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Two US cable giants are launching their own streaming box later this year
- Comcast and Charter are launching their own TV streaming hardware.
- Dubbed the Xumo Box, the device is a rebranded Flex that may include 4K streaming and voice search.
- It will be available through the cable companies and Walmart later this year.
Consumers have been the big benefactors in the competitive streaming industry, with choices and platforms galore. However, cable companies have felt the adverse effects. Now, intent on clawing back some of the nostalgic market, Comcast and Charter are set to launch their own streaming box.
Dubbed the Xumo Box after the companies’ joint venture, the device is a rebranded Xfinity Flex streaming box that runs on the X1 platform, according to Cord Cutters. That means a limited ecosystem with a Comcast-managed app repository fronted by its free streaming service, Xumo Play. However, the box does support 4K quality media, voice search, and has a relatively pleasant and familiar UI. By all accounts, Xumo Play is a worthwhile option if you’re into older content, too. If this isn’t your cup of tea, the Xumo Box should offer other streaming services, like Netflix and Peacock, and a host of FAST channels.
Would you buy Comcast and Charter's streaming box?
With already established players like Roku dominating the streaming hardware world, it seems a strange bet for the two largest cable firms in the US to compete directly with bespoke hardware. However, building a streaming platform to rival the big players may be the only way cable firms combat falling subscriber numbers. Comcast and Charter also have the advantage of bundling internet access through Xfinity and Spectrum with the streaming box, giving current and new users added incentives.
The Xumo Box will be available to purchase from Comcast, Charter, and Walmart later this year. No pricing details are available yet, but it’ll have to be generous to draw users away from the alternatives.