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Xumo to debut new set-top box this year

The Xumo Stream Box will be offered to Comcast's broadband Internet customers first, according to a report.

The Xumo Stream Box will be offered to Comcast's broadband Internet customers first, according to a report.

A Xumo-powered television set manufactured by Element. (Image courtesy Amazon, Graphic by The Desk)
A Xumo-powered television set manufactured by Element. (Image courtesy Amazon, Graphic by The Desk)

Comcast and Charter’s joint venture Xumo will debut a new streaming set-top box later this year, according to a report.

The device, called the Xumo Stream Box, was mentioned at the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) annual trade show in Las Vegas this week.

The Xumo Stream Box will be powered by the Xumo operating system, which is being developed as part of a joint venture between Comcast and Charter. The box could be similar in nature to Comcast’s Flex streaming device, which is powered by the X1 platform.

Comcast began offering the Flex box to its broadband-only customers four years ago, with adoption of the box taking off after Comcast bundled a premium version of its streaming service Peacock with the device. (Comcast’s Xfinity Internet customers were offered free access to the premium tier of Peacock, but only if they activated it through a Flex box; that offer has since ended.)

Like the Flex box, Comcast could offer the Xumo Stream Box directly to its Xfinity Internet-only customers later this year, according to a report from Light Reading. Presumably, Charter could offer the box to its Spectrum TV and Internet customers a short time later.

Few details are known about the device or the Xumo operating system, though it will likely resemble the X1 platform developed by Comcast over the last few years. Comcast has agreements with several streaming services — including Netflix, Dish Network (Sling TV), Disney (Hulu, Disney Plus, ESPN Plus) and Paramount Global (Paramount Plus, Pluto TV) — to offer their apps through the X1 platform, and those agreements are expected to carry over to Xumo once the platform and associated devices become available.

In addition to the Xumo Stream Box, Comcast and Charter plan to offer Xumo-powered smart TV sets. In January, Xumo announced it had inked an agreement with electronics maker Element to manufacture a line of Xumo TV sets with ultra-high definition screens. The Element-made Xumo TVs are expected to debut this year, and will replace Comcast’s XClass TV sets.

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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).