How to Use an iPhone to Control a Comcast Box
By Aaron Parson
Comcast's Xfinity TV Remote app connects to your Xfinity TV account to provide TV listings and on demand programming directly to your iPhone. If you're in front of your TV while using the app, you can use it in place of your regular cable box remote control. DVR subscribers can also schedule recordings without even turning the TV on.
Setting Up Your iPhone
To start, download the Xfinity TV Remote from the App Store on your iPhone or through iTunes on your computer. Launch the app and log in with your Comcast account -- use the same login information you use to pay your bill online or access your Comcast email address. Turn on your cable box and select it from the list displayed on the phone to assign it a name. If you have more than one cable box, tap each one to display a message on the connected television and help you identify it. Name all your boxes and press "Continue." Pick "Comcast Recommended lineup" to automatically detect your local listings. Tap "Finish" to start using the app.
If you set up more than one cable box, open "Settings" and pick the box you want to control. Switch to the TV Listings tab and scroll through the channels by swiping up and down. Swipe horizontally to change the time of day. Select an airing program and tap "Watch on TV" to display the show on your TV. You can also tap on a station's number in the left column to switch to that channel. Press "Previous Channels" to see a selectable list of recently viewed channels.
Programming Your DVR
If you have a DVR on your account, the Xfinity TV Remote app will activate DVR Manager when you set up your cable boxes. When you select any program in the TV Listings tab, you will see an additional button to set the program to record. If you have more than one DVR in your house, an additional screen will appear asking you to select a DVR. As with your regular DVR remote, you can also set series recordings and cancel recordings by selecting the program to modify.
Requirements and Troubleshooting
The Xfinity TV Remote app works only on the iPhone 3GS and newer models. Not all cable boxes support the app, and the app will not work with any digital transport adapters used in place of full cable boxes. If your cable box does not show up, check its compatibility with the app and make sure the box is turned on. The app requires an Internet connection, either Wi-Fi or through your cellular network.
Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.