Comcast television subscribers can now enjoy YouTube in ultra-high definition: The Google-owned video service is now serving up 4K videos on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 set-top boxes, the cable company announced Monday.
X1 owners who also happen to have a X1 voice remote can get access to a curated selection of 4K content by asking the set-top for “4K videos on YouTube.” They obviously also need a 4K-capable TV set to truly enjoy those videos.
Comcast first brought a YouTube app to its platform in 2017. Since then, YouTube has become one of the most popular voice search requests on the X1, the company said Monday.
Adding 4K content to the X1 YouTube app may seem like a minor feature update, but it’s notable for 2 reasons: First, cable companies used to resist serving up over-the-top video content on their set-top boxes, for the fear of devaluing paid TV networks. But over time, most of them realized that customers who bought streaming devices to fill the gap were more prone to cut the cord altogether.
What’s more, broadcast and cable networks have been slow to adopt 4K. This means that online services like YouTube have quickly become the biggest source of 4K videos on cable boxes. In addition to YouTube, Comcast’s X1 is also streaming movies and TV shows in 4K resolution from Netflix and Amazon.