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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Comcast Xfinity app controls TV; now available in Houston

For years I've heard about cable customers using apps to control their TV viewing. The most I've been able to do is download the Comcast Xfinity app and see what was on the guide.

As of last week however, the Xfinity TV Remote app is available in Houston with the capability of giving viewers control over their cable boxes. The company tells me customers will be able to change TV channels, search for something to watch on TV/On Demand/online/mobile/computer/tablet. Whoa, say that five times fast.

Here are some more features from the company's stash:
- Browse up to 2 weeks in TV Listings or jump right to a channel or day to find the TV show they want to watch
- Set up favorite channels to personalize their grid
- Browse the thousands of titles available Xfinity On Demand, or filter to narrow the selection
- View all or filter what's available to watch on their device right now in Play Now
- Search for a specific title
- Select a program to watch or record. Use their mobile device or computer like a remote to control their TV or to watch their show right on a device.
- Choose a program from the TV Listings and change the channel from their mobile device or PC
- Play a program right on their iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android device
- Schedule a DVR recording for a program or series from a PC or mobile device – anytime, anywhere.

I just assumed the viewer would have to get a new cable box, but the company rep said not necessarily. Here is a list of boxes that work with the new app:

Digital Transport Adapters (DTA)
SA 2000
SA 2010
SA 3100HD
SA 8000
SA 8000HD
SA 8300
Motorola DCT 1000
Motorola DCT 1200
Motorola DCT 1700
Pace 510
Pace 511
Pace 550
Pace 551
Panasonic set top boxes
Samsung set top boxes

My box is a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD so it doesn't look like it is on the list, although there is an 8300 without an HD component listed. An 8000 and 8000HD are both listed so that's why I'm assuming mine will not work. A Comcast rep says my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD will work!

So if you got the box with the right juice, you then need to download the app (Android/IOS) and go through the setup. Here are instructions for that part.

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