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Comcast will charge extra fee for watching TV on Roku boxes

03 February 2017

Roku is the first set-stop box to offer the Xfinity TV service, Comcast said in a statement Tuesday. It allows Comcast subscribers to watch live and on-demand TV, as well as cloud DVR recordings, without having to use the cable box. A Comcast spokesperson told Decider today that the last requirement - the set-top box - will fall away after the beta period ends and is there now as a safeguard to ensure that TV subscribers will have access while the company's programmers continue working on the beta.

In beta mode, the app is free.

Comcast subscribers need a Comcast cable box during the beta phase.

For those still clinging to Comcast's old hat pay-TV service, there's no harm in giving Roku delivery a try if you already have a box. And they'll need either a Comcast modem or IP gateway: The service will run over Comcast's TV line, not the public internet - which means it won't be available outside the home.

Previously, the Xfinity TV app was only available for iOS and Android mobile devices. No fees are being charged during the beta trial, but the company is determining a fee for Roku-connected devices in the future.

Those anxious about the app adding to the total Xfinity internet data usage plan shouldn't be: Comcast says the service delivered through the app is not internet-based, but a Title VI cable service provided by Comcast's own cable network, so it shouldn't count toward users' internet data usage plan. Additional outlet charges are now billed at $7.45 per month, on top of the $9.95 customers pay for the set-top box rental.

Dish and DirecTV, the nation's two satellite TV services, have created online TV services available to customers who don't want to subscribe to traditional pay TV. Comcast has just released an app that lets subscribers ditch that equipment - kind of.

Given Comcast's FAQ, though, it appears the cost-savings might not be what they seem. Comcast says that "due to technical limitations" the beta app can only be used on secondary televisions. The Comcast spokesperson confirmed that that the Samsung app would begin rolling out as a beta sometime later this year and that the company is continuing to work with additional platforms.

Comcast will charge extra fee for watching TV on Roku boxes