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Comcast unveils new net video streaming service

Comcast unveils new net video streaming service

Comcast will begin offering a streaming video service for its Xfinity Internet subscribers later this summer. The service, called Stream, will be available first in Boston then to Chicago and Seattle, with plans for it to be offered in all Comcast territories by early 2016.

Stream, priced at $15 monthly, will include HBO and major broadcast networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS. It will be watchable on tablets, computers and smartphones. Users can, however, input their Stream credentials to watch apps such as HBO Go on televisions. The new service “furthers our goal to provide TV choices for everyone,” said Matt Strauss, Comcast’s executive vice president and general manager of video services, in a blog post on the company’s corporate website. If you “spend most of your time with the screen in your lap as opposed to the one on the wall, Stream may be just the thing for you.”

Xfinity Net subscribers would download the Stream app to begin using the service. Users also get access to Xfinity’s TV Everywhere service and a cloud DVR for recording shows. Comcast joins a growing set of options for those looking beyond traditional pay-TV packages. Last week, Showtime launched its own standalone streaming service, following the April arrival of HBO Now, that premium network’s service. (HBO Now is priced at $14.99, one cent less than Comcast’s Stream.)

This move by Comcast “should not come as a surprise,” said Phil Swann on TVPredictions.com. “The company has hinted at the possibility in the last year or so, but has likely been cautious due to its hoped-for merger with Time Warner Cable. But now that the merger is dead thanks to federal regulators, Comcast can proceed with a streaming plan that can compete with other Internet TV players such as Dish, Sony, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and, likely in the next year, Verizon, Apple and the new DirecTV-AT&T company.”

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