Xfinity Stream Beta App is Not Free for Some People and Poll

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by heyted, Oct 20, 2019.

TiVo or Roku for Watching and Recording Comcast With Digital Starter

  1. TiVo

    78.9%
  2. Roku

    21.1%
  1. heyted

    heyted Member

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    Many people have a TiVo or other cablecard device and are able to watch and record HD channels using Comcast's traditional cable television service without paying extra to enable the HD channels. This is not always the case, and some people with just one cablecard and no other equipment from Comcast are charged extra for the HD channels. Some people that do not pay an additional HD fee and want to use the Xfinity Stream Beta app will not have access to the HD channels using the app. The additional fee to add the HD channels if it is not already included in the package is currently $10. This has been discussed on the Xfinity VOD app thread in a cursory manner, and as indicated in that thread and many others in this forum, many people are able to access HD channels on Comcast with a TiVo without paying an additional fee.

    For the people as described above with traditional cable that do not have the HD fee included in their package and want to use a Roku with the app to access HD channels will need to pay extra.

    Comcast has indicated there may be additional charges in the future when the beta phase is completed. According to a recent rate card, Digital Starter includes a cable box for the primary outlet only and requires the additional HD fee for HD programming. There currently is no additional outlet fee for using the app, but Comcast has indicated there may be a charge for this in the future. No one except maybe Comcast knows for sure if there will be additional charges, but it is something to keep in mind. Also, Comcast has not indicated how long the beta phase will last.

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    Some people feel that cablecard technology is antiquated, and it is time to move to newer technology. Cablecard technology will eventally not be supported, but would you recommend to someone who pays for their cable service as part of their home owners association or condo fee and wants to save money that the time to move away from cablecard technology is now? For this poll, please assume that a person is considering a TiVo with multiple minis or other cablecard compatible devices versus a Roku, and the person does not currently pay Comcast directly for Digital Starter cable service but would pay Comcast directly for any additional applicable charges. Please assume that Digital Starter is the preferred service, and the person has the cheapest Comcast internet service that is paid directly. Also, please assume the person wants to be able record content and view content on multiple TVs. [Edit: Please also assume the person has no interest in and will not use video on demand. Please also assume the person is considering Comcast's cloud DVR service to use with multiple Roku devices.]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  2. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    I'm trying to figure out what the point of this thread is, because the title is wrong - the Xfinity Roku app IS currently free for all customers. You just don't get HD channels unless you're paying the HD tech fee.

    And there's no way to get VOD on Tivo now so there's no way to answer that other than Roku. And there's no way to record HD other than Tivo, so...
     
  3. heyted

    heyted Member

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    Mar 4, 2012
    South Florida
    Thanks slowbiscuit. I have edited the post [with brackets] to add some clarifications. The app is indirectly not currently free with regard to those who want to access HD who can otherwise use a cablecard device to access HD channels as described in the OP.
     
  4. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    In the ATL
    You want to complain about the HD tech fee, I get that. Everything else is irrelevant and at best misleading, since the only way to record is with a Tivo. You never mention that you'd also have to have Comcast equipment to record because you can't do it on Roku.
     
    wmcbrine likes this.
  5. PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

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    Why not just pay the fee and get HD then?
     
  6. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    Or subscribe to a package that doesn’t require the fee. I’m in a double play package that specifically includes HD sans fee. This also applies to the Roku app.
     
    PSU_Sudzi likes this.
  7. heyted

    heyted Member

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    It looks like TiVo is the clear winner on the poll so far. Thanks for voting. The goal for the user is to be able to watch and record the HD channels that are included in the Digital Starter package at the lowest possible price. Since Comcast equipment cannot be eliminated completely for the Roku option as is the case for TiVo, it appears that the TiVo option would be cheaper. Also, for some people, the $10 HD fee does not need to be paid even if not included in the package.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  8. heyted

    heyted Member

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    Not complaining. Just pointing out something that people should be aware of.
     
  9. heyted

    heyted Member

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    Since the goal of the person is to save money, consideration needs to be given to the following:

    Option 1 - Potentially use a TiVo and be able to view and record HD channels without paying the HD fee with a package that does not include HD by default. Even though the package does not include access to the HD channels without adding the additional $10 fee, many TiVo users are able to view and record the HD channels.

    Option 2 - Use Roku devices instead of TiVo. For this case, the $10 HD fee would need to be added.

    This is in no way misleading as slowbiscut indicated above. For this usage case, the app is clearly not free.
     
  10. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    You don't get the record ability from Roku app unless you have one of the new packages that include HD (only 10 hours free) or an X1 DVR. You can't get the X1 DVR without HD. So it's all a mute point.
     
    slowbiscuit likes this.
  11. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why the word Roku and record are in the same sentence. There is no streamer that records including Roku. Correct?
     
  12. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    Newer Xfinity plans have a cloud DVR which the Roku can access.
     
  13. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    OP, your argument is moot, or of only very limited applicability at best, since Comcast has eliminated the HD Technology Fee entirely in the new "Simple and Easy" pricing structure.

    Digital Starter is a legacy programming tier that will no longer be offered anywhere in the nation once the new system is completely phased in by next year. Whether you subscribe as a retail or bulk-services customer, when you go to renew your service you will be switch to the new plans.

    The new programming tiers (Basic, Extra, and Preferred) all include HD at no additional charge as illustrated in the screen shot below. (For your reference, Extra is the equivalent of the old Digital Starter.)

    BTW, that HD exclusion on the Roku app only applies to the linear channels. Anyone who subscribes to a premium channel via Comcast can access the HD version of premium content through the pertinent OTT app on the Roku (e.g., HBO GO or Showtime Anytime) using their Comcast account credentials. (N.B.: Starz is currently the exception.)


    Xfinity HD Included.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    slowbiscuit likes this.
  14. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    Xfinity diminished the resolution of their HD channels. The $10 fee isn't justified anymore. Can a customer use the Xfinity Stream app from another location away from home?
     
  15. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    Cloud recording within apps. Comcast gives you 10 hours free.
     
  16. heyted

    heyted Member

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    The new pricing structure described by chiguy50 apparently makes the HD fee issue a mute point after it is adopted. The choice of Roku or TiVo, however, is still relevant. The additional price for any added equipment or required upgrade would tend to make the TiVo option the better choice since the goal is to save money.
     
  17. heyted

    heyted Member

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    South Florida
    Thank you. i did not know that. Agreed, it appears the HD fee issue may be irrelevant when the new price structure is adopted if it is as you say. Users of the app can hope that by that time, if the beta phase is over, competition will force Comcast to not add other fees. I have a feeling they will find a way to charge something.
     
  18. heyted

    heyted Member

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    I sometimes use the Xfinity Stream app on my phone at work to watch live TV.
     
    shwru980r likes this.
  19. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    Though that is limited to “TV Go” channels. Some channels will allow watching outside the home and others won’t. Normally if a channel offers its own app with live TV it will support out of home viewing.
     
  20. heyted

    heyted Member

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    Thanks to all for the comments. I have a similar post asking the same question on the DSLReports forum, and I will post it on one or two additional forums. I will tally up the votes and report back.
     

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