Comcast Launching Subscription Streaming Service For $4.99/Month

Comcast has officially declared war on Netflix, announcing the launch of its Xfinity Streampix subscription video service that is cheaper than Netflix but which will only be available for Comcast customers.

The price for Streampix is $4.99/month, but it will be included for free for Comcast customers who have the phone/cable/internet bundle.

But is it worth even that meager price?

Among the movies being offered for streaming access when the service launches are Brokeback Mountain, Stuart Little, When Harry Met Sally, and Analyze That (because we all know it’s one of the few sequels that is superior to the original).

There will also be full previous seasons of TV shows like 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost and Married…with Children.

Not exactly impressive, but anyone who remembers the early days of Netflix streaming knows that it can take a bit of time to ramp up the amount of content available.

Comcast says it will make the service available through Xbox and Android devices later this year, though there is no mention of when, if ever, the service would be available to non-Comcast customers — or to customers who only have Comcast internet access.

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  1. Karney says:

    “Comcast has officially declared war on Netflix, announcing the launch of its Xfinity Streampix subscription video service that is cheaper than Netflix but which will only be available for Comcast customers.”

    Which by no means makes it cheaper. 4.99 tacked on to hundreds > 7.99

    • MutantMonkey says:

      Yeah, Comcast probably felt a breeze over their head but didn’t stop to think what caused it.

    • Guppy06 says:

      Kind of hard to get Netflix without an ISP.

      • longdvsn says:

        Let me fix that…
        (4.99 + internet + cable + phone) > (7.99 + internet)

        A lot of people use netflix and (free or cheap) online streaming as an alternative to cable. And who uses a home phone these days? Overall, it adds up to costing around ~$100/mo more with Comcrap’s new offering than cutting cable and using netflix.

        • Psychicsword says:

          It is actually ( free + internet + cable + phone) > (7.99 + internet)

          Still a shitty deal but someone could get internet from comcast(I think it is around $45/month) and the $4.99 streaming deal instead of cable.

        • Guppy06 says:

          The totals still depend on the prices of the forced bundle. Currently I’m paying less for digital cable + internet than I would be for internet alone thanks to a year-long promotional price scheme.

          (The unused cable box will be returned at the end of the year.)

          Similarly, I believe the cable company’s internet + phone bundle is a little less than buying standalone internet with unlimited Vonage on the side, but I’m using one of Vonage’s cheaper plans anyway.

    • dicobalt says:

      Sort of like those high end $99 smart phone deals that require a 2 year contract with inflated service prices to offset the subsidized hardware costs. In the end that phone is not on sale.

  2. MaximusMMIV says:

    They can’t compete against a stand-alone streaming service with one tethered to their cable package. Defeats the purpose.

  3. Conformist138 says:

    xBox and Android? So… what about, like, online streaming? I already have various OnDemand options on my TV through Comcast, so this service is meaningless unless I can open a browser window and watch movies/shows where ever my laptop and I may be.

  4. humphrmi says:

    So let’s see if I have this right:

    Netflix: “Drop your cable and watch all the shows and movies you want for $7.99″

    Comcast: “Keep your cable and pay $4.99 on top of that to watch all the shows and movies you want, someday”

    Hmm…..

  5. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i wonder if they will end up making a roku channel for that. so far they’ve declared war on roku too, by blocking their customers who have HBO from using HBOGO service on roku. but if they can get a direct cut of it….

  6. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “cheaper than Netflix but which will only be available for Comcast customers.”

    So… not cheaper?

  7. NeverLetMeDown says:

    It’s going to be available to their broadband customers too. And free for their triple-play customers (and those with at least mid-tier video packages.

  8. PLATTWORX says:

    A friend of mine has Netflix streaming. We can NEVER find a recent movie worth watching on the thing and we’re not talking big blockbusters. It seems most of what they have streaming are from the 99 cent bin.

  9. Invader Zim says:

    Im sure the 4.99 will offer plenty of crap you dont want to see. Plus you probably will have to have a cable subscription. So it wont really be 4.99.

  10. eturowski says:

    Xfinity already has lots of movies to stream from the website… I’m not really sure what the point of this new service is, other than to try to bring people in who are not Comcast subscribers.

  11. Guppy06 says:

    Yes, Netflix started small, but Netflix didn’t have to compete with… well, Netflix.

    I suspect that Comcast’s offering will be laden with advertising, which is exactly why I don’t watch cable to begin with.

  12. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    Comcast version of declaring war, apparently similar to lighting off firecrackers in a nearby field and telling Netflix…YOU ARE NEXT!

  13. jeffbone says:

    Dear Comcast,

    If I pay the $4.99, will the traffic generated by my use of this service not count toward my 250GB monthly cap?

    If it does count against the cap, please explain why I should pay more money just to reach my cap faster.

    Thanks,
    A suspicious Comcast customer

    • Hawkins says:

      Excellent question, Mr. Bone.

      I assume that Comcast pays internet backbone providers for bandwidth, to connect me to Netflix. If they can keep my video streams off the public Internet, and inside their own network, then they’re not paying.

      There’s still a cost to Comcast, though: as a bandwidth hog, I may be forcing them to buy more capacity in my neighborhood.

      So I bet it will count.

    • LanMan04 says:

      NO NO NO!! This is *exactly* what Network Neutrality is supposed to address/prevent.

      Comcast streaming should *absolutely* count against your 250GB a month, otherwise Comcast is gaining an unfair competitive advantage by penalizing you for using other data sources. ALL DATA SHOULD BE EQUAL, regardless of origin, destination, or company affiliation!

  14. Vox Republica says:

    The current market trend is people phasing out cable/satellite/etc. in favor of streaming video services. In response, Comcast offers a service that a.) is only available to extant customers, b.) still costs extra, and c.) has I guess some content already kinda sorta.

    slowclap.gif

    They might (might!) be able to successfully poach that share of their customer base that has Netflix, but otherwise, what a terribly conceived service.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      From the NY Times article “Called Streampix, the service will give Comcast‚Äôs 22.3 million Xfinity cable subscribers access to 75,000 television shows and movies via cellphones, tablets and laptops.”

      Which is exactly how I had to watch Netflix, on my laptop computer, before I got a Roku box. Now I can **gasp** watch streaming TV shows on my TV.

      This really seems like a step backward.

  15. Sparkstalker says:

    Next up for Xfinity users – lower bandwidth caps! Naturally, though, Comcast provided services will be exempt from them.

  16. The Twilight Clone says:

    So will this service count against the 250GB quota?

  17. dicobalt says:

    If it’s only available to Comcast customers they will never be able to compete with Netflix.

  18. humphrmi says:

    I think I’ve figured this out. Comcast is hoping beyond hope that all their former customers are switching to streaming services, not for cost reasons, but because “streaming is cool” and they all want to watch movies on their iphones and notebooks. So Comcast is providing a way to “STREAM SUM KEWL MOVIEZ”

  19. hansolo247 says:

    Hmm, I wonder how much Comcast will pay for NBC Comcast content?

    Weren’t they not supposed to be anti-competitive with their merger?

  20. Press1forDialTone says:

    Comcast is outgrowing their bandwidth and -ALL- services run through their
    fiber/wire plant are going to suffer. I have always had excellent TV and Internet
    service from Comcast (yes I’m that one guy) but I’ve noticed momentary blank-screens
    and pixelation. They’ve check my inside and outside wiring and the signal quality and
    strength and everything is just ducky. The tech told me (and probably shouldn’t have)
    that in some areas, the company is outgrowing the capacity they put in place very
    quickly with new bandwidth gobbling services like streaming movies. Any service
    that requires a constant high-speed connection to work properly is going to
    bog down the entire system. The more people using these services at the same
    time means no one (or maybe just the people that aren’t paying Comcast the
    maximum amount possible) is going to get good endpoint service. I’m NOT just
    say’in either. I’m an IT expert retired from a top-ten public University and well
    I know what I’m talking about. There I said it.

  21. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I have Comcast triple play, and while I have no problems with the service, I don’t like the total cost. OTA is out due to geography. There is no other option for internet except dial up, and I do not want to go back to Verizon for a landline. I’d rather drive spikes into my head.

    I’ve had triple play for 3 1/2 years. In all that time, I’ve found 2 free movies that I’ve watched. I’ve never paid for one, because I can get the DVD from Netflix. I use Netflix mostly to watch TV shows, in both DVD and streaming, with an occasional movie thrown in.

    So unless I can watch Streampix on my TV like I do Netflix, through my Roku box, I’m not interested, and I can’t imagine they’d have anything different than I can get from Netflix DVD’s or streaming anyway.

    I’m hoping to cut back to just internet service by summer. Just have to figure out how to port over my home phone number to another service. I’ve had the same number for over 20 years, and the thought of getting a new number that was previously owned by a deadbeat terrifies me.

    • yurei avalon says:

      Porting is pretty easy, at least with cellphones. Pretty much sign up with new provider, tell them you want to port your number to their service and give them any relevant information they ask for. Then wait a few days. The new company usually does all of the work including cancelling your old account for you. I still called to check on mine though to be sure. Also, be prepared to be without phone service while they make the port.

  22. HogwartsProfessor says:

    We don’t even have Comcast in this area, which is dominated by Mediacom. So sorry, Comcast. I’ll keep my Netflix. If I end up dropping the DirecTV I will need it to feed my TV habit.

  23. kathygnome says:

    If you want to offer me more options in content on demand that’s fine, but why not just include them in your normal “on demand” section.

    • erinpac says:

      Because if they give it a different name, they can charge $5 more and still give you “free OnDemand” !!111!!11!

  24. gman863 says:

    Amazon offers a free streaming video service if you subscribe to their Prime Membership @ 79.99/year.

    It’s currently a crappy selection of video. What makes Prime worth it is free two-day shipping on most orders, regardless of the order amount.

  25. vastrightwing says:

    You can expect a bad streaming experience:
    1) It’s Comcast.
    2) They already have bandwidth problems end to end due to poor infrastructure build out.
    3) The software probably won’t work on anything except Windows 7 SP1
    4) In order to save bandwidth, they probably won’t stream more than 320.
    5) Their movie viewer will only work on IE9 or something like that.
    6) Their software will require a PC with quad core and anything less will lose synch.

  26. moonunitrappa says:

    WHY is consumerist advertising for Comcast when surely if the product is only available to customers they will find a way to advertise to them via mail spam and other announcements? Ugh!

  27. JonBoy470 says:

    Comcast has realized that their subscribers have realized that video is nothing more than a special form of data, and not worth the $50 up-charge for “TV” service. By tying this new Netflix knock-off to their TV service (or Triple Play) they demonstrate that this is a desperate ploy to stem the tide of people “cutting the cord”.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch… I have Comcast at home right now, and Netflix, a Wireless-G network, an iPad 2, iPhone 4S and a Wii. Netflix consistently operates more smoothly via the Wii, or in HD on my iPad or my wife’s iPhone 4S, than Comcast on-demand does on my set-top box/SDTV combo. Why would I want to pay EVEN MORE for crappier service than Netflix?