Science

Comcast is about to sell you cable TV without the cable box

Comcast is about to sell you cable TV without the cable box

If you're both a Comcast Xfinity TV subscriber and an owner of one or more Roku devices, you'll soon be able to use one less remote.

Yes, a cable-box rental fee will be waived for customers who use a Roku streaming media receiver in lieu of a Comcast box to access their subscription via the new Xfinity TV for Roku app. Customers with Roku players will be able to watch live TV, browse on-demand libraries and record shows, just as they can with Comcast's boxes. Comcast says it's also working on an option that allows cable-only gateway equipment to work with the app for non-Xfinity Internet subscribers.

While Comcast expects the majority of its customers to opt for the typical setup, traditional pay-TV providers are trying to be more flexible about where and how people can watch TV given the popularity of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon and the boxes that offer them. It's nearly exactly what the FCC proposed as an alternative to subscribers having to rent set-top boxes monthly from their cable providers. In other words, the Roku can not be your primary cable box for the Xfinity service.

Xfinity TV app will be compatible with several Roku models such as Roku 2 and Roku 4. Comcast Xfinity app on Roku devices is free during beta.

Emmanuelle Riva, Oscar-nominated Amour actress, dead at 89
She was nominated at the age of 86 for best leading actress in the movie " Amour " which won best foreign film in 2013. She worked until last summer, when she filmed the movie Alma and also performed on stage in Rome.

There's also a possibility the bean counters at Comcast will decide the outlet charge should be lower for a Roku box. Doing so would let Comcast turn broadband subscribers in any part of the country where it isn't - like, say, Charter customers - into Comcast cable customers, even if it runs no wires anywhere near there at all.

The "Stream customers" Comcast referred to are those signed up for Stream TV, a basic TV service for Comcast Internet customers that does not require a TV box.

The beta app has some other limitations. It "will not include the ability to rent or buy programming or play back previously purchased programs", the cable company said.

Those anxious about the app adding to the total Xfinity internet data usage plan shouldn't be: Comcast says the service delivered through the app is not internet-based, but a Title VI cable service provided by Comcast's own cable network, so it shouldn't count toward users' internet data usage plan.


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