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September 28, 2017

Comcast rebrands 'Xfinity Instant' streaming service, expanding footprint across the U.S.

Comcast Streaming
Comcast Center Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Comcast Center in Center City.

Comcast will begin expanding its streaming service to Comcast users across the U.S., rebranding what was formerly named “Xfinity Stream” to its new title, “Xfinity Instant TV.”

The service’s first iteration was in a testing phase limited mostly to Boston and Chicago over the last couple years. This news makes Xfinity Instant an option for all Comcast households.

The streaming service will be part of Comcast customers’ internet bill and will cost a base of $18, Variety reported. The service includes about a dozen channels, including PBS, C-SPAN and other big broadcast networks. HBO, though included in earlier test runs of the service, has been nixed from Xfinity Instant.

Like other cable packages, you can opt for more premium channels with a heftier price tag attached – HBO, for example, is an additional $15 a month. There are four other add-on options, including a $30 sports and news package with access to all four ESPN channels and 10 other news stations.

Does this mean competition for similar services? Probably not. Right now Xfinity Instant will only be available in areas where Comcast serves, which is different from streaming services that work solely based on compatible devices.

Another potential issue users could face with Xfinity Instant is that some of its channels will depend on your home Wi-Fi for streaming. So, while you can view shows on a tablet or phone, doing so outside the house may come with some limitations.

Variety also reported that Comcast expects to complete the full rollout of the service within the next couple weeks.