Xfinity app on Roku and Samsung TV to replace STB

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Xfinity app on Roku and Samsung TV to replace STB

Post#1 » Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:06 pm

http://www.techhive.com/article/3060112 ... boxes.html
https://blog.roku.com/blog/tag/comcast/
http://corporate.comcast.com/news-infor ... ng-players

So, this is what Comcast means when it was arguing against the latest FCC mandate to "open up your STBs". "The future is apps".
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Post#2 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:00 am

It's what they would like because it still gives them control of the customer. The customer can pay for on demand thru their app. The FCC proposal will open all sorts of possibilities such as no box necessary, more powerful boxes. God forbid there being some actual competition in this sector with some reasonable standardization.
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Post#3 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:30 pm

Not surprising. Charter has been "enhancing" their app for the past year. They have about 3/4 their channels now avail to stream live. And with their announcing their streaming cloud dvr service last year, it makes sense. I wouldn't be surprised if cableco boxes are "legacy" in the next 5 years.
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Matt O. ...tivo what? ...dish dvr--uh... huh? ...cable dvr fees--you're kidding, right?

Post#4 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:41 pm

I think bottom line is the FCC wants the cableco's to be just the "vessel" that carries the signals to the home. Beyond that, they want open competition for the "user experience" on the set top box. I do like the FCC vision, but I don't think it goes quite far enough. I also think Comcast has a point re: apps. Comcast wants absolute and total control of the user experience for TV content that comes through them. But FCC says no, you have to enable competitors to come in and provide alternative user experiences. Cableco's have done things that have locked them into certain positions (created their own nightmares)... Like for example, they have created legal agreements with content providers for channel placement/numbering. But a competitor's STB could (for example) decide to organize and present the channels in a more meaningful way (such as by genre - news, sports, movies, childrens, etc.) and that could violate the agreements that Comcast has created with A&E, ESPN, etc.

I'd like to see some sort of merger of these ideas with some standardization defined. Without standards, everybody "rolls their own". Each TV manufacturer has a natural desire to differentiate from their competitors. But the underlying platform is lacking standards that would promote smooth porting of apps from one platform to another. Each manufacturer has their own spin on the underlying OS environment. Same is true for STBs and OTT devices.

Can you imagine what it would have been like if this same environment was in place in the 80's when the IBM PC and MS-DOS came about? Without those basic standards in place, the explosion of "compatible" apps for the IBM PC / PC-DOS environment would never have taken place. We're heading down that road now, where there just isn't a common standard being applied in the STB and OTT box environments.

I think it's also just a matter of time before the user experience (i.e. the GUIDE) is serving you ads based on your viewing habits. This seems like another area where the cablecos probably see opportunity for revenue, and they obviously want to retain control over that.

Side note... I wouldn't be surprised if cablecos start making use of STB "metadata", and selling that information. Sort of like Nielson ratings where they aggregate the customers viewing habits and sell that information to content providers. They know what you're watching. Another thing they might lose control of in the FCC vision.
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Post#5 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:52 pm

All that being said, I'm just personally happy of the prospect of not having to pay a king's ransom for renting another STB. That, at least, is a move in the right direction.

Think of it this way... You can get Microsoft Office 365 for 5 PCs including 1TB of cloud storage for a lot less than the cost of ONE set top box rental... :)
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Post#6 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:22 pm

Always good to have more options. Seems odd that they killed their app for Xbox360 only to turn around and then make it available for Roku.
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Post#7 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:30 pm

Has anyone seen any updates on this? Just bought a Samsung TV and the only Xfinity app on there is the UHD demo - which keeps crashing...so....
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Post#8 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:35 pm

I've been watching for updates, but nothing so far. Eerily quiet in fact.
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Post#9 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:25 am

So the beta is now available.
To me, the picture quality looks identical to their own STB. I see no stuttering or buffering. Video is absolutely smooth.
Menu structure is tolerable but could still use more work. LOTS of button pushes are required to get to a live channel.
Typical Roku limitations - cannot see video while browsing channels or while FF/RW. Cannot "skip", can only FF/RW.
Guide data can take a few seconds to populate when you're channel surfing aggressively.
Can access all my X1 DVR recordings; can schedule new recordings, modify/delete recording schedules, etc.

The biggest downside for me is that Comcast plans to charge "outlet fees" for each Roku beyond the "main TV". Since initially you need their X1 box, this means every Roku used will be subject to this outlet fee. Depending on how much they charge for the outlet fee, paying for the Roku outlet fee instead of paying for their own remote STBs at $10/mo isn't so attractive anymore. Note that they don't charge an outlet fee for mobile devices using their X1 app.

The opportunity to stop paying them monthly STB rentals for every TV was the primary motivation for me to adopt the Roku app. The secondary motivation was a "clean" looking TV setup for wall mounts - no more additional boxes and cabling hanging around.
Lastly, it could make the remote control situation simpler. I was thinking about buying TV's with built-in Roku (TCL, Hisense, Sharp) for bedrooms which could have meant only one remote was needed to handle "everything" (assuming using only the TV for audio).

Oh well.
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Post#10 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:49 pm

Charter Spectrum has had their app versionavailable on Roku for awhile, currently at no charge. Most things view fine, but sports are almost unwatchable on it, not sure if you viewed any live sports on it.
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Post#11 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:06 am

christoph86 wrote:sports are almost unwatchable on it, not sure if you viewed any live sports on it.

Nope haven't seen sports on it. I'll try to check it out.
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