Comcast may be ready to cut the cord: the company plans to schedule a streaming-set box for its Internet customers, according to CNBC.
The coming box is said to be able to combine offers from various streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube in a single centralized location, along with a remote control that includes voice navigation for navigation. Comcast also intends to make the set-top box a smart home hub, which allows users to control things like lights and thermostats directly from their TV. In other words, it sounds like Comcast’s X1 cable box, minus the cable part, or Apple’s Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV, and Rokus slate of set-top boxes that it has to compete against.
CNBC notes that Comcast’s box will not be appealed by Apple, Amazon and Roku. (Think more about the specially cured and integrated services offered by X1.) Unlike these third party platforms, there will be no alternative to install Sling TV or DirecTV Now, which competes directly with Comcast’s own TV services.
But it will have other benefits, including the possibility that Comcast direct markets it to its Internet customers as a monthly addition to their existing subscription. And while the box will not offer cable TV, users will still be able to rent Comcast comics and movies as well as upgrade to a Comcast video package of any kind.
The new Comcast streaming box is set to start sometime next year.