Comcast adds a new $ 5 streaming video service.

But Xfinity Flex, another variant of cable-less cable television, is limited to the company's Xfinity Internet subscribers, which are within Comcast's reach.

Flex will be released on March 26 and is similar to a Roku.

As of January 19659005 Comcast had about 25 million Internet subscribers who could benefit from the new Flex offering.

Those who spend five dollars a month get a leased Internet connection connected to the Internet, a 4K HDR-enabled box, and voice-controlled remote access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and Showtime, as well as over 10,000 free online games. Films and ad-supported TV programs.

There will also be live streams like ESPN3, Xumo, Pluto, Tubi TV, Cheddar and YouTube. You can also rent and buy movies and TV shows, listen to music through Pandora, iHeartRadio and XITE, and manage security cameras and other smart home devices through the TV.

An integrated, personalized program guide to help you find things

If all this sounds similar to what you might already get from your Roku, Fire TV or Apple TV Box, you would not be wrong and the question is whether to cash in advance to buy such a rival box (and in some cases get it cheaper) or instead pay the monthly $ 5 for Flex.

Cable cutters will watch attentively what kind of streaming announcements Apple makes next week during a press event at its California headquarters. It's not entirely clear how or even what Comcast has released here will directly compete with Apple's new entertainment service, which Apple is expected to bring to market.

What you pay for Flex comes to the $ 50 to $ 130 a month you currently give up for Xfinity Internet every month.

Because the Flex service is based on Comcast's Xfinity X1 cable service, but does not include all the live or other video content you may see there or elsewhere, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue and Sling TV, DirecTV Now, are included The missing – you might consider the upgrade path.

Comcast says switching from Flex to X1 from the flex box is easy, and the company would certainly be too excited to take the extra money.

e-mail: ebaig@usatoday.comFollow @edbaig on Twitter

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