Oh and there is no way I will pay for this when most of the same stuff already streams to me on the roku via other channels. Why did Comcast waste time developing this? I'm pretty sure when customers asked for Xfinity to be in a roku app, they didn't ask to be ripped off further. Another option is arriving soon in Atlanta and I can't be grateful enough to give someone my buisness who actually wants me as a customer.
This was originally developed to provide the FCC with an alternative to the Open Set Top Box legislation being proposed in 2016. Comcast proposed developing apps to run on popular third party devices as an alternative to a mandated backend interface. The FCC was open to this alternative.
My guess is that they did not want to be required to support another interface out of their control like my beloved CableCard. If they developed apps, they could maintain control of the backend interfaces. They could also inject ads and disallow commercial skipping.
This all makes sense until the FCC killed the set top box legislation. What was Comcast to do? They had almost completed development of the first of those apps. With the legislation dead and net neutrality about to be contested, Comcast has decided to turn this into a profit generating product. They will make much more money off of apps like this than they could dream of with set top boxes.
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The app is actually working pretty well for me, aside for some features it abosolutely needs, but am I the only one noticing the PQ is substantially lower than what you get from the cable box? Looks like it's streaming in a lower resolution.
1 - better filtering for guide (i.e. HD only option)
2 - Quality settings to tailor the inage to the device (i.e. 720p, 1080i, 1080p like on the X1 box)
3 - Start up with last selected channel playing. Essentially, when i start the program if I was on Fox Sports that's what immediately pops up when the software loads
4 - On screen remote, or some additional app for iphone and android to allow the functions on a regular remote like number channel selection, pause, live TV, etc.
5 - Beter overall image quality. This might even be a good way for Comcast to introduce 4K programming to their product line (even if it's additional fee) without having to replace everyone's in-home cable hardware (because we know that's a monumental feat that will cost a fortune).
6 - Versions for Samsung TVs (please, even older ones e.g. 2015), nVidia Shield (the best set top box I've found), Apple TV (opens up a whole universe of users, and the App is already written), Fire TV (Huge userbase and a great way to pull subscribers in from Amazon's cord-cutting userbase)
7 - Reconsider the cost. A 25% discount over a cable box is laughable. Maybe $3.95 or even $4.95 would be reasonable, but this is basically an outlet only charge. I DO love that it doesn't count against the data cap, but it seems it is using data for many currently.
I agree with most of what you say, but not on the reasonable pricing. Your opinion isn't wrong, but below is my two cents.
There appears to be two sets of people interested in this app. Those that rent set top boxes, and those that do not (CableCard users and cord cutters considering coming back). Renters see this as a discount from the $9.95 set top box rental fee. Non-renters look at this as a way to watch the content that they have already paid for without renting equipment. We non-renters want to pay little or no rental fees.
I pay $7.45 ($9.95-$2.50) for my CableCard and it decrypts up to six channels simultaneously. I can share those six channels amongst ANY number of device. I am okay with paying the $7.45 because they are providing me with equipment that has served my home for eight years. Technically I get a $2.50 customer supplied equipment credit on my bill each month because it is the "primary outlet", but the principle is the same.
It would be more reasonable if they charged $7.45 ($9.95 - $2.50) for blocks of five simultaneous streams. These must be floating streams and not locked to a device. They can call them outlets if they would like.
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At this point this is hearsay at best.
You are absolutely correct. Multiple sites all quoting unnamed Comcast representatives.
This app is entirely different than any other cable outlet and will likely be treated diffrently as well if/when it comes to pricing.
Again you are correct, and it should be treated differently. Hopefully free or near free as all other streaming apps are free.
This may be Comcast floating this out there to gauge the reaction. It would then be important for Comcast to know that this is unacceptable.
It must be tempting though as this would be a great revenue generator. This would make a ton more money than procuring, deploying, and supporting old set top boxes.
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While I do have a TV I could use this on, if the fee is going to be more than $2 or $3, I'll pass. I watch/record all of my local stuff OTA anyway.
Look like it will cost $7.45 per device after a $2.50 credit.
Quoted from Ars Technica:
" Comcast responded to us and confirmed that Roku devices will be treated similarly to CableCard devices in terms of pricing. Customers who use a Roku as a "primary outlet" after the beta is over will get a $2.50 credit on their bill; the "primary outlet" isn't an itemized fee but is included as part of paying for a TV subscription. Using a Roku as an "additional outlet" will cost $9.95, but the $2.50 credit will lower the price to $7.45. Xfinity TV app access on phones and tablets does not cost extra."
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Thanks I should have thought of that. I really wish Comcast would add a category for the HD channels. I always browse the SD channels on the guide because they are first and then I'll just hit the Ok button to forward me to the HD one. There doesn't seem to be something similar here. Browsing all the way to the 1000s so I can see HD channels is time consuming and bad UX. Memorizing the channels does nothing when I'm browsing the guide most of the time to see what is on and what I'd like to watch.
If there was a category for SD and HD channels in the guide I wouldn't have to waste my time browsing through SD channels, or trying to get to the 1000s just so I can get to HD. Yes that includes hitting the * and 1002 just to jump to that part of the guide. Seems like it would be so much easier to have them separated by SD and HD at the top with the other categories.
Or possibly add an option in the settings to hide all SD channels that have an HD equivilent, and channels to which we are not subscribed. A manual procedure to hide individual channels would be a lesser option, but be helpful in getting rid of unwanted channels. I do that on my setup with shopping, local access, and any other channels we do not watch. It is beautiful when you have a nice concise channel guide. We may be able to do this with Favorites as a less then ideal workaround, but I do not know if they exist in the Beta.
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Thanks for the information.
Are you saying you still have one cable box active? I am at work and was very happy about the announcement until the description said you needed to use and Xfinity box and Gateway. I currently use zero boxes.
Additionally, the release states that there could be an access fee down the line:
"On conclusion of the trial, you will be informed of the charges that will apply for connecting this device with your XFINITY TV service and will have the opportunity to opt in."
I am already wondering if it is reasonable like $2-3 dollars, or is it more expensive ($5+).
It is never reasonable to charge me again per device to watch content that I have already paid for in my subscription.
Equipment rental fees are required by design, not by necessity. This makes them unacceptible. Per customer supplied device (Roku) and per viewing (number of shows, time or bandwidth) fees are also unacceptible. Maybe a small streaming option fee per account of up to $5 would be paletable as this is a new service being provided. Honest to goodness added value.
If they go with the per device fee as expected, then long live CableCard!
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Thanks for the response. The updated first post mentions that I would need to be an X1 Cloud DVR customer to have access to my Cloud DVR recordings.
This brings up more questions:
1) Do I need to rent a set top box or can I just add the X1 Cloud DVR service?
2) If I need a set top box, is it only to set recordings?
3) WIll this integrate with Roku's global search?
4) Are you guys testing on 4K TVs? Does your interface scale well using vector graphics or high res images?
- If there needs to be a splash screen, Live TV should be front and center followed by Recordings and On Demand on each side.
- Once you go the app route, you are gonna have to add profiles like Netflix. Before profiles, my Netflix dashboard was a hot mess of kids shows and reality drama. I assume this will quickly become the same.
I am excited about the Roku app and its evolution even if it is not my prefered platform. Thanks for the open conversation.
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There are a few things I would love to know.
1) Image quality and bitrate - It appears that some are pleased so far. I assume it is not MPEG2. Is it the new MPEG4/h.264 we will see in the future at full quality?
2) Is there a limit on the number of simultaneous streams or registered devices?
3) Does this require at least one set top box? If so, is this because everything is being streamed through the set top box? I only have one CableCard at the moment and would prefer not to have a full set top box in my house.
Thanks in advance.
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