Comcast has confirmed its pricing strategy for customers accessing their Comcast video service through Roku devices, both during the current beta test and into the future.
For now, these beta users are not able to use the Xfinity TV app on their Roku device(s) without employing a pay-TV set-top. During the beta, Comcast is waiving the standard $9.95-a-month charge for deploying a second set-top, which is essentially what the Roku is acting as under the plan.
After the beta ends, users will be able to make Roku devices their primary set-top and will be credited back $2.50 a month for doing so. Any additional connections in the home, via Roku or through, say, a CableCard-equipped TiVo device, will be charged at the $9.95 “additional outlet” rate.
The clarification was provided to Ars Technica.
Earlier this week, Comcast announced that its long-ago trumpeted plan to make the Xfinity TV app available on Roku was now available to users via a beta test.
Users of newer-model Roku devices who also subscribe to Comcast internet and TV service, and have compatible gateways, can watch their channel lineup live on their Roku and access their Xfinity VOD library, as well as their X1 Cloud DVR service if they have it.
Comcast considers this consumption as feeding off its managed network and customers aren’t eating into their data caps. "The Xfinity TV service delivered through the Xfinity TV Beta app is not an internet service and does not touch or use the internet,” Comcast's FAQ said. "Rather, it is a Title VI cable service delivered solely over Comcast's private, managed cable network, so it will not count toward your Xfinity Internet Data Usage Plan."
Previously, the Xfinity TV app was only available for iOS and Android mobile devices.
Comcast’s FAQ also spells out other limitations. It "will not include the ability to rent or buy programming or play back previously purchased programs," the cable company said. Xfinity TV on Roku also won't work with DVR recordings stored on a local hard drive.