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(CMCSA) released this week a beta of its Xfinity TV app for Roku, which gives Xfinity TV customers access to all of their Comcast content on Roku devices. One big limitation during the beta is that the service can't replace a Comcast set-top box: "During this Beta phase, due to technical limitations, customers using the Xfinity TV Beta app on Roku (other than Stream customers) can only use that app on secondary TV outlets and will need to have at least one Comcast-provided TV box in their home". In fact, you essentially are watching via your set-top box, since this isn't streaming over the internet. Comcast and Roku helped nudge things an inch in that direction today, announcing an Xfinity TV app that comes with as many questions as it does benefits. It's nearly exactly what the FCC proposed as an alternative to subscribers having to rent set-top boxes monthly from their cable providers.

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

The future of TV is in apps.

Consider this then, your PSA: If you want to swap your Comcast cable box for a Roku, the fees assessed will be the same as if you chose to bring your own CableCARD-compatible to the service, like a TiVo.

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Meanwhile, HP (HPQ) lost 60 percent of its brand value, the biggest percentage loss of any company on the list. Telstra, CommBank and ANZ have topped the list of Australia's most valuable brands.


"Customers will not pay equipment charges with respect to their use of Roku devices". Comcast has just released an app that lets subscribers ditch that equipment - kind of. 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.

Planning to participate in the Xfinity TV App beta testing?

Comcast has compiled a fairly large FAQ about this app over on its website. His reform would've forced cable companies to make their services available through apps on major streaming platforms, Roku included, for free. It also won't work with DVR recordings stored on a local hard drive, though as previously mentioned, it can use Comcast's cloud-based DVR.

Comcast now charges $9.95 per month as an "additional outlet fee" for set-top boxes, leading us to believe that the monthly cost of using a Roku for watching Xfinity TV will likely be similar.


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