Media streaming bins simply maintain getting higher and cheaper, however no one else has matched the “absolutely free” pricing of Comcast’s new Xfinity Flex. Exclusively out there to cord-cutters who pay Comcast for broadband however not TV, Xfinity Flex consists of a 4K-capable set-top field and a reliable, voice-activated, RF distant management to serve up subscription and ad-supported video and music programming.

Comcast is presently offering only one free Xfinity Flex per qualifying family (and the corporate is cagey about revealing simply what number of of its 26 million Xfinity web clients qualify), however you may hire second and third bins for extra TVs at a value of $5 per thirty days every.

But earlier than you get too excited, know there are some massive lacking hyperlinks in Comcast’s service choices. At current, Xfinity Flex doesn’t play in any respect with Hulu, ESPN linear channels, Disney-branded companies, CBS News 24×7, CBS All Access, nor with cultural exotica just like the English-language NHK World from Japan that’s close to and pricey to my coronary heart (and which is out there on rival platforms together with Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku).

xfinity flex 1 Comcast

The Xfinity Flex program information opens up properly, after which retains going and going and going.

Also lacking from Flex are such music titans as Spotify, the most well-liked of streaming music service; world web radio aggregator TuneIn, which is 10 instances higher than the iHeartRadio app that’s supported; and satellite tv for pc radio biggie Sirius/XM.

Smart dwelling options

Because it’s a secured element of your web service, Flex also can monitor and management points of your house community, though a few of these options require a paid subscription. With the Flex’s consumer interface displayed in your TV, for instance, you may monitor community purchasers and schedule after they have entry. This can be helpful for managing the display time of your little ones, so that they’re not spending hours at a time enjoying video video games or watching YouTube movies.

Sign up for Comcast’s Xfinity Home, which prices $40 to $50 per thirty days on high of your broadband entry, and Flex can incorporate smart-home options in your TV display, resembling streaming video out of your safety cameras, in addition to provide on-screen controls in your good lighting, thermostat, and different smart-home units.

Should you ever resolve to beat a retreat from cord-cutting, Flex is constructed on the identical X1 platform developed for Xfinity cable TV. As such, the field could be upgraded to ship a full panoply of conventional cable channels and companies, together with the enriched X1 on-screen program information and the power to retailer content material within the cloud for time-shifted viewing.

xfinity flex 3 Jonathan Takiff / iDG

A rear view of the field exhibits an ethernet port and two HDMI connectors, though just one is energetic. The different, labeled Input, would possibly see future use.

Setup simplicity

Shipped to your door, not introduced by a technician, a pre-programmed Xfinity Flex already is aware of your Comcast account particulars and can robotically sniff out and self-install in your Wi-Fi community. If you could have the infrastructure for it, you may alternatively hardwire the Flex to your router with an ethernet cable.

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