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Aug. 30, 2013 8:30 am

Comcast’s new X1 platform was built completely in the region

Rolled out in Philly earlier this year, the new platform offers a sleeker user interface (no more of the ubiquitous, blue TV guide) with TV and movie details from Rotten Tomatoes, weather, social and sports apps and a radio-based remote that you don't have to aim at the cable box when you're using it, meaning you can put the cable box anywhere.

Comcast's Chief Software Architect Sree Kotay and X1. Photo by Ed Hille for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Full Disclosure: Comcast was a sponsor of Philly Tech Week 2013, which is organized by Technical.ly Philly.

If Comcast‘s XI platform, the cable giant’s new TV platform and first major foray into consumer technology, is truly “the future of television,” as the company puts it, you’ll be proud to know it was built completely by local developers.

Rolled out in Philly earlier this year, the new platform offers a sleeker user interface (no more of the ubiquitous, blue TV guide) with TV and movie details from Rotten Tomatoes, weather, social and sports apps and a radio-based remote that you don’t have to aim at the cable box when you’re using it, meaning you can put the cable box anywhere.

X1 is Comcast’s effort to become a tech industry leader, on top of its role as a media giant, said Chief Software Architect Sree Kotay, who led X1′s development team. Kotay was previously AOL‘s Senior Vice President of Technology.

The X1 team started out as group of 100 developers, which Kotay transferred from Center City to Radnor three years ago, when the company began working on the underlying technology and vision for X1.

Since then, the team has moved back to Center City and has more than doubled to 250 developers. About 60 percent of them still work in Center City, according to a spokeswoman, while the rest of the team is in Denver and Silicon Valley. But its foundation is all Philly, they boast. They’ll even add a “Made with Love in Philadelphia” tag to the next-generation X2 platform, a spokeswoman said. Users can find it on Comcast’s Xfinity TV Player apps “about” section right now.

A screenshot from the Xfinity TV Player app. (Comcast has some contractors in Nashville, hence the reference.)

The development of X1 has been beneficial for the region, Kotay said, as many of Comcast’s X1 partners — Arris, Pace, Cisco — opened up Center City offices to be closer to Comcast.

If you want X1 and you’re a Triple Play customer, you can request it from Comcast.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technically Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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