If you're a Comcast X1 customer in one of a lucky few markets, you can now stream and download DVR recordings from anywhere — even when away from home. Today the company announced the launch of live in-home streaming and its "X1 DVR with Cloud Technology" in the San Francisco Bay Area and Houston markets. Prior to today, those two features were available in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and DC. Comcast says it's aiming to offer them to "most" of its X1 customers by year's end. But the ability to pull down your DVR recordings from anywhere (even saving them for offline playback) is new, and a pretty pro-consumer feature from a company that's still taking plenty of knocks from the public in it mission to scoop up fellow service provider Time Warner Cable.
There are limits to what you can do, though. Variety reports that only one device can stream or download your DVR content at a time. That restriction is likely designed to keep content owners at bay. Some of them remain averse to seeing the DVR move away from local hard drives to the cloud, so a one-device-at-a-time policy could help assuage any piracy or unauthorized viewing paranoia. Comcast isn't yet ready to bid farewell to the set-top box, but things are trending that way; it's already made the cloud a huge aspect of its services with X1, and select college students can already watch TV without a DVR in their dorm room. To watch recordings and live programming from your smartphone or tablet, you'll need the Xfinity TV app from Google Play or the App Store.