Home | Reviews | Comcast Xfinity X1 Box In-Depth Review
Reviews Tech

Comcast Xfinity X1 Box In-Depth Review

My full in-depth review of the Xfinity X1 box and platform.

Comcast has done an overhaul in the way they present television and entertainment to the consumer. A year ago we got our first look at the Comcast X1 box running the new Xfinity X1 platform. I’ve personally been using the X1 for about a year now. It’s time I give you my full review of the Xfinity X1 and the X1 Platform.

The X1 Box Hardware

Let’s start with the hardware. It’s a simple but sleek average size cable box that will fit on most TV stands. The front shows a clock which I like having and missed when I switched to a TiVo a few years ago.  There is a LED indicator on the front for messages and when the DVR is recording.

The power button has a USB port below and a green LED ring around it letting you know the power is on. You can hit the button to put the box in a standby state which then the light will go off if you’re annoyed by it sleeping at night. However, Comcast does recommend keeping the X1 box on for as long as possible. They send constant updates throughout the late night to it. If you leave it off and then turn it back on you’ll experience some slowness while it tries to catch up.

The back of the X1 has a ton of ports with 3 HDMI ports, USB, eSata, component, composite, two coaxial ports, and ethernet. The variety of ports allows for different configuration setups. I haven’t tested all of them yet, but it’s good to know that there are enough connections to have Comcast setup your X1 in your home theater the way you want to.

Internally there is a multi-core processor, 500 GB of storage and 5 TV tuners, 4 for recording and one for the live television feed. The remote looks complicated but an easy to use remote that will connect to your TV for primary power, volume and input controls. You can also download the Xfinity TV app to you iOS or Android device to control your X1 box. You can flip through the TV guide and On Demand and set your box to record or watch instantly. There is voice control as well (iOS only as of now).  So to sum it up the hardware is more than adequate for the most important part that we will get into next which is the software.

Xfinity X1 Platform Is An Evolution In Presenting TV Entertainment

The X1 Platform is a multi-layer system of software and services that give you a ton of options and control on how and where you watch your content.  In this review, we’ll be focused on the set-top box. The X1 interface is a simple gray interface that sections your DVR into 4 main categories, Guide, DVR, On Demand, Apps. While each is separate, they do cross over each other in a good way to present content to you.


The guide is your TV guide to see all that’s on TV. It’s got the layout that most of us are familiar with. When you highlight the item, it will give you a preview of metadata about the content. Hitting the OK button on the remote will jump to that channel (if the program is currently on). You’ll see a logo of either the TV station or the program that is currently on and the time shift bar which allows you rewind fast forward and slow motion.

These controls work smooth and get the job done.  Hitting the left arrow will bring up a quick TV guide and will put live TV is a medium window on the left of it. You’ll also notice the time and temperature on the bottom right.  You’ll always see this anywhere you go in the menu to give you quick glance to time and temperature.

Now if you hit the Last button instead of going right back to the last channel, it brings the past ten channels, DVR and On Demand content, you have to watch. You can easily jump back to content quickly and one of my favorite features to use.

Content Info

Going back into the guide if you hit the info button on a show or movie you’ll get more information about the content like content rating, synopsis, rotten tomatoes review info (if a movie), actors and actresses in the show or movie,  share to a connected Facebook or Twitter account, etc. From this menu is where you can setup to record an episode or the series if you want.  You’ll also see season information, future episodes and what’s available on demand. You can also change it to get more information about the actors and even see more content that they are in specifically in.  You can see related content and more. The Guide is simple but gives you tons of information in an easy to digest way.


The DVR section is an easy DVR manager that holds all of your recorded shows, let’s you view and edit your schedule, recover deleted show and priority manager.  With five tuners and the ability to record four shows at once you usually won’t run into too many conflicts.  There isn’t too much to say here for the DVR other then it’s straight forward and easy to use.

On Demand

The On Demand section is a one-stop shop for instant access to TV, Movies and more. The guide is mixed with free, subscription and paid content. It’s broken down into as many categories as you can think of and there is new content added continuously.  Access to the content is really instant as load times are minimal and almost not noticeable at all. You can also switch between on demand, live TV, and DVR recordings on the fly without missing a beat. It’s rather seamless, and that’s the way it should be. I’ve been able to jump between on demand, live TV and recording 4 shows at the same time and not skip a beat.


Apps are there, but they are on a bit on the light side. You have Weather, Traffic, Facebook, Xfinity Voicemail, Sports and Pandora. All work well and give simple functionality although I would like to seem a bit more out of them and some more apps available. My favorite of the bunch is the Sports app.

When you open that up, you get a quick summary of the latest games happening from all major sports leagues and events.  It shows scores and gives play-by-play. This will be great for fantasy sports players that need to track multiple games. It can be accessed from anywhere on the X1 by just tapping the C button.

Universal Search

The X1 has a universal search which lets you search for any TV show, movie, event, and actor across all the Xfinity’s entertainment channels. There is an on-screen keyboard, but you can also use T9 entry on the remote to search. It’s fast and generally, pick up what you’re looking for within a few letters typed in. One you have found what you’re looking for it brings you to the same options that I explained in the Guide section.  This works great and good for just searching for what you want.


The settings options give you a ton of detail control over the X1 box. You can change your video and audio settings, extensive parental controls and check specific device information. This info is better shown in the video review so check there to see.

Is the X1 Platform good? Is it worth getting?

Without a doubt, the X1 Box and the X1 Platform is absolutely worth getting if its available in your area. Which is currently an issue since its limited right now to Triple Play customers in about 12 markets. There are plans for Comcast to change this and expand this out to more users but no timetable on it. This platform actually does provide a one stop for all your entertainment needs.

Is the X1 better than Netflix or Hulu?

Well for those services while they are similar they answer to a different customer. If your primary source of content is cable TV, then the X1 is worth it other subscription services.

Is Xfinity X1 better than Tivo?

Right now without a doubt, it is, and this is coming from a long time TiVo user. The software is smoother, usability is better and provides a quality experience.  If you are looking to switch, then I would suggest so.

I’ve enjoyed using the X1 Box and look forward to more updates and added features as they come.  If you want one service to serve all needs then getting on the X1 Platform is the way to go.







About the author

Warren Bowman

I have a deep passion for everything tech. From gadgets to gaming I get it all and love giving my opinions, reviews and analysis on all things tech. Live Your Tech World In High Definition!


Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Can you tell me if the cable box has an eSATA port on it? I have a DVR expander that I currently use with my Comcast box. Thanks

  • I just got a brand new X1 latest version fresh out of the box but menus & scrolling seem laggy so do you know how many cores are in the processor?

    • You will want to look into your signal in your home. Sometimes if you have cable splitters on your line and they are not the right kind it can affect signal quality and make things run slow on the box, internet, etc. Have comcast come out and check on it.

  • Just got my X1, and it is extremely laggy, almoost unuasbly laggy. But I guess at some point I’ll get use to hitting a button on the remote, looking at the television to see if the button hit registered, and being excited that I can now hit the next button. Maybe my television watching habots will change since it now takes about 10 seconds to change the channel.

    • You may want to get the signal checked in your home. I know if you have splitters on your line and they are no the right kind your signal can be affected which can mean slow TV and slow internet. Give Comcast a call and have them check it out.

  • Can you tell me more about the Ethernet port? I would like to provide a hard-wire internet connection to my Xbox One. Is that a possible use for that Ethernet port? Customer service says no, but I am unconvinced that they know what they are talking about.

  • stay clear of the x1…..nothing but problems. from reading various blogs, I’d be very suspect of any comments in support of the platform….gotta be careful these days w/re to whose being paid & whose actually being honest. IF the x1 worked as advertised, agreed in that it’d be a decent viable option when comparing it to the competition’s multi-room offerings. BUT…simply said, the x1 has been nothing short of disappointing. It has so many bugs..hang-ups….needing to consistently put thru the reboot process ..even the new gen remote that just came out w/the x1 unit….after >2 weeks the back light went out on us & we had to swap out the remote. Even the techs who’ve been out to “kick the tires” around for us to see if they can make any improvements say the platform was rushed to mrkt before it was ready. We even had a new cable line put in….the tech (not an independent/contractor tech mind you…I’m ref to actual comcast techs who’ve come out in comcast trucks) said that would surely take care of all the issues…..not!! Do yourself a huge favor….stay clear of all things x1…..& as for whenever they introduce the x2 system I’ve been reading about….I’d wait at least few mos til AFTER the x2 hits the mrkt & see what others are saying. In short, don’t be a comcast x1 or x2 guinea pig…..unless you don’t mind being frustrated & not receiving all that’s being advertised. On that note….I find comcasts newest ad campain here in nor cal an absolute joke….”x1, it just works”…..how dare they…..quite the audacity to come out w/such nonsense when they darn well know just how pathetically buggy this platform has consistently been for well over 2 yrs now. Shame on you comcast for rushing this platform to mrkt & then making claims for which are just simply untrue…..it does NOT work…as advertised & you’ve known it all along. Buyer be VERY aware!!.

    • I totally agree. I got off Dish because it does not offer internet in my area, and AT&T internet and Phone jumped from $40.00 to $90.00 in a year. So now my wife was lured in because price was cheaper. No multiple premium channels anymore. 4 dif. HBO’s, 4 Showtimes, 5 Cinamax, ect. Plus jumping through commercials on older recordings. There is also greater storage allowing 30 HD quality recordings and still had 45% capacity. So…? Really Comcast is behind the Times. I really hate it. Just waiting for Dish comes through with Internet.

  • On my DVR box, I’m trying to get the “clock” to show what channel is on. I can’t find how to do this.
    On my non-DVR box, the clock does not display. I would guess that there is a single solution.

  • I just got the X1 platform installed a couple of days ago. Both of the remote boxes get so hot that I cannot touch them. Is this safe? I am an older person and not tech savvy. Please advise.

    • I’m having the same problem. One of my remote boxes died.
      This cannot be normal. Call support.. I know they strive for quiet boxes but maybe they should have added a fan.

  • Switched a little over a year ago from DirecTv to the Comcast Triple Play. Worst mistake I’ve ever made in this area.

    As others have mentioned STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM THIS X1 POS AS YOU CAN. The thing is complete GARBAGE, requires reboots weekly, will reboot on it’s own, channel volume goes up/down/out at will, some recorded shows with actually record something different, yes, you heard that correct, you set it to record a series and it will record two hours of something else and say it’s the program that you wanted.

    COMCAST CUSTOMER SERVICE IS A COMPLETE JOKE. They will try and B.S. you to no end and try to sell you on things you don’t need or better yet, don’t work!!


    Back to DirecTv, at least you get a better signal that at least for me was stable. All local channels are now free with DTV, not to mention that you can get them all FREE with a local antenna and the picture quality is 200% better because it’s not compressed.

  • Therefore, people prefer multi-core processors ofer single
    core processors. The CPU (Central Processor Unit) handles all
    the math and processes to runn prgrams and mostly keep
    “alive” your computer, and the GPU (Graphics Processor Unit) does its
    share with the image you see on your monitor.
    From their variety of home computer system offerings and fully featuredd home theater systems to
    high powered custo gaming computers, when you buy PC from them you are guqranteed
    to receivee excellent value, performance and, most
    importantly, service. This year exhibition is currently scheduled too
    last from Thursday, January 6 to Sunday, January 9.
    * AMD is constantly striving to find the right solutions for
    you and your home or business needs.

  • Just got the X1. Switched from direct tv. Huge cost savings.the DVR works great but the remote boxes one does not boot up proper. Once it boots up its tells me somthing has gone wrong and to call customer service center. I notice the box gets real hot. Can’t even touch it.. I swapped it for the 2nd remote box and that one works. It too runs real hot that you cannot touch. Worried it will catch fire. At night it won’t power off and the blue LED is a nuisance. Power button does not work. I can “restart” from settings section.. What’s up with all that? I’m leaving it unplugged and calling support in the AM.
    Anyone else running into the hot remote boxes?

    • I have the same issue and concern about it being a fire hazard. I called tech help and was told the light will remain lite 24/7. I know the unit is not shut off because we have a sound bar attached and when we turn off the main receiver the light is still on and we still can hear the television even thou the TV is turned off. The small blue box receiver same issue of getting quite hot. Only way to turn off is unplug it.

  • does the x1 system allow me to connect my western digital mycloud nas to my t.v / cable gateway.. i left wowway and went back to comcast and now i cant use my network drive to watch movies i had saved on my network drive like i was on the old box with wow.. any ideals or is this not gonna happen?

  • Recently I began receiving emails about changing to X1 for free, but I have a pal that has it and it will be a cold day in heck before I take that bait, nothing but trouble with the system, DVR recording disappearing or not recording, freeze frames, they charge him every single time they come look at it, nope I keep my basic DVR and when that is no longer available I stick to my HULU.

  • 3 years later, X1 is still lacking huge. Do not get until full 4k rollout is approved by people with multiple tvs and shown stability.

  • I wish I could set my DVD recorder to record a movie at night, however for some reason my box(s) shut off for 5ish minutes EVERY NIGHT so get to wait up until that occurs (sometime between 2-3 am) THE X1 PLATFORM IS HORRIBLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • My XI was hooked up by Comcast. Prior to having the XI I had a previous Comcast hookup, also hooked up by Comcast. With the previous Comcast box my Samsung DVD player performed nicely. However, since the XI installation, the picture comes in fine for DVD movies but the sound is warbled. What can I do to correct this?

    • Duane, I am an A/V Systems Integrator. I live in Silicon Valley and have had my own business since 2007. I am now over 25 years in the industry. The solution to most problems is usually very simple. The 1st thing I usually do is to power cycle any associated hardware. In your case, that would be the: DVD player, AV receiver?, monitor/TV, cable box….then, I would double check all the connections and pull them out and plug them back in (to make sure everything is connecting as it should). This solves over 95% of my service calls. I know, pretty sad to hire me to fix a problem and you end up paying for me to simply power cycle your electronics. Is HDMI your only connection method for audio or are you using analog (L/R audio cables), Toslink (optical digital), or coaxial digital? HDMI is the most touchy and temperamental. Lots of handshaking that takes place between components and this is why the power cycle/reboot seems to be the savior most of the time.

  • I know the original post is from 2014, but I have to say that X1 has been pretty disappointing. I have been working with these boxes since they came out. I am puzzled how Warren can go from TiVo to X1 and state that X1 is better. X1 in 2014 was worse then than it is now and it is still a pretty sad system. The control hangs and stacks commands (as has always been a problem with Comcast DVRs of the past). The only redeeming features are the voice control (although, most of my clients get a custom programmed control system from me and don’t use the factory remotes), and the GUI (Graphical User Interface). The old system was way passed the need of an attractive and modern user interface. All the make-up in the world doesn’t matter if what is inside doesn’t perform as it should. TiVo today with their new Bolt 4K DVR is way better than X1. In Warrens defense, the Bolt was not around back then. The only pain with TiVo is the activation process with the cable card from Comcast/Xfinity. It can be a little buggy and time consuming (this is always the fault of Comcast and their robotic Customer Service people). TiVo activations are only a small fraction of normal cable activations, so they get lost and don’t know what to do when there are problems. Comcast provides so many defective cable cards, that I ask for several when I go pick them up in hopes that at least one is good. Then I just return the rest after I achieve success. I am a DirecTV customer and only use Comcast/Xfinity for my internet service, but I work with Comcast hardware on pretty much a daily basis. I am very used to the poor service experience with Comcast, so I don’t get my hopes up and have low expectations. I feel for the rest of you who have to go through it for the 1st time. Good Luck!!

  • Now you can get the box above without Component Out and instead just HDMI.

    The only issue I have with the box is the Guide -the default is to show everything then after a channel selected – “pay up to add this channel” along with ads for movies on other channels.
    The second issue is the DVR filling up in about 2 days if HD programming recorded. Even with a 2TB DVR.
    The small remote boxes = DTA (Digital Terminal Adapter) are definitely not free and have limited functions! NO premium channels! In fact with a remote box nearby I still have to go online to the Xfinity website to view those paid-for channels = ridiculous.
    HDMI out to a LCD monitor looks great but even if connected via COAX to an actual television, the HD channels are clearly better.

    Service issues so far: the XR11 (with Voice Control) remote control LEDs failed. AnyRoom DVR never worked even though “the XiD (DTA) can pause and rewind live TV (up to 25 minutes via an internal SD card) and VOD and supports Comcast’s multi-room DVR service.”

    The remote boxes also tie up tuners in the main box – I cannot believe Comcast gets away with charging any lease fee at all for the remote DTAs.

  • I must say you have high quality posts here.
    Your posts should go viral. You need initial boost only.
    How to get massive traffic? Search for; Murgrabia’s tools go viral