


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@murraygorson wrote:

I would like to move to the X1 platform, but 500GB is not enough.  My package includes the X1, but I am using a standard DVR with an external drive instead because of the storage space issue.


An upcoming phase of Cloud DVR is expected to include options for additional DVR storage space 


 


X1 plans in regards to additional storage (external and-or cloud and-or combination) are still being formulated.

 

Pricing (if any) and specific additional cloud storage plans above the already existing 500 GB have not yet been determined. 


 

Regular Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@ComcastTeds wrote:

 

Cloud DVR is not yet available in all areas. Where it is available, there is currently no additional charge for this feature.  


Ted...

So in one post you say anything (as far as price) above existing 500GB hasn't been deternined, yet the above seems to imply it is currently free, or am I reading it incorrectly?

Jay S.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

I think it is very important that we mention here that the Pizzaman connected a wireless USB keyboard and mouse to his X1 DVR. They were recognized by the X1 box and the provide control of his X1 DVR. However another member connected a USB hard drive and his X1 box did not flinch. This means that Comcast knowingly and intentionally disabled external hard drive support yet they have never provided a reason why. Considering Comcast's competitors offer far more storage, I think Comcast should provide more detail on this.

Regular Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@RickGr4 wrote:

I think it is very important that we mention here that the Pizzaman connected a wireless USB keyboard and mouse to his X1 DVR. They were recognized by the X1 box and the provide control of his X1 DVR. However another member connected a USB hard drive and his X1 box did not flinch. This means that Comcast knowingly and intentionally disabled external hard drive support yet they have never provided a reason why. Considering Comcast's competitors offer far more storage, I think Comcast should provide more detail on this.


So, what does one do with a mouse and/or keyboard for the X1?  Again though, the I/O interface for an HI device is a whole lot different than a storage device...

Jay S.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Jay it simply means that Comcast knows more about what is going on with these ports than we have ever been led to believe...


@JaySinCT wrote:

@RickGr4 wrote:

I think it is very important that we mention here that the Pizzaman connected a wireless USB keyboard and mouse to his X1 DVR. They were recognized by the X1 box and the provide control of his X1 DVR. However another member connected a USB hard drive and his X1 box did not flinch. This means that Comcast knowingly and intentionally disabled external hard drive support yet they have never provided a reason why. Considering Comcast's competitors offer far more storage, I think Comcast should provide more detail on this.


So, what does one do with a mouse and/or keyboard for the X1?  Again though, the I/O interface for an HI device is a whole lot different than a storage device...

Jay S.


 

Expert

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@JaySinCT wrote:

@RickGr4 wrote:

I think it is very important that we mention here that the Pizzaman connected a wireless USB keyboard and mouse to his X1 DVR. They were recognized by the X1 box and the provide control of his X1 DVR. However another member connected a USB hard drive and his X1 box did not flinch. This means that Comcast knowingly and intentionally disabled external hard drive support yet they have never provided a reason why. Considering Comcast's competitors offer far more storage, I think Comcast should provide more detail on this.


So, what does one do with a mouse and/or keyboard for the X1?  Again though, the I/O interface for an HI device is a whole lot different than a storage device...

Jay S.


Interesting question. The same channel scroll functions (2 fingers dragged up/down on the Xfinity X1 remote app screen scolls channel changes channel up/down. If viewing gude, 1 finger up/down scrolls the guide, or does up down paging.

To see X1 Remote App help press gear, then "remote tips". (also has voice guide examples)



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Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

this is everything that I figured out with the mouse and keyboard. I really just use the mouse for ff and play. also for the guide. It seems to work a little quicker than my harmony.

http://forums.comcast.com/t5/X1/How-to-use-wireless-keyboard-mouse-on-x1/m-p/2313895#M32344

Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for Motorola/Scientific-Atlanta/Cisco DVRs (DVR Expan

I just wish we could get am idea of when the changes will be implemented. I guess increased storage on the X1 platform will not he happening soon and the cloud feature in Michigan, was promised a year ago. I just feel like I'm paying for a system that doesn't meet my needs. I probably will trade in my X1 boxes for the old style. They can at least have an external hard drive. I am not going to pay close to 280 a month and not be happy. The X1 system is great. But the lack of info is fustrating. To make matters worse, the techs and local office are telling everyone about features that don't 3xsist or won't until the summer of maybe 2015 or later. Why should I pay close to 40 bucks a month for extra DVRS. I could put this into a TiVO system and not have to worry
Official Employee

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@JaySinCT wrote:

@ComcastTeds wrote:

 

Cloud DVR is not yet available in all areas. Where it is available, there is currently no additional charge for this feature.  


Ted...

So in one post you say anything (as far as price) above existing 500GB hasn't been deternined, yet the above seems to imply it is currently free, or am I reading it incorrectly?

Jay S.


Cloud DVR is not additional storage (yet). It is additional access to your DVR content from other devices inside and outside of the home. Not available in all areas yet. 


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Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@RickGr4 wrote:

I think it is very important that we mention here that the Pizzaman connected a wireless USB keyboard and mouse to his X1 DVR. They were recognized by the X1 box and the provide control of his X1 DVR. However another member connected a USB hard drive and his X1 box did not flinch. This means that Comcast knowingly and intentionally disabled external hard drive support yet they have never provided a reason why. Considering Comcast's competitors offer far more storage, I think Comcast should provide more detail on this.


External hard drives would NOT be connected to a DVR via USB.

 

For X1, when supported, the external drive would be connected via e-SATA, the same way that external drives are currently supported on our legacy platform.

 

The e-SATA connection is a faster connection than USB. 


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Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

Everytime I get a notification that ComcastTeds has replied to this discussion I get so excited that he may possibly say that the port has been turned on.  I'm always so disappointed after I read it. Eventually I will just learn to be disappointed from the outset.

Regular Contributor

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@JaySinCT wrote:

@ComcastTeds wrote:

 

Cloud DVR is not yet available in all areas. Where it is available, there is currently no additional charge for this feature.  


Ted...

So in one post you say anything (as far as price) above existing 500GB hasn't been deternined, yet the above seems to imply it is currently free, or am I reading it incorrectly?

Jay S.


Cloud DVR is not additional storage (yet). It is additional access to your DVR content from other devices inside and outside of the home. Not available in all areas yet. 


Ted,

 

Thanks for the clarification.. Read the other note about connection via e-sata, not USB, which makes sense (unless it was USB 3.0 on a new(er) version of an X1 box..) ..  For e-sata to be reasonably quick, it would need a SATA III connection (6 GB vs. 3 for SATA II) ansd use a 6G drive.  I don't know what SATA connection the current Arris box is.

That said, the fact the Cloud DVR will extend the existing 500GB to a lot more devices, only makes the issue of 500GB that much more of a problem.  That goes back to being able to have local external storage connected and have the ablity to either access it from Cloud DVR, or be able to move items back and forth to the 500GB storage in the box to be accessed from the Cloud..  Either way, we're still in need of the connection being activated.

Thanks again for the update.

Jay S.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)

What about the cities that aren't even on the radar for cloud DVR such as MSP? You are telling us we can't have either additional hard drive support or cloud service? Ted I hope you realize how frustrating this is...

I am still waiting to hear the REAL REASON Comcast refuses to turn the esata port on. We haven't heard it yet...


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@RickGr4 wrote:

I think it is very important that we mention here that the Pizzaman connected a wireless USB keyboard and mouse to his X1 DVR. They were recognized by the X1 box and the provide control of his X1 DVR. However another member connected a USB hard drive and his X1 box did not flinch. This means that Comcast knowingly and intentionally disabled external hard drive support yet they have never provided a reason why. Considering Comcast's competitors offer far more storage, I think Comcast should provide more detail on this.


External hard drives would NOT be connected to a DVR via USB.

 

For X1, when supported, the external drive would be connected via e-SATA, the same way that external drives are currently supported on our legacy platform.

 

The e-SATA connection is a faster connection than USB. 





Expert

Re: External Hard Drive Support for X1 DVRs (discussion)


@ComcastTeds wrote:

@RickGr4 wrote:

I think it is very important that we mention here that the Pizzaman connected a wireless USB keyboard and mouse to his X1 DVR. They were recognized by the X1 box and the provide control of his X1 DVR. However another member connected a USB hard drive and his X1 box did not flinch. This means that Comcast knowingly and intentionally disabled external hard drive support yet they have never provided a reason why. Considering Comcast's competitors offer far more storage, I think Comcast should provide more detail on this.


External hard drives would NOT be connected to a DVR via USB.

 

For X1, when supported, the external drive would be connected via e-SATA, the same way that external drives are currently supported on our legacy platform.

 

The e-SATA connection is a faster connection than USB. 


I have the WD 1TB eSATA hooked up that was on the old legacy DVR. the exit 5 seconds+>down>down>2 shows no external drive. the same down>down>3 >dvr info>storage shows internal 500gb external 1000gb (xFinity page). Wish it was used an easy double the space and on my 'dime'. the Avail column on internal is 400gb and 500gb on external. The light on the WD drive has never been anything but steady on legacy DVR nor the X1. I don't think it is being used by the X1 based on threads in the forum.



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