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Comcast is Testing New Streaming Box

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Comcast Is Testing a New Streaming Box

Do you like streaming video? If you’re a Comcast broadband customer, the cable system may soon have the device you need. Comcast is testing a new streaming device meant for its broadband-only customers.

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The new streaming box, said to be similar to the X1 platform, is expected to reach the consumer market next year. Comcast has yet to decide how much it will charge for the device.

What the Box Comcast is Testing Will Do

According to insiders, the box can be activated by voice command. It will enable easy navigation between varying video sources.

Though similar in some ways to Roku and Chromecast, the Comcast box will not enable access to hundreds of different apps. It will handle independent streaming apps such as Netflix and Hulu, but will not handle Sling TV, DirecTV Now, or any other direct competitor. The cable operator wants to discourage migration to such services, as this will reduce demand for its own core video packages.

Though the Comcast device will not come loaded with its standard video service, the cable system will offer to purchasers the option of renting or buying movies through it, and upgrading to the standard cable video package.

Comcast and the Connected Home

Comcast wants the new box to be the hub for all connected devices in the home. Through this one box, the consumer will control not only the TV set, but other electronic gear, appliances, lights, thermostats, and locks.

The device Comcast is testing in laboratory trials, called the Xi6, was manufactured by Arris, Inc. It does not provide local DVR storage, but holds enough buffer memory to pause and rewind half an hour of live video. Anyway, Comcast’s X1 platform already offers optional cloud DVR service.


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