Comcast starts offering Xumo Stream Box to Xfinity broadband subs

Comcast is officially offering the Xumo Stream Box device to its Xfinity Internet customers, the company announced Tuesday.

The Xumo Stream Box, created by the Comcast-Charter Xumo joint venture, is a 4K streaming device that aggregates search and discovery for content from live, on-demand, streaming, free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) and pre-loaded apps within one experience.

Comcast’s distribution of the device, plans for which were previously disclosed, is particularly notable as it’s being offered to the operator’s large base of 29.8 million residential Xfinity broadband subscribers at no extra cost for the first device. For any additional Xumo Stream Boxes, Comcast will charge a $5 monthly fee per device. Similarly, Charter is offering the Xumo Stream Box to Spectrum customers. Mediacom is a third U.S. operator that has signed on to offer the device to broadband subscribers, in part as a way to maintain an entertainment relationship with customers as they shift to streaming and operators turn attention to high-speed internet.

The Xumo Stream Box debuted in October and is powered by the Comcast Entertainment OS – joining Sky Glass and Sky Stream in the UK and marking a step in the company’s push into the global TVOS wars. During the Xumo Stream Box launch event in New York City this fall, Xumo President Marcien Jenckes said the device “will largely be distributed by operators.”

“We’re very proud about the value proposition that it brings to consumers and the problems that it solves within the ecosystem,” Jenckes said at the October 4 event.

A key feature of the device is to make the process of search, discovery and accessing content easier amid the current landscape of TV viewing fragmentation and choice fatigue. It comes with a voice remote that enables customers to search for a movie or show by saying the name, and the device will search across all available apps and services to locate it. It also uses AI-driven personalization alongside an in-house editorial team to surface content recommendations from across services on the platform, without having to switch between various apps. 

And hundreds of streaming apps, including Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, Max, Netflix, Peacock and others, come pre-integrated. Customers can use the voice remote to search streaming services by name, after which the Xumo Stream Box will find and launch the app.

“Finding something to watch across streaming apps can be frustrating and time consuming for customers,” said John Dixon, SVP of Entertainment at Comcast, in a statement.  “Xumo Stream Box helps simplify streaming so customers can spend less time searching and more time watching with key features like live TV at start-up, leading voice search, an integrated guide, and all the most popular apps preloaded and ready to watch.” 

For the Xumo Stream Box from Xfinity in particular, users will also be able to access live channels from Xfinity Stream and that app’s more than 20 FAST channels, as well the more than 40 streaming channels included in Comcast's Now TV offering (introduced in May) from A&E, AMC, Hallmark, Warner Bros. Discovery and others. Comcast touted new features such as a “currently playing” tile, which shows what’s airing on the last Xfinity Stream channel a customer viewed, and the built-in channel guide, as making browsing the operator’s streaming channels more seamless.

One more first for Xfinity customers is the ability to create personalized viewing lists for each member of the family with a “My List” feature.

New Xfinity Internet customers will have the option to add a Xumo Stream Box when they sign up for service, while existing customers that don't already have a Flex box can request one online, contact an agent or visit a retail store to add the device to their account. Customers that already have Flex and want to switch it out for a Xumo Stream Box can do so by contacting a customer representative or going to a retail store.


In an October column on StreamTV Insider, TVREV analyst Alan Wolk zeroed in on Comcast’s EntertainmentOS, which he said seems built as a way for the companies to participate in the global streaming wars, serving as an alternative to other OS already available.

“And to do that, they’ve designed an operating system that can function for both cord cutters and for those who already have an existing pay TV package, one they are not particularly keen to give up,” he wrote.

According to Wolk, around 30% of the U.S. population has little to no interest in giving up cable or venturing into the world of streaming devices and smart TV interfaces.

“So the Xumo box is there to help them enter the 21st century and the Wonderful World of Streaming Television, while still providing access to a familiar grid-style EPG and all their favorite networks,” the analyst commented.

Article updated with information on how new and existing Xfinity Internet customers can get the Xumo Stream Box and the $5 monthly fee for additional devices.