Comcast’s Flex box that is streaming free, however it may possibly not be.
Just last year, Comcast jumped to the streaming-box company, attempting to sell an intriguing product called Xfinity Flex. It promised to place all your chosen streaming apps in one single spot, by having a software that’s just like that entirely on its X1 cable TV that is popular package.
For cordcutters whom escaped from high Comcast cable TV bills to get all-streaming, it supplied familiar ground. For Comcast, it had been equipment that may keep clients within the fold. And offered it could be alluring for internet-only customers who hadn’t yet settled on a way to stream shows and movies that it only cost $5 a month.
And it had drawbacks as I wrote in my initial review of the Flex last June. It needed that you apply Comcast’s own modem/router combination, also it didn’t provide apps for services built to change the cable bundle, like the U.S. Form of Sling television or YouTube television. And therefore $5 fee that is monthly which can be reasonable, added as much as $60 per year, ten dollars significantly more than the price of a contending Amazon Fire television Stick.
But Comcast is currently giving out the Flex package 100% free. (if you like one or more in your house, extra devices remain $5 per month each. ) The business additionally not any longer requires one to utilize its modem/router combination – it really works with your own personal hardware.
The business has kicked down an advertising campaign for the Flex, targeting its internet-only clients. It’s apparently been effective: Comcast announced week that is last now has 1 million Flex users on its system.
Due to the push, I’ve heard from lots of people who wish to know if it is well worth getting one, just because they curently have an approach to stream.
My admittedly glib response was, “Hey, it is free, have you thought to? ” In reality, I ordered one for myself because it cost nothing.
That is even though i take advantage of a fourth-generation Apple TV, which can be attached with a circa-2011 samsung HDTV. The Samsung is not 4K, however the image is great and we are pleased with our alternatives.
Installation is straightforward and fairly painless, with plain-language, step-by-step instructions onscreen.
The picture the Flex delivers is gorgeous – in reality, it appears to be a lot better than the Apple TV’s photo. It nearly appears it’s not like it’s 4K, but on my HDTV. For some time we thought it absolutely was making use of motion-smoothing, the function entirely on modern TVs that will make movie appear to be it absolutely was shot on video clip. But Comcast assures me personally it is perhaps maybe not anything that is doing aided by the signal. It is simply great video equipment.
For apps, the Flex has got the suspects that are usual. There’s Netflix, Amazon Prime movie, Hulu, CBS All Access, YouTube and many other things. But as whenever I first viewed Flex, here remains lot lacking.
There’s still no ESPN, simply ESPN3, the lower-tier type of that recreations service. And, in the event that you’ve got young ones or Star Wars/Marvel fans in the home, there’s no Disney+. No Baby Yoda for you personally!
First and foremost, the Flex continues to be lacking the bundled-channel apps which can be an option to a cable-TV package. There’s no Sling TV, YouTube television, AT&T television Now, Philo, fubo or Hulu with real time television. The apparent presumption is Comcast does not wish any software in the Flex that competes using its cable-TV solution.
Steve Meyer, Comcast’s vice president for Xfinity Flex, explained so it’s “not policy” that is maintaining these cable-alternatives from the Flex package. He pointed out of the existence regarding the version that is international of TV, and stated that Comcast posseses an agreement with Sling. Whenever I asked if it meant it absolutely was only a matter of the time until the U.S. Application caused it to be, he stated that “we are onboarding apps once we get along. ” So, perhaps.
One software it can have, which for the present time you can’t get somewhere else, is Peacock, the brand new service that is streaming NBCUniversal, which will be owned by Comcast. Which will are more accessible come july 1st, however it’s “premium” tier is absolve to Flex users.
Peacock draws from the rich archive of NBCUniversal content. Wondering where “The Office” went when it vanished from Netflix? It is here, along side “Parks and Recreation, ” “House, ” “Downton Abbey, ” “Cheers” and much more.
Regrettably, though, the version you obtain on Flex just isn’t ad-free. With films, 160 seconds of advertisements are stacked in the beginning of the movie. With shows, you will find standard advertising breaks, though with less commercials than the thing is on system television. And also you cannot fast-forward last them, so time your bathrooms breaks consequently.
You can easily, nonetheless, spend an additional $5 an and not see ads month.
The screen is, when I composed early in the day, like the X1 field. Apps you employ frequently and demonstrates to you view frequently bubble as much as the top the house display, and also the voice remote stays the way that is best to navigate the service. It’s one of many most readily useful sound settings I’ve used.
Within my initial review We chatted concerning the slew of free television shows and films which can be included. The way that is best to get them has been the sound remote, with lets you request things in numerous means. It is possible to request young ones programs, horror, comedy along with other genres. You can easily request every thing that’s free, or all content for sale in 4K. I must say I don’t make use of the display screen design to get material, We just make use of my voice.
There’s one change that is big the way in which Flex works: It not calls for that you apply Comcast’s xFi modem/router hardware. You can make use of your very own gear, though you won’t get some good for the niftier features, such as for instance seeing which products are linked to your property system or usage of your smart house capabilities. But you’ll save the fee that is rental the xFi, that will be $14 per month.
In the event that you decide you don’t actually want to drop cable television for streaming all things considered, it is possible to re-sign up for Comcast’s cable-TV solution and make use of the Flex as your set-top package. This capability is made to the Flex, enabling the ongoing business to fully capture cable cutters who possess regrets. You’ll need the xFi Gateway to work on this, but Meyer stated Comcast will quickly allow you to do so along with your modem that is own and.
After coping with the Flex for a time, switching if I had to ditch it, I probably would not miss it between it and the Apple TV, I’m glad I have it but. I possibly could not advocate the Flex to those people who are not used to cord-cutting and who would like a cable-alternative software, because Comcast is certainly not publicly investing including them.
But if you need free use of Peacock; desire the familiarity of Comcast’s Xfinity television user interface; just desire to use the most-common streaming solution apps; or perhaps are interested as it’s free — go after it.