Comcast introduced their Xfinity TV Partner Program about nine months ago. When they launched the program Comcast focused on their new Samsung smart television partnership as the flagship deal for the program, but they also mentioned that an application for the Roku platform was in the works. Nine months later, the time has come and Roku has started bringing select customers into a beta program for the Xfinity TV Partner Program television application.
The beta is only available for select Comcast customers, but will likely open up to their greater base in the near future. For now, the Xfinity TV beta app will be supported on Roku TV’s and all Roku models that have been released in the last few years, specifically: the Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Streaming Stick (model 3600), Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, Roku Ultra, Roku 4 (model 4400), Roku 3 (model 4230 and 4200), and Roku 2 (model 4210).
If a customer is accepted into the beta they simply need to go download the Xfinity TV App from Roku channel store and input their login credentials. The stores description of the app specifies that “Not all X1 features will be available in the XFINITY TV Beta app, but we are working diligently to implement additional functionality in future releases. Some content restrictions apply.”
The beta app will include most of Comcast’s channels including Public Educational and Governmental channels. However, no rental or digital purchases (transactional content) will be available during the beta. It’s also important to note that, because Comcast is an in-home cable service and this Roku app connects to Comcast’s services, blackouts and other mobile content restrictions will not apply.
Multichannel.com points out another notable compontent to the beta, specifically that the Xfininity Roku App is exempt from Comcast’s usage-based internet policies. Since the Comcast cable service is delivered to customer’s homes via a separately managed private IP path that does not mix with the public internet traffic shipped via Comcast’s network, and is not technically an OTT service, it’s exempt from internet-usage restrictions.
However, this does mean that for the app to work your Roku device has to be connected to an in-home Xfinity WiFi network. If you are not using Comcast to deliver your high-speed internet, you won’t be able to access the app while it is in its beta forward. Consumers can expect this to change before the app hits the mainstream market.