Days before Apple announces an expanded plan to sell video service subscriptions, Comcast has introduced the Flex streaming platform aimed at non-cable customers who subscribe to the company's broadband Internet to have. Flex costs $ 5 a month and comes with a set-top streaming box that includes Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, and other apps. You also receive Comcast's X1 voice broadcast as part of the service. It will be launched on March 26 for all Comcast Xfinity Internet customers across the country. CNBC originally reported that such a product came back in November.
Comcast promotes Flex to bring content from these services together in a single integrated guide where you can find something to watch and then switch to the app for viewing. "Xfinity Flex offers more than 1
You will not find Sling TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now or Hulu with live TV in the Flex. So Comcast does not use cable alternatives. There is no app store to download, whatever you want. They have the popular on-demand apps there and may be able to choose live stream content, but if you want real live TV, Xfinity seems to be the only real option.
The flex hardware box is 4K and HDR compatible. Customers can monitor their Comcast Wi-Fi network and also access smart devices such as security cameras with the Flex:
Xfinity Flex offers some of these features to Xfinity Internet customers, allowing them to easily access their entertainment and enjoy their Wi-Fi. Find Fi The Fi password lets you see which devices are connected to your network, set parental controls, and even break Wi-Fi access in your home network. You can also use voice control to access their camera feeds, turn their home security system on or off, and find their Xfinity Mobile phone – all on TV.
And yes, Comcast says Flex customers could upgrade to a full Xfinity upgrade digital cable package if they choose. You can opt for one or two flex boxes. Every streaming on Flex counts for your monthly Internet data plan.
What's the point of all this? Well, Comcast seems to be hoping that there are still consumers who do not own Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or Chromecast who do not mind paying $ 5 a month to rent the flex box – there are none Installation Fee – and that's enough for your streaming entertainment needs. You can also rent or buy movies and TV if you can not see everything with the apps you've subscribed to.
And since this integrated guide (with universal voice search) is basically just borrowed from the X1 platform, Flex for Comcast is not much work. The Company notes that it may be able to change pricing for the Flex platform or customize the part of the package. As it stands, this seems hard to me with a price of $ 60 a year if a roku costs less money and is not a recurring rent. You must use the xFi Gateway Router if you want to try Flex first. Otherwise it will not work.
Comcast's move is ahead of Apple's March 25 event, which expects the company to boost the bundling of video subscriptions and introduce some of its original programs. Flex is available the next day.
Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge parent company.