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Comcast launches XiOne streamer for Sky Q customers – but there’s a catch

Comcast – owner of British broadcast company Sky – announced the launch of the XiOne streaming device that’s being made available to Sky Q customers, but there’s a little more to the announcement than that.

That’s because UK-based customers won’t be getting access to the XiOne. Instead, it’s being made available to Sky Q customers in Germany and Italy, as well as beginning its rollout in the United States to Comcast’s Xfinity Flex customers.

For the Sky customers in Europe with access to the XiOne, it’s the first Sky device to deliver video services solely over IP, and the first Comcast streaming device that’s been made available across all its global customers. Normally, the Sky Q service has required the installation of a dish to receive the signal.

Designed as a plug-and-play device, Comcast claims the XiOne features “faster processing and increased memory” for swift switching and navigation between apps. That navigation can be done via a simple and small voice remote that’s designed with streamers in mind.

It supports the latest Wi-Fi standard in WiFi 6, as well as boasting a 4K resolution with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound part of the device’s specification, too.

“When Sky joined the Comcast family, we brought together our engineers to share insights, roadmaps, talent, and technology to support our global customers. The launch of our new XiOne device is a direct result of these efforts and underscores how our collaborative development approach can bring new and innovative streaming products to markets faster and more efficiently,” said Charlie Herrin, President of Technology for Comcast.

There’s been much recent speculation over what direction Sky UK is going to head in. There’s a reveal pencilled in for October 7th (product, software, content? we’re not sure), and some have suggested that Sky is set to get rid of dishes altogether or that it’s about to announce its own, physical, Sky TV set.

We’ll find out soon enough what Sky has in store. Though given the announcement of the XiOne, it’s unlikely Sky’s event will cover the same ground. The 7th October can’t come soon enough.

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