Comcastic: Having the Xfinity X1 Installed and Living to Tell About It

Categories: Tech

comcast-apollo13.jpg
If even these guys couldn't help me, Houston, I did have a problem.
I have Comcast at my house. I know, I know. It wasn't my first choice, but it was all I could have at my previous abode and I like CSN Houston. Plus, I'm a masochist.

For the most part, my Comcast service has been solid since I bought a new house and moved last summer. I don't complain too much, so maybe that's it, or maybe it is actually decent. Whatever the case, I rarely have to deal with customer support, so that's good, I guess.

Since Xfinity took over programming for Comcast's television division, there have been marked improvements in technology as well. The X1 is the latest of those changes, a significantly upgraded DVR set-top box with improved menus and an app-like interface that has received rave reviews from geeks who write about such things. It doesn't cost any more per month, but allows the recording of four shows at once and the playback of those shows on any of the satellite boxes you can scatter around your home. You can even talk into an app and it obeys you like freaking Hal, but without the attitude and the "Now, I'm going to kill you, Dave" thing.

I was on the road to a brand-new experience in TV watching that was wholly different from me parked on my ass on the sofa watching DVR'ed episodes of Game of Thrones. Now I also watch those shows from my guest bedroom! To quote The Jeffersons, "Movin' on uuup!"

This sounded like a great idea...until I had to get it installed.

According to the person who signed me up for this magical new platform, the install normally takes about three hours. Seemed reasonable enough given that the setup procedures for these boxes are so complicated; it wouldn't shock me if Gary Sinise's character from Apollo 13 showed up to help with the reboot sequence.

Comcast hires independent contractors to do installs. For the most part, this is good because it means they don't work directly for a monolithic, blood-sucking corporation. On the other hand, it's hard to know exactly what you will get when they show up. In my case, I got lucky. My installer was a nice guy and seemed to be good at his gig.

After installing a signal booster in my attic (or maybe an FBI listening device), he asked, "Where do you want your main DVR boxes and your three satellite boxes?" At the risk of over-referencing Apollo 13, "Gentlemen, I think we just had our glitch for the mission." See, I only needed two extra boxes. That really is a gluttonous number of cable boxes, but how am I supposed to enjoy watching reality shows comfortably if I can't have a damn box out by my swimming pool? What is this, the dark ages?

One call to customer service by my personal Ken Mattingly -- Sinise's character's name; try to keep up -- and all was resolved, or so I hoped.

During the install, my Internet was down. I couldn't do any work or surf porn or anything. I just had to sit there and try not to bother Ken too much while he was working. What did people do before the Internet? Read? Pfft.

The main DVR box installed, Ken was zooming along toward completion when the first satellite box wouldn't boot up properly. He called customer service -- the same number we peons call, ironically -- and spent nearly an hour trying to figure it out. Ken was frustrated. I was frustrated. The WORLD was frustrated.

Finally, the line went dead. "They hung up on me!" Ken said, startled.


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10 comments
thomasugabrown
thomasugabrown

Is this where we blog about Xfinity X1 ?  My X1 locks up every few hours.  I cannot record just a minute of a show, and save it forever; instead, I must record now just the whole entire show.  The options for stopping recording are so limited that nearly every recording cuts off the end of one show and starts at end of the show before the 1 am supposedly recording.


I have no Favorites button any longer, either.  I used to have FAV and start any station number, hit FAV and go right through my FAV.


I programmed all my FAV.  I have a double left-side button which takes me to FAV starting with channel I am on.  I press FAV and then have no option to go through the channels.  Just look at part of a name for a show, and choose amongst those.  No watch each FAV by hitting FAV and then FAV.  In addition, after a few minutes X1 defaults to NON-FAV, in other words, all channels.


Let me get this straight ?  I program all my FAV channels, and then I want to revert to DEFAULT on X1 to just EVERY BLOOMING CHANNEL ?


Huh ?


Does your X1 not lock up on you ?  You have to get up.  Unplug the power from the DVR and power again.  Wait 10 minutes for it to boot-up again.


Press Record, and it locks up.


Press any button, it just locks up.


You cannot sit there and tell me your X1 does not lock up.


Sure it does.


Miserable poorly conceived, not mature service.


I asked 350 million of us in the U.S., how many have X1 ?  600,000 Comcast advises.


Charges you $ 2.50 change of service.

Charges you $ 99 install, guy comes out disconnects all my phones, all my TV.

Calls Comcast, waits 20 minutes and they reset my box.


I can do that.


Have a self-install. Will not let me take home. And, do myself.


Cannot see the remote at night.


Call Comcast, again.


Sorry, you will NEVER get a back lit remote X1.


Excuse me ?


You wiped out all the features of my Comcast DVR and stick me with this crud service, X1 ?


I hate X1.


I send my paycheck to Comcast, every month.


Been doing that, forever.


I hate X1.


And, what's up with these bloody X1 ratings ?


You watch a movie you live for.  23 % and 39 %.


What's that ?


Where are the 2-Star, 3-Star, 4-Star ratings ?


You have no control to program the cable modem, as on all previous Comcast service.


The screens - heavy graphics, and where are the controls ?


They're not there.


Anyone who likes this, NEVER learned how to use Comcast's previous DVR and remote.


This service is horrendous.


There is no SWAP BUTTON.  Cannot watch 1 show, hit swap and watch another.  Hit swap, going back to 1st show, and hit back-up.  Before X1, I could watch 2 football games same time like this.  Never watch any commercials and never miss single second either game.


X1


X zero more apt.


When is X 2 ?

cox.alexisn
cox.alexisn

You describe my pain all so well. Watch your bill! They'll sneak in a bunch of charges. I was charged over $250 for my install. Whettttttt?

greenejns
greenejns

Just had the CC tech out to do install.  When he walked in with two different kinds of boxes, I asked what the new boxes could do that the old ones couldn't.  He explained all the perks.  Sounded great.  Then I asked the question I should have asked first:  "What can the old boxes do that new ones can't?"  AHA!!  The new X1's cannot freeze, pause or rewind live TV.  Then got this confirmed by two supervisors.  No more pausing to pee or stir the pasta.  No more pausing to listening to my kids' "Dad this is really important" stories.   Like the main post, pausing and rw are features I use much more than being able to record four shows at once or verbally ask my remote control to find that episode of Game of Thrones where Kalisa is naked or orders the dragons to attack the overlord.  So, I cancelled my "upgrade" and will be very happy with my antiquated two year old technology.  Until of course, Comcast fixes those pause and rewind glitches, then I'll be happy to join the rest of the tech nerds in speaking to my remote control.

pleased
pleased

Comcast must have messed up on my installation.  It went without a hitch and works exactly as described.  Weird.

thehomelessguy
thehomelessguy

Doing better than me. I tried to have comcast cable and internet installed at my new house. The installer showed up (an hour late) then went and looked at the utility pole in my neighbor's yard. Problem is my neighbor's don't take care of their property and have kudzu all over the ultility pole. Comcast installer claimed he couldn't get access to the pole and that it is the city's job to clean it up. City claims it is Centerpoints. Centerpoint claims it is Comcast's responsibility. Comcast claimed they would sort this out a week ago, still waiting for an answer despite numerous phone calls on my part.

jeeterbug
jeeterbug

believe the credits when you actually SEE them applied on your bill.  often times the reps tell you 1 thing on the phone but it's never relayed to the billing dept.  your story confirmed to me that I don't miss dealing w/crapcast or whatever name they want to do business under these days.  if something happens w/my uverse, I will go back to rabbit ears and the internet only for my tv viewing.  I miss the availability local sports, but from the sounds of it, I haven't missed much honestly. 

johnnyboy729
johnnyboy729

Charged me twice for a single installation.  Hours of calls later, was reimbursed.  Also, after drilling the hole in my wall for the new jack, did not clean up the mess.  Just a sloppy run business, and currently looking for a new internet-only provider if anyone has decent suggestions.

attloathe1
attloathe1

This was my experience exactly.  But isn't it fantastic once it is working?!  

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Concash strikes again, not a week goes by I don't have issues with mine, and my installation was late as well..

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