Comcast wants to take on the likes of Roku, Fire TV, and Android TV with its XClass TV platform. But what does it offer, and how can you get it? Here’s everything you need to know about XClass TV.
Another Smart TV Platform
XClass TV is a smart TV platform developed by Comcast, the telecommunication conglomerate behind Xfinity, Sky, and NBCUniversal. It’s built upon the company’s X1 operating system that already powers the Xfinity Flex streaming box and the Xfinity X1. As a result, it offers all the bells and whistles that one expects from a smart TV platform.
Like many other smart TV platforms on the market, it makes it easy to reach the content you love and enjoy. A key part of the platform is “Launchpad.” It’s the top bar on the platform’s home screen, and it shows the most recent things a consumer is watching. It can be a show on Netflix or a channel on the connected digital antenna or a device connected to an HDMI input.
It also comes with universal search that looks through all your apps and services to find what you want. Moreover, the search filters the results you can access for free, making it easier to find free content.
Voice control is also possible on the XClass TV, and all the televisions running on the platform come with a remote that has a microphone and a voice button to speak what you need. But it doesn’t use Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri. Instead, the company is using proprietary voice technology.
Among other features, you get parental controls, the ability to add content to your list, XClass TV remote app, and more.
Which Apps are Available on XClass TV?
Apps are a vital part of any platform. They can make or break it. Fortunately, XClass TV has a decent number of apps, but it falls short compared to Android TV or Amazon Fire TV platforms.
Still, you get access to popular streaming services, like Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, and YouTube. As of late 2021, some popular services like Apple TV+ and Starz are missing, but these apps are expected to become available in the first quarter of 2022.
If you are a cord-cutter, you’ll be happy to know that the platform also supports YouTube TV, Sling, Hulu + Live TV, and other live TV streaming platforms.
Interestingly, the apps on the XClass TV platform are not native. Instead, they are dynamically pulled from the cloud, like a web app. So the platform doesn’t come with an app store, and you can just search for any available app, and it’ll launch without being installed. You can find the complete list of available apps on the XClass TV website.
Do You Need to Be on Comcast to Get an XClass TV?
Unlike Comcast’s Xfinity Flex device that is exclusive to the company’s broadband users, televisions running on the XClass TV are available to everyone. They can even be purchased in the markets where Comcast isn’t present. Additionally, you don’t need to be a part of the Comcast ecosystem to use these televisions. That said, you still require a free XClass TV account to use the platform effectively.
How to Get an XClass TV?
Being a new platform, XClass TV is currently available only on a single television—the Hisense A6GX—in the US. You can buy it from Walmart.com and select Walmart stores in 43-inch and 50-inch sizes. However, it’s a good idea to wait for some time to get more televisions with the XClass TV platform to reach the market so that you have some choice while picking a new TV. Television manufacturers are likely to bring new XClass TV models in 2022.
XClass TV Alternatives
Like any new platform, Comcast’s XClass TV will have some growing pains, like missing apps or a limited selection of hardware. But if you don’t want to deal with these growing pains or the platform just doesn’t excite you, there are several other smart TV options that you can use.
Roku, Fire TV, and Android TV are three major smart TV platforms that are available on televisions from Sony, TCL, Hisense, and more. You can also get streaming devices using these platforms that you can plug into any TV with an HDMI port.
Other TV makers like LG, Samsung, and Vizio use their own smart TV platforms. So overall, there is plenty of choice in the market.
The Best Streaming Devices of 2021
Best Streaming Device Overall
Roku Streaming Stick 4K (2021)
Best Budget Streaming Device
Fire TV Stick Lite (2020)
Best Roku Streaming Device