Comcast to Stream YouTube on X1 Boxes

Arriving across the US later this year, the YouTube app will offer more than a simple third-party "click and launch" interface - the Google-owned video service will be integrated into the very fabric of the Xfinity platform.

Voice commands will also work for YouTube, allowing users to launch the app and search for specific shows, artists, and personalities.

Comcast's effort to make peace with Internet video services continues this morning with the announcement that Xfinity X1 customers will be able to watch YouTube sometime later this year.

Youtube will be free to Comcast subscribers with the X1 set-top boxes but they will have to subscribe to both Xfinity TV and Xfinity Internet, a double play.

Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts is expected to speak about YouTube on Xfinity later Monday at a West Coast investors conference.

The integration with YouTube could open up access to the OTT service for cable operators that are licensing/syndicating YouTube, including Cox Communications and two Canadian MVPDs - Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications.

Or search millions of user-generated videos like dinner recipes and workout routines by saying, "YouTube, show me chicken recipes", or "Find yoga videos on YouTube".

Comcast gave only a vague timeline as to when the integration of YouTube will be deployed across the 50% of its video footprint that now has X1-the deployment will happen "later this year", the operator said. "By integrating YouTube into the X1 experience, viewers can simply and effortlessly access videos on any topic, from cooking, to beauty and fitness with just their voice". Current X1 and YouTube customers will also have the ability to sign in when accessing YouTube on X1 and readily access their personalized settings and subscriptions.

The cable company is eager to show customers that they can stay on X1 and access Internet services - instead of switching to a smart device such as Google's Chromecast or Roku. "And by simply using their voice, users can now access diverse videos that creators make every single day".

  • Arturo Norris