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Comcast Stream

Old 07-13-15, 11:42 PM
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Comcast Stream

Comcast helps you cut the cord! Wait...what?

Comcast launches its own cable-free TV with Stream

The latest (and most interesting) entrant to the cord-cutting TV wars is here: Comcast. Tonight the company announced Stream, a service that delivers TV exclusively over the internet (Correction: it is "IP-based managed network" connection, check after the break for why that matters) to phones, tablets and computers -- but now TVs. The big catch? You'll need Comcast internet service to subscribe, and the Stream TV feeds only work while you're at home. It's only available in select areas to start, and will launch in Boston this summer. For $15 a month, subscribers get about a dozen channels, including all broadcast networks and HBO (but not ESPN or any other cable channels, according to the New York Times). It also has access to the usual TV Everywhere cable authenticated-streaming for when you're away from home, plus Comcast's Netflix-like Streampix service for movies.

As for the at-home restriction on TV service, that's because, as a Comcast representative tells Engadget, this is "an IP-based cable service that offers live, on demand and cloud DVR delivered over our managed network in the home." In case you're somehow not familiar with what that means, it translates to this service not using the open internet everyone else uses to reach subscriber's homes, even though it runs through the same wiring and modem over the last mile. Comcast made the same distinction when it launched video on-demand streaming to the Xbox 360 a few years back, and Reed Hastings was not happy with the explanation. Given the current climate around net neutrality, we can't imagine this launch will go over without any controversy, and expect to hear more about that bit soon.

Stream is very much cable TV without the cable box (or TV) -- assuming you have the company's internet service and live in the right area, all you'll need is a phone call to activate it. Unfortunately, it carries a surprisingly long list of restrictions, even for a brand new service. When Sling TV launched, you could get it everywhere, with PlayStation Vue, it came to your TV via consoles. While Stream has a DVR, network TV and HBO, it doesn't have quite enough to make me interested without a hook-up to real TVs or options for popular cable channels, and isn't going available where I live anyway.

Comcast already has an IPTV service it offers through universities, and made earlier efforts to push TV on phones and tablets in-home with its AnyPlay box. With cloud DVR tech in-hand, the company knows what many of us want -- TV service that works anywhere whether at home or away, with recordings, and smaller/cheaper bundles would be nice -- but will continue to play keep-away for now.
Old 07-14-15, 12:00 AM
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Comcast Stream - New Internet TV Service

Comcast will be offering their internet customers a new streaming service called Stream. It'll cost $15/month. Includes the basic network channels and HBO. Also includes 20 Hours of Cloud DVR, and Comcast's Streampix.

Comcast Reveals $15 Per Month Internet TV Service Called 'Stream'

Comcast has announced a new streaming Internet TV service called Stream. Stream includes access to TV shows across about a dozen networks on smartphones, tablets and laptops. Xfinity Internet customers can access the Stream service for $15 per month. The channels include FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, the CW, Univision, Telemundo and HBO.

Stream customers will be able to access thousands of on demand movies and shows to watch at home or away. Stream also offers 20 hours of cloud-based DVR and Comcast’s TV Everywhere service. So what’s the catch? There are several limitations. A major limitation with Stream is that subscribers are unable to stream live TV content while away from home. Unfortunately, Stream excludes popular cable networks like ESPN and AMC.


Comcast does not plan to roll out Stream to areas where it does not offer cable TV.

Comcast will be classifying Stream as a cable TV service, meaning it will be exempted from data usage thresholds just like the Xfinity’s video-on-demand app for the Xbox. Several years ago, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings called out Comcast for exempting its own Xbox app while capping video content consumption on websites like Netflix and Hulu. Comcast said that its video-on-demand services are delivered through its own proprietary CDN architecture rather than what consumers use for regular Internet access, which is why it does not impose a cap on its own apps.

Stream should roll out in Boston by the end of August, followed by Chicago and Seattle. By early 2016, Stream should be available in the rest of the U.S. If you are interested in finding out when Stream becomes available in your market, you can sign up for a mailing list at: Xfinity Internet customers can sign up for Stream without requiring a visit from a technician or making a phone call. Customers can sign up and cancel through the Xfinity TV app without having to sign any long-term commitments.

I'm not sure what to think about this.

The price seems good considering that HBO Now costs $15 on it's own. If you were subscribing to a basic cable package, you'd pay $10-$15/month just for the cable box and DVR. And they also charge $5 for Streampix. So you're getting a decent value for the price.

But I can't get excited about the basic networks. I like what Sling's doing, offering $5 add-on packages of cable channels. Hopefully they can do something like that.
Old 07-14-15, 12:10 AM
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Re: Comcast Stream

MOD NOTE: Two threads merged.

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