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Comcast is trying to turn your Roku into a cable box

Comcast is trying to turn your Roku into a cable box

The launch of this app brings another viewing option to Comcast subscribers who own a Roku, and potentially saves money on renting secondary cable boxes for additional TVs. A Comcast spokesperson told Decider today that the last requirement - the set-top box - will fall away after the beta period ends and is there now as a safeguard to ensure that TV subscribers will have access while the company's programmers continue working on the beta.

That great money saving deal Comcast and Roku announced Tuesday for Xfinity TV subscribers might not be so swell after all. It's nearly exactly what the FCC proposed as an alternative to subscribers having to rent set-top boxes monthly from their cable providers. So there would still be savings for Roku adopters, especially if the requirement of having a Comcast box is eliminated. And they'll need either a Comcast modem or IP gateway: The service will run over Comcast's TV line, not the public internet - which means it won't be available outside the home.




Tech titans and pundits agree: The future of TV is apps. But as fully spelled out in the Xfinity TV Beta App on Roku FAQ, there is no such thing as a free box. "The Xfinity TV service delivered through the Xfinity TV Beta app is not an Internet service and does not touch or use the Internet", Comcast's FAQ said. Earlier this week, newly appointed chairman Ajit Pai said he would toss out plans that would have allowed customers to use third-party devices such as the Roku in place of their cable company's own boxes. All other fees associated with a customer's service will apply, except that, during the Beta trial, additional outlet charges for services to outlets connected to Roku devices are being waived. All Comcast customers who meet the requirements mentioned above and have a compatible Roku device will be able to take the app for a test drive. Comcast has just released an app that lets subscribers ditch that equipment - kind of. Comcast says this prerequisite is because of "technical limitations".

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 app itself includes both live and on-demand content.

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