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Comcast Takes Pay-TV to the Streaming World

20 Apr, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

If you can’t beat streaming, take pay-TV to streaming devices. Determined to offer pay-TV subscribers ubiquitous access on any device while moving away from the cable box, Comcast April 20 launched the Xfinity TV Partner program.

Leveraging open-standard technologies, such as HTML5, the program provides a common framework to which smart TV, TV-connected and IP-enabled device manufacturers can incorporate the Xfinity TV Partner app available to eligible customers in Comcast markets without the need to lease a set-top box.

The move is similar to what Netflix, Pandora, Hulu and Amazon Prime did incorporating their apps in consumer electronics devices to expedite direct streaming access. 

Samsung is the first smart-TV manufacturer to sign up for the program. Comcast subs will soon be able to access their Xfinity TV cable service in the home via the Xfinity TV Partner app on Samsung Smart TVs.

The app is not an over-the-top video product or Internet streaming service. It only enable Xfinity TV subs to receive cable service on connected TVs and other IP-enabled third-party devices.

“We remain committed to giving our customers more choice in how, when and where they access their subscription, and the Xfinity TV Partner Program enables us to efficiently and effectively expand the range of devices our customers can utilize to do that,” Mark Hess, SVP, office of the CTO, business and industry affairs for Comcast Cable, said in a statement.

Separately, Comcast announced a partnership with Roku to expand the range of retail devices with access to Xfinity TV service. Later this year, Xfinity TV subs will be able to access service in the home via the Xfinity TV Partner app designed specifically for Roku TVs and Roku streaming media players.

“Since many Roku customers are also Xfinity subs, we believe the new Xfinity channel will be very popular when it launches this fall,” said Steve Shannon, GM of content at Roku.

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