There’s good news for Comcast subscribers who have a Roku box. Comcast is unveiling an “Xfinity TV” app for Roku that works just like your cable box does now, meaning you don’t have to pay your monthly cable box rental fee. But there’s bad news too. If you stop using your cable box and use your Roku instead, Comcast is still going to charge you a fee.
Comcast made the announcement this week that they would begin letting subscribers use their Roku boxes as a secondary cable box.The new Comcast app has all the features of the current cable box, including full live and on demand shows, plus cloud DVR access. A home Wi-Fi network connection is necessary to use the beta app (it won’t work if you decide to take your Roku box on the go), and like many similar devices, and data used for this isn’t counted against an Internet data cap.
Eventually, the plan is to let customers completely replace their cable box. During the beta phase though, customers will still need at least one current Comcast cable box.
While beta participants won’t see any extra charge for the service, one the trial run is over, any customer who decides to ditch their cable box for a Roku box will see an “outlet connection” fee similar to the fees Comcast already has for people who use their own equipment. Yes, Comcast is charging a fee if you use their cable box, charging a fee if you use your cable box, and charging a fee if you use no cable box at all.
Right now, Comcast customers who rent a box from the company pay just under $10 a month. Use your own box, and that fee drops to a little over $7 a month. It’s expected that the new Roku fee will be similar to the latter.