Cox moves along with white-label X1 rollout

After conducting trials in San Diego of a white-label version of Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) X1 video platform, Cox Communications said it is now offering the product to all customers in that Southern California market.

The licensed deployment of X1 is notable for installers, who are watching a number of other pay-TV operators adopt video technologies that limit installation labor.

"We don't get into the specifics but we train our techs via various techniques and tools as part of all our new product or product enhancement rollouts," said Cox spokesman Todd Smith, when asked by FierceInstaller about Cox's installation plan for the white-label X1 service, which the company calls "Contour."

"For example, in the last two years we've launched Homelife [security and home automation] in all markets and are in the process of analog to digital transition," Smith added.

The installation of X1 is labor intensive. Comcast has worked to bring its deployment rate to 40,000 set-tops a day. But more than three years after it first brought its cloud-based X1 platform to market, the MSO has only deployed the platform to roughly half its footprint. 

X1 uses advanced set-tops based around the Reference Design Kit (RDK), a software stack developed and managed by Comcast, Liberty Global and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC). 

Cox's Contour will offer a six-tuner HD DVR with 2 terabytes of storage capacity. It remains unclear as to whether Cox will add cloud DVR capabilities, which are part of Comcast's X1 offering. Cox is offering a backlit RF remote control, with the same voice-command technology found in Comcast's X1 service. 

Employees and "select customers" in San Diego, as well as in and around Cox's Atlanta headquarters, had been trailing the Contour service, which also includes an extensive VOD catalog of 35,000 titles, as well as X1's proprietary X1 search and recommendation engine.

Canada's Shaw Communications has also conducted white-label X1 tests, and is in the process of ordering RDK-based set-tops from Arris. 

"We are always looking for ways to expand and enhance our video experience for our customers," said Steve Necessary, VP of product development and management. "After extensive testing of the X1 platform, we are confident that the new technology will take Contour to the next level, evolving the experience across multiple screens and devices inside the home."  

For more:
- read this Cox press release

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