Comcast’s Flex box that is streaming free, nonetheless it is almost certainly not.
This past year, Comcast jumped to the streaming-box business, attempting to sell a product that is intriguing Xfinity Flex. It promised to put all your preferred streaming apps in a single destination, with a software that is just like that available on its X1 cable TV that is popular package.
For cordcutters who escaped from high Comcast cable TV bills to get all-streaming, it supplied familiar ground. For Comcast, it was equipment which could keep clients into the fold. And provided so it only are priced at $5 30 days, maybe it’s alluring for internet-only clients who’dn’t yet settled on ways to stream shows and films.
And when I penned in my own initial summary of the Flex final June, it had disadvantages. It needed that you apply Comcast’s own modem/router combination, also it didn’t provide apps for solutions built to change the cable bundle, like the U.S. Version of Sling television or YouTube television. And therefore $5 month-to-month cost, which will be reasonable, added as much as $60 per year, $10 a lot more than the expense of a contending Amazon Fire television Stick.
But Comcast is currently offering the Flex field at no cost. (if you like one or more at home, extra devices continue to be $5 per month each. ) The business additionally no further calls for one to make use of its modem/router combination – it really works with your own personal equipment.
The business has kicked down an advertising campaign when it comes to Flex, targeting its internet-only clients. It’s apparently been effective: Comcast announced the other day it now has 1 million cougar life model Flex users on its system.
Due to the push, I’ve heard from plenty of people who wish to know if it is well worth getting one, regardless of if they currently have a method to stream.
My admittedly glib response was, “Hey, it is free, why not? ” In reality, since it are priced at absolutely nothing we ordered one for myself.
This can be even though i personally use a fourth-generation Apple TV, that is attached with A samsung that is circa-2011 HDTV. The Samsung is not 4K, nevertheless the image is great and my family and I are pleased with our alternatives.
Installation is straightforward and fairly painless, with plain-language, step-by-step directions onscreen.
The picture the Flex delivers is gorgeous – in reality, it appears superior to the Apple TV’s photo. It very nearly appears want it’s 4K, but back at my HDTV, it is maybe not. For some time I thought it absolutely was making use of motion-smoothing, the function available on contemporary TVs that may make movie seem like it absolutely was shot on movie. But Comcast assures me personally it is maybe not doing such a thing fancy with all the sign. It is video hardware that is just great.
For apps, the Flex has got the typical suspects. There’s Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, CBS All Access, YouTube and many other. But as once I first looked over Flex, there stays a complete great deal lacking.
There’s still no ESPN, simply ESPN3, the lower-tier form of that recreations solution. And, in the event that you’ve got children or Star Wars/Marvel fans in the home, there’s no Disney+. No Baby Yoda for your needs!
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 TV. The apparent presumption is that Comcast does not want any software on 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 field. He pointed out the presence of this version that is international of television, and stated that Comcast comes with an agreement with Sling. It had been merely a matter of the time before the U.S. Application managed to make it, he stated that “we are onboarding apps once we get along. Once I asked if that meant” So, possibly.
One application it will have, which for the present time you can’t get any place else, is Peacock, the brand new streaming service from NBCUniversal, which will be owned by Comcast. Which will are more widely accessible come july 1st, however it’s “premium” tier is liberated to Flex users.
Peacock draws regarding the rich archive of NBCUniversal content. Wondering where“The working 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 variation you will get on Flex just isn’t ad-free. With films, 160 moments of advertisements are stacked in the very beginning of the movie. With television shows, you will find standard advertisement breaks, though with less commercials than the truth is on system television. And also you cannot fast-forward last them, so time your bathrooms breaks consequently.
It is possible to, nevertheless, spend an additional $5 a thirty days rather than see adverts.
The user interface is, as I composed earlier in the day, just like the X1 field. Apps you employ frequently and teaches you view usually bubble up to the top the house display screen, as well as the sound remote stays the way that is best to navigate the solution. It’s one of several most readily useful sound settings I’ve utilized.
Within my review that is initial I concerning the slew of free television shows and films which are included. The easiest way to get them has been the vocals remote, with lets you request things in various methods. You can easily request young ones programs, horror, comedy and 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 simply make use of my voice.
There’s one change that is big just how Flex works: It no longer calls for that you use Comcast’s xFi modem/router equipment. You can make use of your very own gear, though you won’t get some good for the niftier features, such as for example seeing which products are linked to your property system or use of your smart home abilities. But you’ll save the leasing charge for the xFi, which can be $14 30 days.
If you decide you don’t actually want to drop satellite tv for streaming all things considered, you can easily re-sign up for Comcast’s cable-TV solution and employ the Flex as the set-top package. This ability is made into the Flex, enabling the business to fully capture cable cutters who’ve regrets. You’ll need the xFi Gateway to work on this, but Meyer stated Comcast will quickly enable you to take action along with your very own modem and router.
After coping with the Flex for a time, switching between it as well as the Apple television, I’m happy We have it however if I’d to abandon it, we may not miss it. I really could not endorse the Flex to those people who are a new comer to cord-cutting and who desire a cable-alternative application, because Comcast is certainly not publicly investing in incorporating them.
But because it’s free — go for it if you want free access to Peacock; want the familiarity of Comcast’s Xfinity TV interface; only want to use the most-common streaming service apps; or just want it.