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Comcast Launches New ‘XClass’ Smart TV System, Being Sold At Walmart

Michael King

Comcast has announced the launch of its XClass TV, a new smart TV model being marketed direct to consumers in the U.S. The new smart TV will allow consumers to have access to Comcast’s digital platform without an Xfinity subscription, both inside and outside of Comcast’s service areas.

Comcast partnered with Hisense on the XClass TV, allowing the system to include Hisense’s television hardware and Comcast’s XClass TV operating system. The new smart TVs are available this week at selected Walmart stores, and in the coming weeks through Walmart.com.

The XClass TV has been designed on the same global technology platform that drives Comcast’s other advanced products in the US and around the world, including Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex, as well as Sky Q, and the recently introduced Sky Glass smart TV.

The platform includes the integration of streaming, on-demand, broadcast, and cable options in a single system, along with unified voice search, discovery, apps, and interactive features.

“We’re thrilled to bring our award-winning entertainment experience to smart TVs nationwide and for the first time offer consumers inside and outside our service areas a simple way to navigate their live and on-demand content, whether streaming or cable,” said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast.  “Hisense XClass TVs are the next products in a growing portfolio built on our flexible and scalable technology platform, bringing the best innovative products - whether that’s a streaming box or a smart TV - to each territory and customer segment.”

Hisense XClass TVs are available in 43” and 50” 4K Ultra HD models. The XClass TV models include Dolby Vision HDR, which delivers a more vivid, lifelike image. Hisense XClass TVs also support HDR10 and can enable the pass-through of Dolby Atmos from compatible content sources when the TV is connected to a compatible audio device.

Simple search and discovery tools get users to the content they want to watch, regardless of what app or service it resides in, with just a click or a voice command. The system includes a personalizable playlist capability with the My List feature. Additionally, the system allows access to recently viewed apps, services, content, HDMI inputs, and over-the-air channels from the home screen, allowing viewers to navigate across the platform.

XClass TV offers access to hundreds of streaming apps and services, options for streaming live sports, shows, and news from a number of pay-TV providers, and access to tens of thousands of free movies and TV shows from ad-supported services. In addition, Peacock Premium is included for one year at no additional cost for customers purchasing an XClass TV.

In the coming months, streaming apps from Xfinity and Charter will launch on XClass TV, joining the multichannel streaming services already available on the platform including Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, and Sling TV, giving consumers more options to stream live sports, shows, and news directly on the TV.

The launch follows Comcast’s recent introductions of Sky Glass, a new streaming TV now available in the UK, and XiOne, a new global streaming box, which are built on Comcast’s global technology platform.  Comcast’s connectivity products and services are syndicated to companies throughout North America, including Cox, Rogers, Shaw, Videotron. Additionally, Sky Glass TV will be syndicated with Foxtel in Australia.

XClass TV and Sky Glass are meant to exist alongside each other, according to company officials.

“XClass TV and Sky Glass are both powered by the same underlying technology platform, but hardware is different,” a Comcast spokesperson told The Streamable on Tuesday. “We’re partnering with OEMs (the first one is Hisense), and Sky has manufactured its own hardware.”

The two platforms were intentionally designed as completely separate and distinct offerings, based on market conditions in the United States and Europe. Sky Glass integrates hardware, software, and content and includes a Sky subscription. Comparatively, XClass TV is being sold inside and outside of Comcast’s footprint across the nation, and does not require a subscription.

Consumers can find additional information about the Comcast XClass TV at www.xclasstv.com.

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