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The frustrating limits of the Xfinity Stream TV app

Posted by
Frequent Visitor

Message 1 of 3
371 Views

So I'm watching the Red Sox game. Bottom of the 11th, 0-0 and my cable TV and internet go out. Not a surprise, I've had inconsistent service for about a month now, three technician visits going on 4, every single one of them having supposed resolved the problem. But I digress.

 

I have unlimited data on my phone plan and the Stream TV app, I realize. I can stream the rest of the game. 

 

Start the app, find NESN. It tells me to connect via Wifi. Ok, I check the settings, see that I have cellular data turned off. I change the settings. It tells me again I have to connect to my home wifi.  Yeah, you know, if I could do that, I wouldn't be using the app in the first place.

 

Look, I get it. There's all sorts of Byzantine licensing stuff about being able to watch programming you're actually paying for already, because if I were streaming this stuff on the cellular network, I'd be depriving somebody of some other fee I would otherwise be paying them.

 

But I'm in my own home, sitting in the same seat I'd be watching the game from if Comcast could actually deliver cable TV service to me right now and I can't watch the same content over a different internet pipe? From a consumer perspective, that's insane. 

 

But it's all fine. A tech will be here in three days (!) to fix this. Again. 

2 REPLIES
Posted by
Official Employee

Message 2 of 3
345 Views

Curmudgeon55 wrote:

So I'm watching the Red Sox game. Bottom of the 11th, 0-0 and my cable TV and internet go out. Not a surprise, I've had inconsistent service for about a month now, three technician visits going on 4, every single one of them having supposed resolved the problem. But I digress.

 

I have unlimited data on my phone plan and the Stream TV app, I realize. I can stream the rest of the game. 

 

Start the app, find NESN. It tells me to connect via Wifi. Ok, I check the settings, see that I have cellular data turned off. I change the settings. It tells me again I have to connect to my home wifi.  Yeah, you know, if I could do that, I wouldn't be using the app in the first place.

 

Look, I get it. There's all sorts of Byzantine licensing stuff about being able to watch programming you're actually paying for already, because if I were streaming this stuff on the cellular network, I'd be depriving somebody of some other fee I would otherwise be paying them.

 

But I'm in my own home, sitting in the same seat I'd be watching the game from if Comcast could actually deliver cable TV service to me right now and I can't watch the same content over a different internet pipe? From a consumer perspective, that's insane. 

 

But it's all fine. A tech will be here in three days (!) to fix this. Again. 


I'm so sorry - that sounds horribly frustrating! I can explain why the restriction exists but appreciate that it does nothing to solve last night's problems.

 

When you are in-home watching TV over your home XFINITY network, none of the bits are hitting the Internet - they are all delivered over Comcast's managed network similarly to how video gets to your set-top box. The rights to do this are called "Title 6" rights in the industry and match 100% the rights we have for your TV set-top boxes.  The catch, as you discovered, is that you need to be on your home network (the video can't be over the open Internet).

 

Conversely, Internet rights (called "TV Everywhere" rights) are negotiated separately and not always available - particularly with sports which have some insane restrictions by the programmers.

 

So, even though you're sitting in the same spot, the type of content is quite different from a legal and regulatory perspective. We're continually adding networks to our list of "TV Go" (AKA "TV Everywhere") availability but the regional sports networks such as NESN have blackout restrictions that add a level of complexity. 

 

Again, I'm sorry about the frustration. I agree the restrictions are archaic but the industry and rights don't move as quickly as the technology.

 

Best regards,

ComcastDan




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Posted by
Frequent Visitor

Message 3 of 3
327 Views

I appreciate the reply. And I understand that these are licensing issues.

 

But really, when the source and endpoint are identical, but license conditions change because of the path the bits take, your industry has gone insane.

 

That's not surprising. It's what digital disruption does and it's going to take some time for all that to sort itself out.