Picture of the Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR, Installed and Operating

Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR Service Review

We got a Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR installed in order to use their  talking TV guide features.  Well, this digital video recorder (DVR) in now near-fully accessible to blind and vision impaired users.  We like this the most out of all its many of TV viewing features.

But besides the talking guide, the X1 DVR is state-of-the-art in terms of time-shift TV watching.  It allows recording of up to four shows at the same time while you watch a fifth.

Picture of the Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR, Installed and Operating
Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR, installed and operating.

Benefits, Pros, Features, and Advantages of the Xfinity X1 DVR

Onscreen Program Guide

All TV stations in the user’s current subscription package are listed onscreen. They display in a grid, that also shows the current program for each station.  YOu can also see the upcoming shows too.

Extensive Help Pages

Also, detailed help and how-to info you can pull up on your screen.

Great Video and Sound

Since DVRs record audio and video in digital format, and since this unit has top-of-the-line D to A converters, you won’t be able to tell whether you’re watching a live or recorded show.

The Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR Service Features In- and Out-of-Home Program Streaming

Supports streaming of recorded and live shows to your mobile devices through your home network as well from anywhere on the internet.  Xfinity apps tor streaming from this DVR with your phones and iPads are available.

External Switching Power Adapter

Powered by a 12-volt, 3-amp power adapter, with positive tip plug.

Front Panel Indicators

As shown above, moving from left to right across the front, we find the following.

  • A bright clock.
  • Remote lamp (lights up when the DVR gets commands from a remote control).
  • Data.
  • Record (lights when the DVR is recording a program).
  • Power button at the far right (lights up as a bright blue ring when the DVR is powered up).

Usually you want to leave the DVR on at all times, so it doesn’t miss recording any scheduled programs.

Back Panel Ports on the Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR

  • Cable in and out to TV F connectors.
  • NTSC video output.
  • HDMI out to TV.
  • Two HDMI inputs.
  • Optical digital audio output.
  • Two USB ports.
  • Ethernet RJ45 port.
  • A single eSATA port.
  • M-card port.
  • Power connector.

Full-Featured Remote Control

The Xfinity remote is the “cockpit” on the X1 DVR.  You need it to work almost all DVR functions like the following.

  • TV tuning.
  • Program recording.
  • Pausing.
  • Fast advancing and rewinding.
  • Deleting recorded shows.

Don’t lose this, make sure you have plenty of double A (AA) batteries around for it.  Plus, we suggest getting one or two spare remotes just in case you our your kids misplace one.  See our   Comcast Xfinity XR2 U2 Remote Review   for more details about remotes for this DVR.

Record up to Four Programs at the Same Time

This DVR can record content from up to four channels all at once. It also allows watching a fifth channel on your TV.

Supports the Talking TV Guide

See our   Comcast Accessible Talking TV Guide Review   post for our tests of this first-of-its-kind service.

Subscription Cable Provider Service

DVRs are often tightly coupled to their cable providers.  So you can’t simply plug a Comcast DVR into an Atlantic Broadband cable outlet and expect it to work. This DVR comes as part of Comcast’s X1 DVR entertainment packages.

The Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR Runs the X1 Entertainment Operating System

Updates by itself without user assistance. This reduce the time for new features to reach the DVR as they come out.

Advanced Program Search Feature

Advanced yes, but simple to use also.  You can ask for a listing, for example, of all programs currently airing, that feature the words, “love you,” in their titles.  Or, ask for all current and future shows in the guide, that star Barbara Eden.  Then choose to watch, record, or schedule a future recording of one or more of these shows.  Also, search through programs recorded on your DVR.  Handy that you can do all these actions from one place.  The remote.

Records Top 100 TV Shows Automatically

You can then watch these at your leisure.  Further, these shows only use free space on your DVR.   The DVR deletes some of them them as it needs space for shows that you’ve specifically scheduled.  This is a way to better utilize DVR free hard drive space, without losing it.

External Storage Option that Increases DVR Recording Time

Accepts certain eSATA external storage options (hard or solid state drives).  The built in storage can save up to 60 hours of HD shows and 300 hours of SD (standard definition) content.

Restore Previously Deleted Shows

If you decide after deleting a program that you’d like to keep it after all, you can undelete it.  Nice feature when many folks share the same DVR.

Automatic Deletion of Old Programs

Can be set to delete previously watched programs, or old programs that haven’t yet been watched.  This also frees up hard drive space for new recordings.

Picture of the back of the Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR.
Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR, rear view.

Cons, Disadvantages, Limitations, and Problems of the Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR

Installation and Ongoing Subscription Fees

We paid $49.99 to have our Xfinity DVR installed in November, 2014.  We also pay a monthly DVR service subscription fee of $10.

Sometimes Slow Control Response

Normally, the DVR responds right away to button presses from the XR2 remote.  But sometimes, response is several seconds slower.  A more consistent response time would be great.

No Audible Progress Measures During Fast Forward and Rewind

When using the rewind (<<) and fast forward (>>) buttons to quickly move through a program you’re watching, this DVR completely mutes the audio.  So you can only SEE where you are in the show during these operations, but not HEAR where you are.  This is a big problem for vision-impaired and blind users, who must guess how long to hold down the button to skip past the commercials.

We suggest that, as is done with many eBook reading machines, that future DVR releases support fast forward and rewind audio for the blind.  Or, when the talking guide is enabled, that percentage-complete announcements be made while fast advancing or fast reviewing through shows.

Picture of the front of the Comcast Xfinity XR2 Version U2 Remote Control.
Comcast Xfinity XR2 Version U2 Remote Control, Front View

Our Rating for the Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR and Service

The X1 Xfinity DVR is much like units from Tivo, Scientific Atlanta, et al, in terms of number of key DVR features, the I/O ports offered, and overall satisfactory performance.   Of course though, the DVR itself is only as good as the cable system that supports it.  And, based on our experience so far, the Comcast cable TV system really make this DVR shine.  It’s a winner.  So we’d rate the DVR and X1 Xfinity service at 92 out of 100, because once you’ve tried a DVR, you’ll probably never want to see a VCR again.

Related Posts to Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR Service

    1. Comcast Accessible Talking TV Guide Review
    2. Xfinity Remote Reset XR2 U2 Instructions
    3. Comcast Universal Remote Control ENT-EXPL-3005 Review, Setup, and Programming Help
    4. Philips Universal Remote SRP5107 Review
    5. Tivo Roamio T6 DVR Review, Atlantic Broadband

References for the Comcast Xfinity X1 DVR

    1. Comcast Xfinity   Customer Web Site
    2. X1 DVR Service   Overview
    3. X1 Xfinity Support   Web Page

Revision History

    • 2019-03-22: Added subheadings, keyword targeting, and tags.
    • 2015-12-16: Added more appropriate tags.
    • 2015-10-06: Added appropriate tags.
    • 2015-09-07: Updated tags.
    • 2015-01-21: Added disadvantage that you can’t hear what’s going on, on the screen, during fast forward and fast reverse functions.
    • 2015-01-13: Initial publication.

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