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Xfinity X1 Review 2021

Check out our in-depth review of the Xfinity X1 DVR to learn about cost, features, and more.

Xfinity X1 DVR

Price: $24.95/mo.*
DVR storage: 150 hrs. (HD)
Tuners: 6
Free Peacock Premium

* Includes $9.95/mo. HD fee.
Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The X1 from Xfinity is a cool little DVR. It has a user-friendly interface, excellent voice remote, and more integrated streaming apps than other DVRs. It also has a solid mobile app that lets you access your live channels, on-demand content, cloud DVR recordings, and subscription streaming apps on your mobile devices.

When compared to other providers’ DVRs, the X1 has low-to-average storage and simultaneous recordings—and its price is high. But this everything-in-one box keeps us interested in the X1 despite those shortcomings.

Xfinity X1 pros and cons

Pros

  • Integrated streaming apps
  • Xfinity Stream app for mobile watching
  • User-friendly interface
  • Free Peacock Premium

Cons

  • Mediocre storage
  • Internet requirement for DVR access
  • HD fee
  • Limited 4K support

Bundling is a must

Getting the X1 DVR requires bundling with Xfinity high-speed internet. Our guide to Xfinity bundles has pricing and more info.

Xfinity X1 vs. the competition

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ProviderPriceTV box rental feeOther feesStorageSimultaneous recordings
Xfinity X1$15.00/mo.Included$9.95/mo. (HD fee)150 hrs.6
DISH Hopper 3$15.00/mo.IncludedN/A500 hrs.16
DIRECTV GenieIncludedIncludedN/A200 hrs.5
Cox Contour Record (2, 6, or 24)$10.00–$30.00/mo.IncludedN/A250–1,000 hrs.2–24
RCN TiVo 6Included w/ box rental$15.00/mo.N/A125 hrs.Unlimited
Optimum Altice One$9.99–$21.99/mo.$15.00/mo.N/A25–150 hrs.15

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

So, yeah—about the X1’s storage and pricing: the table compares X1 DVR pricing and features with those of other providers.

The X1 has only a mediocre 150 hours for $24.95 a month. The price includes a $9.95 monthly HD service fee, which no other provider charges.

In contrast, DIRECTV gives you 200 hours of HD storage free with its plans. The DISH Hopper 3 has 500 hours for $15 a month. And if you like to watch all the TV, the Cox Contour Record 24 offers 1,000 hours for $30 per month. So, the X1 isn’t the best value.

Xfinity X1 TV box and DVR options

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DVR serviceBox rentalAdditional boxesOther feesTotal (one TV)
Xfinity X1 DVR service with HD box$15.00/mo.Included$9.95/mo. each$9.95/mo. HD fee$24.95/mo.
Xfinity non-DVR X1 box (HD)N/A$5.00/mo.$9.95/mo. each$9.95/mo. HD fee$14.95/mo.
Xfinity non-DVR X1 box (SD)N/A$5.00/mo.$9.95/mo. eachN/A$5.00/mo.

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

But if you really want the Xfinity X1 and don’t mind having no DVR storage, or even resolution, there are two cheaper options shown above. But who wants SD TV and no DVR nowadays? Do they even like TV?

Looking for an in-depth review of the most popular DVRs? Check out our DVR buyers guide.

X1 DVR specs and features

The X1 DVR comes in three different versions of the same model (the XG1). Each has the same primary features, ports, and user interface, but we cover some differences under “X1 missing features” below. The version you get depends on what your region has in stock when you order.

ARRIS and Pace XG1v3

Pace XG1v1

ARRIS XG1v4

X1 primary features

  • 150 hrs. of HD cloud storage
  • 6 simultaneous recordings
  • Voice remote
  • Integrated streaming apps (Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, ESPN+, Netflix, Paramount+, Spotify, X1 Sports App, YouTube, and more
  • Multiroom capabilities
  • Upgraded interface and menus

While feature-rich, the X1 doesn’t have much more to offer compared to other providers’ DVRs. But it does support more streaming apps than the DIRECTV Genie and DISH Hopper 3.

X1 missing features

As we mentioned, the X1 models all perform the same key functions, but there are little differences between them. Most of these are minor, but some will matter to certain users.

Swipe Left to See All →
Pace XG1v1, ARRIS and Pace XG1v3ARRIS XG1v4
  • No component video (XG1v3 models only)

  • No 4K support
  • No front-panel clock

  • No Digital Audio (Optical) connector

  • No component video

  • No composite video
  • If you’ve got an old device or TV without HDMI ports, you’ll have trouble connecting it to the X1 without component or composite video ports. Then again, you probably won’t need to do that anyway since most newer TVs have both HDMI and component video ports (and composite video is nearly dead).

    No 4K support on the XG1v1 and XG1v3 units is a bigger problem if you own (or plan to buy) a 4K TV. You’ll be fine with the XG1v4 but, again, you aren’t guaranteed a particular model.

    X1 ports

    • Cable In
    • Cable Out
    • L/R Audio Out (RCA)
    • Digital Audio Out (Optical)
    • Composite Video (RCA)*
    • HDMI In
    • HDMI Out
    • Ethernet
    • e-SATA (external hard drive)
    • USB
    • Power

    * XG1v1 and XG1v3 only.

    Pro tip: Connecting your DVR with an HDMI port is easy, but if you have an older TV that doesn’t have HDMI, setup can be a bit more complicated. To troubleshoot these issues or find a port that could work for an older TV, check out our TV port guide.

    Xfinity X1 voice remote

    Xfinity offers its voice remotes in two models: the XR11 and XR15. They’re a bit different in layout and style, but they do the same things. Here are a few of the key features:

    • Voice control
    • Backlit keypad
    • 5-minute skip for live TV or DVR recording
    • 10-minute skip for Xfinity On Demand
    • Aim Anywhere function
    • Automatic pairing
    • Easy-to-use accessibility features (closed captioning, video description, voice guidance)

    You can see the snazzy voice remote in action here:

    Xfinity X1 TV remote app

    If you download the app for iOS or Android devices, you can navigate your X1 menu on your phone and use it to control your TV system. Like the remote itself, the smartphone app can also recognize voice commands.

    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.

    User interface

    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.

    Finding a show or movie

    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).

    • Amazon Prime Video
    • Disney+
    • ESPN+
    • HBO Max
    • iHeartRadio
    • Netflix
    • Pandora
    • Paramount+
    • Peacock
    • Spotify
    • YouTube

    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.

    Recording TV

    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.

    Software updates

    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.

    Xfinity X1 mobile apps

    Xfinity offers eight mobile apps, two of which are directly related to the X1.

    Xfinity Stream

    Available on Android, Amazon, and iOS devices—and currently in beta for select LG and Samsung smart TVs—the Xfinity Stream app lets you watch live TV and Xfinity On Demand on your device. X1 customers can even download, stream, set, and manage X1 Cloud DVR recordings from this app.

    Xfinity TV Remote

    This one’s available for Android and iOS devices, but not Amazon’s. It allows you to turn your smartphone into a voice-remote control—which is handy when you’re too lazy (or grossed out) to root around in your couch cushions.

    X1 apps

    The X1 supports 100+ free apps and 90+ subscription apps to really round out your viewing experience. Fittingly, many of these are entertainment apps (film, music, and TV)—but there are also dozens of fitness, food, gaming, home and garden, kids, and travel applications.

    Related articles

    For more information on Xfinity and other TV providers, see these CableTV.com guides and reviews:

    Final take

    The X1 is an agile DVR, and while the seamless integration is exciting, the lack of storage is a real issue. But even if competitors have more storage and simultaneous recordings, the X1 still gets the job done.

    If you want to know more about other TV options, enter your zip code below to find your local providers.

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    For more reviews on DVRs and TV equipment, visit our equipment review section.

    Xfinity X1 FAQ

    Is Xfinity X1 any good?

    The Xfinity X1 is a good DVR, but it doesn’t have as much storage or as many tuners as other providers’ DVRs. It’s also expensive at $24.95 a month for 150 hours of HD cloud storage and six tuners. DIRECTV and DISH have better, cheaper DVR service.

    What is the difference between Xfinity Flex and Xfinity X1?

    Xfinity Flex is a free streaming device and service available to Xfinity internet-only customers. Flex gathers live and on-demand streaming apps (both free and paid), all in one place, along with thousands of on-demand movies and shows. It also includes Xfinity’s sweet XR15 voice remote.

    Xfinity X1 is Xfinity’s TV box and DVR, which you get with Xfinity cable TV service ($49.99–$89.49 a month). It includes an even larger library of on-demand titles and supports hundreds of free and paid apps.

    Does Xfinity X1 cost more?

    The Xfinity X1 DVR does have an additional monthly fee depending on the type of set-top box you choose at sign-up.

    • Xfinity X1 TV box: $5.00/mo.
    • Xfinity X1 HD TV box: $5.00/mo.
    • Xfinity X1 DVR service: $15.00/mo. (includes HD TV box)
    • Additional boxes (either type): $9.95/mo. each
    • HD fee: $9.95/mo.

    If you choose a non-HD TV box, you’ll pay $5.00 a month. If you choose an HD box, you’ll pay $14.95 a month (box rental fee + HD fee). For an X1 box with Cloud DVR service, you’ll pay $24.95 per month ($15.00 for the box and DVR service, plus the $9.95 HD fee).

    For more on Xfinity fees, read our guide to the Hidden Costs of Xfinity.

    What is the advantage of Xfinity X1?

    Xfinity’s biggest advantage is centralizing your cable TV service, DVR recordings, and streaming TV apps in one spot.

    What does X1 mean?

    X1 is mainly a name for Xfinity’s cable box and DVR, which combines regular DVR functionality with integrated, internet-based streaming apps. But Xfinity also uses X1 to describe its entire TV platform (the actual TV service and the TV box/DVR).

    How does the X1 platform work?

    Xfinity’s X1 platform works like any other cable TV service, except for one key difference: it uses cloud DVR instead of a hard drive, so you’ll need an internet connection in order to stream your recordings.

    ENDNOTE

    1. Xfinity.com, “X1 TV Box Comparison – DVR vs. Non-DVR.” Accessed April 20, 2021.