Comcast to launch video streaming product for broadband customers in 2019, report says
According to a report Wednesday, Comcast is looking to field a new streaming device in 2019 that offers existing broadband customers app-based access to online services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, CNBC reports the streaming platform will debut some time next year as a set-top box with voice-activated remote control, much like devices from Apple and Amazon.
Comcast's product will present broadband customers a selection of online streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube, the report said. Executives have not decided on the final number of apps and services that will be made available through the unannounced product, which is expected to debut as a set-top box, though the selection will likely be dwarfed by similar market offerings like Apple TV.
The supposed solution is said to build on X1, Comcast's existing digital platform that combines cable TV channels with streaming apps. While the new product will lack access to cable bundles, users will be able to rent content and upgrade to a video package, the report said.
As noted in the report, Comcast's platform is not designed to challenge devices like Apple TV and Amazon's Fire TV line, as offering a full host of video services through the new platform would cannibalize its bundled video products. Instead, the company is presenting the solution as an add-on for internet subscribers.
Similar to Apple TV, Comcast envisions the device as a hub for the connected home. Users will be able to control smart home appliances and other internet-connected devices, presumably through the voice-activated remote.
A timeline for release was not disclosed, though sources claim Comcast intends to market the set-top box to internet-only customers. Pricing is likewise unknown. It appears Comcast plans to sell access on a subscription basis, but has not yet decided on a monthly fee for the device.