From the sounds of it, that need for the cable box won't be around forever, as Comcast is blaming the requirement on "technical limitations" during the beta.
For households with multiple cable-connected TVs, Comcast says, returning those extras set-top boxes and using the Roku app instead will save you $2.50 per TV per month.
Roku is the first set-stop box to offer the Xfinity TV service, Comcast said in a statement Tuesday.
Those anxious about the app adding to the total Xfinity internet data usage plan shouldn't be: Comcast says the service delivered through the app is not internet-based, but a Title VI cable service provided by Comcast's own cable network, so it shouldn't count toward users' internet data usage plan.
Thankfully, fees are waived during the app's beta and users will have the chance to opt in to the paid version when the app is formally released later this year.
Roku devices are now compatible with the Comcast Xfinity TV App. Subscribers no longer need to rent another Xfinity cable box. Comcast expects to expand support to additional Roku devices leading up to the app's launch. Comcast also has Xfinity TV mobile apps for watching TV shows and movies on iOS and Android devices.
In announcing the service, Comcast said subscribers who want to try out the app must have a set-top box in their house, as well as be subscribers to the company's cable television and internet services. The cable company is expected to levy its fee by considering the Roku as a secondary platform for its cable services. Though it requires Internet service, TV on Roku is still considered a "cable" service and doesn't count against Comcast data caps.
Comcast now charges customers $10 a month to rent cable boxes. But Comcast today is offering one option to its subscribers who have a Roku device.
Comcast considers this consumption as feeding off its managed network and customers aren't eating into their data caps. In the future, it might be possible to watch Comcast TV on a Roku without a Comcast Internet subscription, as Comcast says it is "working hard to make cable-only gateway equipment available soon". Most of the Xfinity features you're used to will be present, but there are a few restrictions while the app is still in beta. In addition to live TV and VOD, viewers can store DVR recordings in the cloud and stream them any time.