Xfinity X1 viewing experience
We’ve highlighted the hardware, so let’s move on to the software. Here’s what you need to know about the X1 viewing experience.
The X1’s guide and menu design obviously borrows from online streaming services. The system displays network logos, which makes finding channels easy, and the program you’re watching keeps playing in a small window while you search.
While the X1’s design is sleek, its function can be a little slow at times. You can minimize lag by keeping your system updated. Also, some people don’t like the font size. We think it’s fine.
With Xfinity TV service, you can search by text or voice, and the X1 system will show results for live airings, reruns, on-demand titles, and DVR recordings. You can narrow your search further by selecting specific filtering categories.
When you finish watching an on-demand TV show, the X1 system will ask if you want to watch the next episode. And the “Last” function doesn’t just tell you the last program you watched—it tells you the last nine, including live, on-demand, or recorded programs. That’s handy if you stumbled upon something cool but can’t recall the title.
Accessing Netflix and other streaming apps
One of the best X1 features is integrated music and video streaming apps. Most of these require a separate paid subscription. To access them, use the voice remote to search for the app, then sign in with your credentials (not your Xfinity login info).
While this feature isn’t much different than what you’d get with a streaming TV device like Roku or Fire TV, it’s convenient that you won’t have to switch between devices to access the app.
The Xfinity X1 DVR lets you pause, rewind, and fast-forward live TV, and you can record up to six shows at once. You can also order additional boxes for additional TVs in your home, and use any of them to schedule, watch, or delete recordings on the master X1 unit.
Unlike traditional DVRs, the X1 DVR stores all your recorded programs on cloud technology, not on a hard disk inside the machine. This means you’re technically streaming your recordings, which requires an internet connection. If you’re worried about buffering, download your shows ahead of time to watch later.
Exceeding your storage limit means the X1 will start recording over your old shows by default. Don’t worry—you can protect specific shows from this rule or check your deleted shows to recover them.
To keep your X1 in peak condition, keep it on, online, and updated. If your system is offline when the updates come through (typically in the early morning), they’ll be backlogged for later. If too many updates pile up, your system will run slower.
Viewing experience summary
X1 really shines with its highly customizable user interface. The viewing experience is nearly seamless. You can bounce smoothly from Netflix to the big game to the latest episode of Better Call Saul— whether you’re watching on the X1 or on the go via the Xfinity Stream app.