Comcast’s new X4 set-top box will finally deliver 4K content to whatever 4K TV you’ve got—bringing a key piece of the UltraHD future to a huge chunk of the market.
Comcast has been experimenting with 4K delivery since late last year when it launched Xfinity in UHD. The product delivered a smattering of 4K content via an app n Samsung UHD TVs. Now that content will be delivered through Comcast’s X1 TV platform.
X1 is Comcast’s “entertainment operating system” for Comcast’s TV/Internet packages. That’s a mouthful, but it basically means that the content will be viewable through the standard Comcast TV interface. Comcast also says it’ll be making hundreds of new titles available in 4K.
Over the last few years, 4K televisions have proliferated and come down in price, but one key missing piece of the puzzle has been content. There is no point in having a a TV with four times the resolution of a regular 1080p set if you don’t have content that you can watch on it.
Manufacturers and content providers have slowly been developing their products for HD. Primarily, this has been done through apps like Netflix, which are enabled for 4K on certain TVs. Additionally, TVs employ upscaling technology that turns HD content into UHD content—these’ll be necessary for a long time, and possibly forever.
Effectively, Comcast’s new STB is the first universal solution for 4K delivery. You need one standard box that works with every TV, regardless the manufacturer, and as the largest pay TV operator in the country, Comcast is in a unique position to build one. We’re still a long way from watching live TV in 4K, but hey, we’re making progress.