Comcast says HDR-capable Xi5 still in employee trials, won't hit market in time for Olympics

Comcast X1
The Xi5 is the smaller, less-capable cousin of Comcast's X1.

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is still conducting employee trials of its HDR-capable Xi5 set-top and the box won't be ready for wide deployment before the Summer Olympic Games, the MSO confirmed. 

Comcast reps told FierceCable at the INTX Show in May that they expected the device to be deployed into some X1 platform-equipped homes in time for the Rio Games, which start Friday.

Earlier, Multichannel News reported that the device is set for deployment "later this year."

The Xi5 is a next-generation set-top for Comcast's cloud-based X1 video platform. It's a diminutive IP client device, supporting High Dynamic Range (HDR), but not 4K/UltraHD. It contains no hard drive.

At INTX, Comcast reps said they were considering the possibility of selling the Xi5 at retail through outlets including the Xfinity Stores. 

Comcast has billed NBCUniversal's broadcast of the Summer Games as a coming out event for X1, and plans to distribute 83 hours of delayed coverage of the event in 4K and High Dynamic Range.

Last week, satellite platforms DirecTV (NYSE: T) and Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) revealed plans to show this on-demand 4K programming to their own customers. 

Comcast said the Xi6 — which is capable of both 4K and HDR — will roll out within 12 months of the Xi5's deployment. 

For more:
- read this Multichannel News story

Related articles:
Amazon Video debuts HDR slate of original series, movies
Comcast mulls selling HDR-capable Xi5 at retail
Comcast opens 4K Olympics coverage to Dish and DirecTV