Comcast joins fray of online-only live TV services with Stream for iPhone, iPad & Web

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2015
Cable provider Comcast on Monday announced plans to launch Stream, an online subscription TV service offering a mix of live and on-demand content for $15 per month, accessible from both Apple's iPhone and iPad, as well as the Web.




The service will be limited to Xfinity Internet customers, but allow viewing of "about a dozen" live channels, plus thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows, Comcast said. Notably live content will include HBO, and hence shows like Game of Thrones and True Detective. Subscribers will be able to watch on phones, tablets, and PCs, including Apple devices.

The service will also support cloud DVR functions, and TV Everywhere, which permits Comcast customers to authenticate with mobile apps that normally ask for a cable subscription before offering full video content.

Stream will initially debut in Boston by the end of the summer, coming to Chicago and Seattle shortly thereafter. A nationwide launch is due in early 2016.

Comcast is entering a rapidly growing market of streaming TV services that offer live TV without requiring a cable or satellite package. Dish, HBO, Sony, and Showtime have already launched products, and Apple could join in later this year. As recently as June, though, a report said that Apple was still a long way from completing talks with content providers.

The announcement comes on the heels of a letter sent to Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler, signed by four U.S. Senators: Democrats Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, and Edward Markey. The politicians complained that only 37 percent of Americans have more than one option for broadband Internet, and asked the FCC to investigate how cable and broadand companies charge their customers.

The letter was particularly concerned with Time Warner Cable, which has been accused of rapidly jacking up rates such as modem fees. A pricing probe is more urgent in light of Charter's proposed buyout of the company, the senators said.

Comcast also has a monopoly in many U.S. markets, though having to compete with companies like Apple and Dish could reduce its dominance in the TV sphere.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    On principle, I would choose another service.
  • Reply 2 of 31
    kent909kent909 Posts: 731member
    I wonder if Airplay can be used?
  • Reply 3 of 31
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,046member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post



    I wonder if Airplay can be used?

    Nope. As agreed with Apple, Airplay won't be able to play on XFinity app.

  • Reply 4 of 31
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,397member

    Re the actual emergence of "IPTV" that we're finally witnessing the fits and starts rollout of, a line from David Byrne comes to mind... 



    "Watch out, you might get what you're after."  

  • Reply 5 of 31
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    LAME.

     

    Why the hell would I pay an ADDITIONAL $15 to watch on my iPad when I'm already paying $100 to watch at home?

     

    Dish offers this service for FREE.


    I think even TWC offers this service for free 

  • Reply 6 of 31
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    LAME.

     

    Why the hell would I pay an ADDITIONAL $15 to watch on my iPad when I'm already paying $100 to watch at home?

     

    Dish offers this service for FREE.


    This is completely different. You can already stream shows for free if you subscribe to Comcast. This new service is for cord cutters, not people currently with a cable subscription. 

  • Reply 7 of 31
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,046member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    LAME.

     

    Why the hell would I pay an ADDITIONAL $15 to watch on my iPad when I'm already paying $100 to watch at home?

     

    Dish offers this service for FREE.


    If you already a XFinity cable customers, you get free streaming for whatever you subscribed. I current have Local and HBO with them and stream free on my iOS devices including ATV (HBO Go only) and even Xbox360.

  • Reply 8 of 31
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,046member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Boltsfan17 View Post

     

    This is completely different. You can already stream shows for free if you subscribe to Comcast. This new service is for cord cutters, not people currently with a cable subscription. 


    But still not really a cord cutter because these people must have Comcast internet service which is technically still a cord...Unless Comcast make this totally independent, it's still a non-cord cutter.

  • Reply 9 of 31
    fallenjt wrote: »
    kent909 wrote: »
    I wonder if Airplay can be used?
    Nope. As agreed with Apple, Airplay won't be able to play on XFinity app.

    Can you provide a link to where you saw what is 'agreed with Apple?'

    In any event, isn't AirPlay a hard-wired device functionality? In other words, if it shows up on the screen of my Mac, iPad etc., it can automatically show up on my television via AppleTV?
  • Reply 10 of 31
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,046member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post





    Can you provide a link to where you saw what is 'agreed with Apple?'



    In any event, isn't AirPlay a hard-wired device functionality? In other words, if it shows up on the screen of my Mac, iPad etc., it can automatically show up on my television via AppleTV?

    No link is needed because I tried it with my iPad at home to play Xfinity TV Go, and that's the message I got on the iOS screen.

  • Reply 11 of 31
    fallenjt wrote: »
    No link is needed because I tried it with my iPad at home to play Xfinity TV Go, and that's the message I got on the iOS screen.

    I have not tried it, so I'll take your word for it (for now), but it seems very unlike Apple to allow someone to disable a key functionality of its hardware. I'd have thought that was a no-no if you wanted to be in Apple's ecosystem.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

     

    But still not really a cord cutter because these people must have Comcast internet service which is technically still a cord...Unless Comcast make this totally independent, it's still a non-cord cutter.


     

    cord-cutting refers to dropping traditional subscription television services, it has nothing to do with internet service.  I dropped DirecTV, no cord involved, but am still considered a cord-cutter.

  • Reply 13 of 31
    dougddougd Posts: 292member
    HBONow is a real cord cutters service for $15
  • Reply 14 of 31
    fallenjt wrote: »
    But still not really a cord cutter because these people must have Comcast internet service which is technically still a cord...Unless Comcast make this totally independent, it's still a non-cord cutter.

    Anyone that wants to be a cord cutter has to have Internet. So no one can be a full cord-cutter in that sense of the phrase. But it generally refers to those canceling cable subscriptions. But Comcast and these other companies still have contracts to distribute the content. They own some of it as well. So they aren't going to just give you access to their content no matter what internet provider you have. At least not at this stage of the game.


    Can you provide a link to where you saw what is 'agreed with Apple?'

    In any event, isn't AirPlay a hard-wired device functionality? In other words, if it shows up on the screen of my Mac, iPad etc., it can automatically show up on my television via AppleTV?

    It is a software function to which Apple is bound by some arbitrary licensing to adhere. Videos in apps can be restricted from being able to simply AirPlay to the ? TV. So no you can't just stream any video to the Apple TV. I believe NBC's app only got AirPlay abilities last year and their app has been out for at least three.

    You could always mirror your iPad/iPhone to your Apple TV and then start playing your video but I think even then there's no guarantee that the video will play on your TV screen. I don't remember if it's locked still or if it just becomes so laggy that it's unwatchable.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    Yeah, and what about their 300GB/month bandwidth limit? I don't see any mention of that here. Kind of a deal-killer.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,492member
    fallenjt wrote: »
    But still not really a cord cutter because these people must have Comcast internet service which is technically still a cord...Unless Comcast make this totally independent, it's still a non-cord cutter.

    They have to use Comcast internet? Are you sure, the internet is the Internet, how you get there shouldn't matter surely?
  • Reply 17 of 31
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,492member
    Can you provide a link to where you saw what is 'agreed with Apple?'

    In any event, isn't AirPlay a hard-wired device functionality? In other words, if it shows up on the screen of my Mac, iPad etc., it can automatically show up on my television via AppleTV?

    I've seen quite a few things where I get a message stating something cannot use Airplay.

    Regarding the service itself, I find this all fascinating though as there is a blood letting coming. Here we have HBO and Show Time trying the same thing and Comcast roll them both in. Or am I misreading this?
  • Reply 18 of 31
    They have to use Comcast internet? Are you sure, the internet is the Internet, how you get there shouldn't matter surely?

    All they would do is block access to the app until you login with your Comcast user ID that shows that you have an Internet subscription service with them.

    Just like Time Warner et al block access to their apps until you login and prove that you have their cable subscription service.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,337member

    You could always mirror your iPad/iPhone to your Apple TV and then start playing your video but I think even then there's no guarantee that the video will play on your TV screen.

    Yes, Mirroring is what I meant.
  • Reply 20 of 31

    If it offers ESPN then it's a good deal to me. NFL Network would be great, but I know that's likely asking too much - ESPN would be enough to get me in along with other major channels. Doubt they'll do it, but would also be great if they gave a list of channels and allowed the customer to pick any 12+ they want from that list. Give us the option to pick channels, that's what most everyone really wants!!

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