Comcast’s Flex streaming field is free, however it may possibly not be.
A year ago, Comcast jumped in to the streaming-box company, attempting to sell an intriguing product called Xfinity Flex. It promised to place all your preferred streaming apps within one spot, with a software that is just like that entirely on its popular X1 satellite tv 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 which could keep clients when you look at the fold. And offered so it just are priced at $5 per month, it might be alluring for internet-only clients that hasn’t yet settled on ways to stream programs and films.
And it had drawbacks as I wrote in my initial review of the Flex last June. It required that you apply Comcast’s very own modem/router combination, and it also didn’t provide apps for solutions made to change the cable bundle, for instance the U.S. Type of Sling television or YouTube television. And therefore $5 fee that is monthly that is reasonable, added as much as $60 per year, ten dollars significantly more than the expense of a contending Amazon Fire television Stick.
But Comcast is now offering the Flex box free of charge. (if you would like several at home, extra devices remain $5 per month each. ) The business additionally not any longer calls for you to definitely utilize its modem/router combo – it really works with your own personal equipment.
The organization has kicked down an advertising campaign when it comes to Flex, focusing on its customers that are internet-only. It offers evidently been effective: Comcast announced week that is last now has 1 million Flex users on its system.
As a consequence of the push, I’ve heard from plenty of people who need to know if it is worth getting one, whether or not they curently have a method to stream.
My admittedly glib response was, “Hey, it is free, then? ” In reality, I ordered one for myself because it cost nothing.
This can be even though i take advantage of a fourth-generation Apple TV, which will be attached with a circa-2011 samsung HDTV. The Samsung is not 4K, however the photo is great and my family and I are pleased with our alternatives.
Installation is easy and fairly painless, with plain-language, step-by-step directions onscreen.
The image the Flex delivers is gorgeous – in fact, it seems a lot better than the Apple TV’s photo. It very nearly appears it’s not like it’s 4K, but on my HDTV. For some time we thought it absolutely was utilizing motion-smoothing, the function available on contemporary TVs that may make movie seem like it had been shot on video clip. But Comcast assures me personally it is perhaps perhaps not anything that is doing because of the sign. It is simply great video clip equipment.
For apps, the Flex gets the typical suspects. There’s Netflix, Amazon Prime movie, Hulu, CBS All Access, YouTube and many other. But as once I first viewed 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 you personally!
Above all, the Flex continues to be lacking the bundled-channel apps which are 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 the fact that Comcast does not wish any software regarding 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 associated with the worldwide form of Sling television, and stated that Comcast posseses an agreement with Sling. It ended up being merely a matter of the time before the U.S. Application managed to make it, he said that “we are onboarding apps once we go along. Once I asked if that meant” So, possibly.
One software it can have, which for the time being you can’t get somewhere else, is Peacock, the brand new streaming solution from NBCUniversal, that is owned by Comcast. That may are more widely accessible come early july, however it’s “premium” tier is able to Flex users.
Peacock attracts regarding the archive that is rich of 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 substantially more.
Unfortunately, though, the variation you will get on Flex is certainly not ad-free. With films, 160 moments of advertisements are stacked in the beginning of the movie. With television shows, you will find standard advertisement breaks, though with less commercials than the thing is that on community television. And also you cannot fast-forward last them, so time your bathroom breaks consequently.
You can easily, nevertheless, spend an additional $5 an and not see ads month.
The user interface is, when I published early in the day, like the X1 field. Apps you employ frequently and demonstrates to you watch usually bubble as much as the top the house display, additionally the sound remote stays the simplest way to navigate the solution. It’s one of many voice controls that are best I’ve utilized.
In my own initial review We chatted concerning the slew of free television shows and movies which are included. The easiest way to get them has been the sound remote, with lets you request things in numerous means. You can easily request children programs, horror, comedy as well as other genres. You’ll require every thing that is 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 big improvement in just how Flex works: It not calls for that you apply Comcast’s xFi modem/router equipment. You can make use of your own gear, though you won’t find some regarding the niftier features, such as for instance seeing which products are attached to your property community or use of your smart house abilities. But you’ll save the leasing cost for the xFi, that is $14 30 days.
You don’t really want to drop cable TV for streaming after all, you can re-sign up for Comcast’s cable-TV service and use the Flex as your set-top box if you decide. This ability is created in to the Flex, enabling the ongoing company to capture cord cutters who’ve regrets. You’ll need the xFi Gateway for this, but Meyer said Comcast will quickly allow you to take action together with your very own modem and router.
After managing the Flex for some time, switching between it plus the Apple television, I’m happy We have it however, if I experienced to abandon it, we may not miss it. I possibly could not advocate the Flex to those who find themselves not used to cord-cutting and who desire a cable-alternative software, because Comcast is certainly not publicly investing adding 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.