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Comcast’s Flex box that is streaming free, nonetheless it is almost certainly not for you personally. And when I had written within my initial breakdown of the Flex final June, it had disadvantages.

Comcast’s Flex box that is streaming free, nonetheless it may possibly not be.

Just last year, Comcast jumped to the streaming-box company, attempting to sell an intriguing product called Xfinity Flex. It promised to place all your chosen streaming apps in a single spot, by having a screen that’s just like that available on its X1 cable TV that is popular field.

For cordcutters whom escaped from high Comcast cable TV bills to get all-streaming, it offered ground that is familiar. For Comcast, it had been equipment that may keep clients within the fold. And offered so it just are priced at $5 30 days, maybe it’s alluring for internet-only clients that hasn’t yet settled on an approach to stream programs and movies.

And when I published during my initial breakdown of the Flex final June, it had downsides. It needed that you apply Comcast’s very own modem/router combination, also it didn’t provide apps for solutions made to change the cable bundle, for instance the U.S. Form of Sling television or YouTube television. And therefore $5 month-to-month charge, that is reasonable, added as much as $60 per year, ten dollars significantly more than the expense of a contending Amazon Fire television Stick.

But Comcast is currently offering the Flex field 100% free. (if you would like one or more at home, extra devices continue to be $5 per month each. ) The organization additionally not calls for you to definitely utilize its modem/router combination – it really works with your equipment.

The organization has kicked down an advertising campaign for the Flex, focusing on its internet-only clients. This has evidently been effective: Comcast announced week that is last now has 1 million Flex users on its system.

Because of the push, I’ve heard from lots of people who wish to know if it is worth getting one, whether or not they curently have an approach to stream.

My admittedly glib response was, “Hey, it is free, you will want to? ” In fact, as it cost absolutely nothing we ordered one for myself.

This can be even though i personally use a fourth-generation Apple TV, that is mounted on A samsung that is circa-2011 HDTV. The Samsung is not 4K, nevertheless the photo is great and my family and I are content with our alternatives.

Installation is straightforward and fairly painless, with plain-language, step-by-step directions onscreen.

The image the Flex delivers is gorgeous – in reality, it appears to be a lot better than the Apple TV’s photo. It very nearly appears want it’s 4K, but to my HDTV, it is maybe not. For a time I was thinking it had been utilizing motion-smoothing, the function available on contemporary TVs that will make movie appear to be it absolutely was shot on movie. But Comcast assures me personally it is maybe perhaps not doing any such thing fancy using the sign. It is simply great video equipment.

For apps, the Flex has got the suspects that are usual. There’s Netflix, Amazon Prime movie, Hulu, CBS All Access, YouTube and a whole lot more. But as once I first viewed Flex, here remains a complete great deal missing.

There’s still no ESPN, simply ESPN3, the lower-tier form of that activities solution. And, in the event that you’ve got children or Star Wars/Marvel fans in the home, there’s no Disney+. No Baby Yoda for you personally!

First and foremost, the Flex remains lacking the bundled-channel apps which can be an option to a cable-TV package. There’s no TV that is sling YouTube television, AT&T television Now, Philo, fubo or Hulu with real time television. The obvious presumption is Comcast does not wish any software regarding the Flex that competes using its cable-TV solution.

Steve Meyer, Comcast’s vice president for Xfinity Flex, said so it’s “not policy” that is maintaining these cable-alternatives from the Flex package. He pointed out of the existence for the version that is international of television, and stated that Comcast comes with an agreement with Sling. Once I asked if it meant it absolutely was only a matter of the time before the U.S. Application managed to make it, he stated that “we are onboarding apps once we get along. ” So, possibly.

One software it will have, which for the present time you can’t get any place else, is Peacock, the latest streaming solution from NBCUniversal, that is owned by Comcast. That may be much more accessible come july 1st, however it’s “premium” tier is absolve to Flex users.

Peacock attracts from the archive that is rich of content. Wondering where “The Office” went when it vanished from Netflix? It is here, along side “Parks and Recreation, ” “House, ” “Downton Abbey, ” “Cheers” and much more.

Regrettably, however, the variation you will get on Flex isn’t ad-free. With films, 160 moments of adverts are stacked in the very beginning of the movie. With television shows, you will find standard advertisement breaks, though with less commercials than you notice on system television. And also you cannot fast-forward last them, so time your bathrooms breaks correctly.

You are able to, but, spend an additional $5 an and not see ads month.

The program is, when I published earlier in the day, just like the X1 field. Apps you utilize frequently and demonstrates to you view usually bubble as much as the top of your home display, as well as the sound remote stays the simplest way to navigate the solution. It’s one of several voice controls that are best I’ve utilized.

During my review that is initial I in regards to the slew of free shows and films which can be included. The way that is best to locate them has been the sound remote, with lets you request things in numerous means. You can easily ask for young ones programs, horror, comedy along with other genres. You’ll require every thing that’s free, or all content for sale in 4K. I must say I don’t make use of the display screen design to locate stuff, We use my voice just.

There’s one change that is big the way in which Flex works: It no further calls for that you apply Comcast’s xFi modem/router equipment. You need to use your equipment that is own you won’t acquire some associated with the niftier features, such as for instance seeing which products are attached to your property system or use of your smart home capabilities. But you’ll save the fee that is rental the xFi, which can be $14 30 days.

You don’t really want to drop cable TV for streaming after all, you can re-sign up for Comcast’s cable-TV service and use the Flex as your set-top box if you decide. This ability is created in to the Flex, enabling the company to capture cable cutters that have regrets. You will need the xFi Gateway for this, but Meyer stated Comcast will quickly allow you to do so together with your very own modem and router.

After managing the Flex for a time, switching if I had to ditch it, I probably would not miss it between it and the Apple TV, I’m glad I have it but. I really could not endorse the Flex to those people who are a new comer to cord-cutting and who would like a cable-alternative application, because Comcast is certainly not publicly committing to incorporating them.

But because it’s free — go for it if you want free access to Peacock; want the familiarity of Comcast’s Xfinity TV interface; only want to use the most-common streaming service apps; or just want it.