In a move that blurs the lines between cable TV and Internet video — and one that may help stem the tide of cord cutting — Comcast and Netflix have entered into a deal to put Netflix on Comcast’s X1 set-top boxes.
Bloomberg calls X1 “the software at the heart of Comcast’s strategy to keep its 22.4 million cable subscribers from cutting the cord and defecting to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.” The report adds: “Think of X1 as the company’s own Android or iOS — a technological platform upon which an empire of software, hardware, and services can be built.”
“Instead of just throwing every channel into a linear grid accessed by clicking up and down with a remote, X1 aggregates programming from hundreds of TV networks and online sources and arranges everything by genre,” Bloomberg adds. “Sports. Movies. Children’s programming. News. There’s still a remote, but with X1 it’s voice-activated. You tell the system what you want. It shows you what’s available. The software is based in the cloud, meaning Comcast can update it without coming to your home. Since its release in 2012, X1 has become a hit.”