Comcast is ushering YouTube onto the boob tube.
The two companies said Monday that later this year Comcast will incorporate Google's massive video service onto X1, the cable company's high-tech pay-TV service, used by about half of its customers.
The new partnership means YouTube's clips and streams will be available and searchable on Comcast X1 like a regular channel or show.
The move comes after Comcast opened its gates to Netflix last year, a coup for the digital subscription streaming service following years of tension with traditional pay-TV companies. Netflix and YouTube, as the two biggest online video companies of their kind, have long been poster children for cord-cutting, the trend of people forsaking pay-TV like Comcast for digital alternatives instead.
Comcast adding YouTube means that the biggest cable company in the US is widening its gates to include a service that delivers top-notch premium clips alongside user-generated uploads by virtually anybody.
X1 users will be able to flip to any video on YouTube seamlessly from the same interface where they pick from selections of live TV, video on demand or remote DVRs. They'll get search results for items on YouTube if the same content is on regular channels too, like live streams of big events.
The service's voice-command button on its remote will work with YouTube, so customers can simply tell their TV to turn on their favorite music video, late-night talk show highlight or anything else on YouTube.
Integrating YouTube that deeply into X1 eliminates the extra hoops to jump through of watching YouTube on your TV through a streaming box like Apple TV or Roku.
"We are excited to partner with Google to bring YouTube to X1 and provide our customers easier access to all the content they love in one place," said Sam Schwartz, Comcast Cable's chief business development officer.
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