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October 19, 2021

Comcast unveils its first smart TV in bid to capture streaming market

The XClass series TVs will be available at Walmart and come with a year-subscription to Peacock Premium

Business Technology
Comcast Smart TVs Courtesy/Comcast

The Comcast XClass smart TV, developed in partnership with Hisense, will be available in the United States exclusively at Walmart stores and online.

Comcast is taking a page out of the Roku and Amazon Fire playbooks, launching a line of smart TVs that it plans to plans to pair with a streaming platform.

The Philadelphia-based cable giant unveiled on Tuesday the new XClass TV, a 4K Ultra HD device manufactured by Hisense.

The TVs will be on sale in the United States exclusively at Walmart in the coming weeks. They will be available in 43-inch and 50-inch models priced at $298 and $348, respectively. They will come with a 12-month subscription to Peacock Premium with ads.

"We're thrilled to bring our award-winning entertainment experience to smart TVs nationwide and for the first time offer consumers inside and outside our service areas a simple way to navigate their live and on demand content, whether streaming or cable," said Sam Schwartz, Comcast's chief business development officer. "Hisense XClass TVs are the next products in a growing portfolio built on our flexible and scalable technology platform, bringing the best innovative products — whether that's a streaming box or a smart TV — to each territory and customer segment."

The custom user interface on the new TVs integrates streaming, on demand, broadcast and cable options. At the outset, the platform can be paired with live pay-TV services including Hulu With Live TV, YouTube TV and Dish Network's Sling TV. Typical streaming services including Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube also will be accessible.

Pay-TV streaming services directly from Xfinity and syndication partner Charter should be available through the new TVs by the end of the year

Comcast has seen a surge in broadband subscriptions during the coronavirus pandemic, but its cable subscription numbers have been declining in recent years as consumers opt for cheaper, mix-and-match subscriptions in lieu of a pricy cable package.

Last month, Comcast revealed its first streaming box, the XiOne platform, which it hopes will compete with established players Roku and Amazon Fire. The device already has been rolled out in parts of Europe and also is expected to be available to Xfinity X1 customers and other syndication partners in the U.S. by the end of the year.