Aiming to keep up with AT&T and other pay TV competitors, Comcast is preparing to launch a “major” update to its Xfinity TV Player app for iOS and Android devices that will enable authenticated customers to stream 35 live-TV channels outside the home.
The updated app, to be rebranded as “Xfinity TV Go” (the current app is called the Xfinity Player), will also allow customers to stream more than 25,000 on-demand titles and download “thousands” of movies and TV shows to mobile devices that can be viewed offline. Comcast didn’t set a specific launch date for the upgrade, but last week said it will be available “in the coming days.”
Out-of-home streaming, limited to Wi-Fi, will kick off with a news- and sports-heavy lineup that includes: BBC World News, beIN SPORT, beIN SPORT Español, Big Ten Network, CNBC, CNN, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Fox Business Channel, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, FX, FXX, Golf Channel, HLN, MSNBC, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, NBC Sports Network and Pac-12 Networks. Comcast said it will add more to that list later.
Comcast has been offering access to a select lineup of authenticated live TV streams via Web browsers at Xfinity.com/TV since 2012. The operator’s new app and live TV components are partially born out of VIPER, the MSO’s largely “home grown” cloud-based, IP video pipeline.
The operator has been offering in-home streaming of its full TV lineup using AnyPlay, a video-transcoding device with a CableCard developed in tandem with Motorola/Arris. Comcast, however, has been de-emphasizing that product as it looks to build that functionality inside new video-gateway products.
Comcast’s coming out-of-home streaming package will help it keep pace with pay TV rivals such as AT&T U-verse TV, which recently announced the addition of 100 live TV channels to its TV Everywhere offering, including 20 that can be accessed out of the home. Dish Network, meanwhile, offers out-of-home access to its entire lineup with its current top-shelf product, the Hopper With Sling HD-DVR.
Comcast’s new “Xfinity TV Go” app allows subscribers to stream 35 channels as well as on-demand movies and other shows on iOS and Android devices.