Comcast And Roku Release Beta Version Of Xfinity TV App

Comcast And Roku Release Beta Version Of Xfinity TV App

Roku announced the US release of its beta Xfinity TV app January 31. While you'll still have to be an Xfinity TV subscriber to watch your shows, it makes it so Roku owners can access all their cable and streaming content on one device.

In announcing the service, Comcast said subscribers who want to try out the app must have a set-top box in their house, as well as be subscribers to the company's cable television and internet services.

The Xfinity TV app for Roku is now available in beta form. It's nearly exactly what the FCC proposed as an alternative to subscribers having to rent set-top boxes monthly from their cable providers. With this, Comcast and Roku took another step towards the future.

Subscribers need a Roku device and an Xfinity Internet access device.

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Tech titans and pundits agree: The future of TV is apps. To use the beta app, customers must subscribe to Comcast TV and Internet service "and have a compatible IP gateway".

Currently Comcast offers the Xfinity TV app with similar functionality to Apple and Android mobile phones and tablets as well as Macs and PCs. 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. Additional outlet charges are now billed at $7.45 per month, on top of the $9.95 customers pay for the set-top box rental.

The increased competition means that cable companies only have so long before the majority of their remaining user base rebels against being nickel-and-dimed for things like "an extra outlet" and set-top boxes, and just switches off their service for good. The Comcast spokesperson confirmed that that the Samsung app would begin rolling out as a beta sometime later this year and that the company is continuing to work with additional platforms.

Comcast's FAQ also spells out other limitations. It "will not include the ability to rent or buy programming or play back previously purchased programs", and "SAP may experience intermittent availability". In addition to live TV and VOD, viewers can store DVR recordings in the cloud and stream them any time.