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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Comcast Announces new Xfinity remote with voice control

From the press release:
Comcast today announced the consumer launch of its new remote control that allows customers to navigate tens of thousands of shows and movies on the X1 platform with their voice. The new Xfinity remote with voice control lets viewers search for networks, shows and movies; set DVR recordings; get recommendations; navigate Xfinity On Demand and more.

"Say it and see it. It’s that simple," said Sree Kotay, Comcast Cable’s Chief Software Architect. "We want viewers to get to the shows and movies they love quickly, and we’ve built a remote control that’s smart, fast and intuitive. You don’t have to learn a new language or speak like a robot. Just press the blue button, say what you want to watch and it appears on screen. It’s easy, just like watching TV should be."
I received this remote for review and have had it for a while now, and it's slick.

Now that I can talk to the remote like I can talk to my iPhone, it's a lot easier to do things. The only buttons I now use on my remote are the POWER, VOLUME, and CHANNEL buttons, and a few times the NUMERIC buttons.


Here are some photos I took to compare the old remote and the new one:

View full size photos Xfinity remote with voice control on Flickr.


The voice commands are surprisingly well understood. It's so good that I wanted to start asking the Xfinity remote Siri type questions.

The Xfinity Remote with voice control recognizes thousands of common commands including things like:

Changing the channel: "Watch ESPN"

Searching for movies or shows: "The Walking Dead"

Browsing Xfinity On Demand: "Show me kids movies"

Setting a recording: "Record Saturday Night Live"

Finding sports teams, games and events: "When do the Red Sox play?"


Again, from the press release, this is good stuff:
...the remote records sound from a microphone when the Mic button is held down and then uses voice-over-RF4CE™ ZigBee® technology to compress and transmit that recording over a low bandwidth link to the X1 platform



You can walk into a Comcast office to get an Xfinity remote with voice control if you have an X1 Entertainment Operating System with DVR service, or you can get one shipped to you and just pay shipping.

Certain restrictions apply. Subject to availability, and restricted to customers with X1 Entertainment Operating System with DVR service. Limited to one per household. Standard Shipping and Handling of $5.95 per order. One-time charge of $5.95 will appear on your bill statement within 1-2 billing cycles. Order will be shipped UPS and arrive within 3-5 business days.

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