Days before Apple announces an expanded plan to sell video service subscriptions, Comcast has revealed Flex, a streaming platform aimed at non-cable customers who have signed up for the company's broadband internet. Flex costs $ 5 monthly and also comes with a set-top streaming box that includes Netflix, Prime Video, HBO and other apps; You also get Comcast's X1 voice spacing as part of the service. It launches March 26 for all Comcast Xfinity internet customers nationwide. CNBC originally stated that such a product came back in November.
Comcast is atuting that Flex collects content from these services into a single integrated guide, where you can find something to watch and then switch to the app to watch. "Xfinity Flex comes with more than 1
The Flex hardware box is 4K and HDR compatible. Customers can monitor the Comcast Wi-Fi network and get Access to smart home devices as safe flex cameras using Flex:
Xfinity Flex gives Xfinity Internet customers some of these same features so they can easily access entertainment, find Wi-Fi passwords, see which devices are connected to the network, set parental controls , and even pause Wi-Fi access on the home network. They can also use voice control to access the camera feeds, arm or disarm home security system and find their Xfinity Mobile all on TV.
And yes, Comcast says Flex customers will be able to upgrade to a complete Xfinity digital cable package if they choose. They can choose either one or two Flex boxes. Any streaming on Flex counts towards your monthly internet data plan.
What is the point of all this? Well, Comcast seems to hope there are still consumers out there without Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or Chromecast, who don't mind paying $ 5 a month to rent their Flex box – there's no installation fee – and Have enough for their streaming entertainment needs. You can also rent or buy movies and TV shows if you run out of things to watch with the apps you already subscribe to.
And since this integrated guide (with universal voice search) is basically only borrowed from the X1 platform, Flex is not that much extra work for Comcast. The company states that it can ultimately change the pricing on the Flex platform or adjust what is part of the package. As it does, this seems to me like a hard sale of $ 60 / year when a Roku will cost you less money and not a repeat rental. And you have to use the xFi Gateway router if you want to try Flex in the first place – otherwise it won't work.
Comcast's move ahead in Apple's 25-March event, where the company is expected to kick a bigger impression in bundling video subscriptions and showcase its original programming. Flex will be available all day.
Enlightenment: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge s parent company.