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Comcast starts offering Xumo Stream Box to Xfinity Internet customers

The Xumo Stream Box runs on EntertainmentOS, the streaming operating system developed by Comcast. (Courtesy image)
The Xumo Stream Box runs on EntertainmentOS, the streaming operating system developed by Comcast. (Courtesy image)

Comcast is now offering the Xumo Stream Box to customers of its Xfinity Internet service, the company announced on Tuesday.

The box, developed through Comcast and Charter’s joint venture Xumo, offers access to hundreds of video and audio apps, along with native integration of Comcast’s “skinny bundle” streaming service Now TV.

The rollout of the Xumo Stream Box to Xfinity Internet subscribers comes nearly two months after the device debuted. Customers of Charter’s Spectrum Internet service were first to get their hands on the box, followed by subscribers of Mediacom’s broadband Internet product.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Comcast delayed the release of the Xumo Stream Box for nearly two months, or whether the Comcast version of the device would offer any different features from ones leased to Spectrum Internet and Mediacom customers.

Comcast will offer the Xumo Stream Box only to customers of its Internet packages — subscribers who also take Xfinity TV won’t be eligible to receive one. In that respect, the launch of the Xumo Stream Box is similar to how Comcast distributed Flex, a similar streaming device that ran a version of Comcast’s X1 operating system.

In a press release, Comcast said the first Xumo Stream Box will be leased to customers without charge, but members of Xfinity Support team clarified that the first box actually carries a $5 per month lease fee and a one-time $15 activation fee. In most cases, Comcast will agree to waive the monthly and activation fees on the first Xumo Stream Box.

The Xumo Stream Box comes with “hundreds” of video and audio apps pre-installed. There is no app store on the device, and no way for customers to download, install or remove apps. Most major streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus and YouTube are supported, along with streaming cable TV replacements like Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV. But some smaller, more niche services like Philo and Frndly TV are not available through the device.

The Xumo Stream Box also offers native access to Comcast’s Now TV service, a $20 per month streaming cable replacement that offers general entertainment channels like Hallmark, AMC Network, Discovery Channel and Lifetime, along with access to the premium tier of Peacock.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).