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Kamikaze2003
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Xfinity Channel in Beta

Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:05 pm

The Xfinity Channel is listed as Beta, but you can get it from the Channel Store.  https://channelstore.roku.com/details/123132/xfinity-tv-beta
Here the announcement:  https://blog.roku.com/blog/2017/01/31/xfinity-tv-app-for-select-roku-devices-begins-beta-trial

 and here's the FAQ: https://customer.xfinity.com/help-and-support/xfinity-apps/xfinity-tv-app-on-roku-faqs

I'll post my initial review as soon as I get home and can try it.  :)
 
Rcosta
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:20 pm

All, As I am a beta tester for many other products, both hardware and software, I decided that I would give the Xfinity application beta an end-to-end test. I downloaded the application to my Roku, then I went to activate the application.

* I went to the URL as directed by the application.
* I typed in my authentication code and account information.

I was met with a web site crash with a 404 error and a whole page of Java code. I have taken a screen shot of the website crash if someone from the development team would like to have that information.

* I went to the Comcast website and did not find a link for the beta. Requested chat with a CSR and the site never connected me to a CSR.

By reading the Java code errors, the authentication website is not accepting a character in my Comcast account password as a defined variable.

Has anyone else been able to get authentication of the application to work?
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sharpedge
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:20 pm

Rcosta wrote:
Has anyone else been able to get authentication of the application to work?

Yes, but I only have numbers and letters in my xfinity password.

As for the channel, it seems a little slow on my Roku 3.  First time I tried to watch a live channel it rebooted my Roku, but it currently seems to be working.  All channels though have a black band at the top and sides so that the content is not filling the screen, and I don't see anything in the channel settings to fix it.  I don't have the issue with any other Roku channel, or my cablebox.
 
Rcosta
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:34 pm

sharpedge wrote:
Rcosta wrote:
Has anyone else been able to get authentication of the application to work?

Yes, but I only have numbers and letters in my xfinity password.

As for the channel, it seems a little slow on my Roku 3.  First time I tried to watch a live channel it rebooted my Roku, but it currently seems to be working.  All channels though have a black band at the top and sides so that the content is not filling the screen, and I don't see anything in the channel settings to fix it.  I don't have the issue with any other Roku channel, or my cablebox.

I am glad to see that someone was able to get the application to authenticate.

It might be a workaround to change my password to only alphanumeric, but then that reduces the security of the passcode. It would be better if the site developer would fix the issue or that someone from the partner team or engineering would let Comcast know that there is a potential problem. They will not be able to fix the site, if they do not know that there is an issue. Considering that Comcast allows Alpha, Numeric and Control characters in their password, I would think that the authentication site would have the same criteria. An SSO(Single Sign On) implementation would of worked better.
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andyross
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:28 pm

I had a little fun with my Roku 4. First, when I powered it up, it seemed to be locked up, so I had to power-cycle it. I couldn't find the Xfinity app in the store, so used some of the online links to add it from a PC. I then had to go to the system up to force it to check, which then downloaded and installed the program. I then ran it and used the web link to activate it.

Be aware that the Beta is free to use, but most reports seem to imply that it will be treated like a CableCard device once it goes live. You will be charged a connection fee (typically $9.95), but get a device discount (-$2.50). Those of you hoping to save money may be out of luck. It will have more features than a DTA (currently $5.99), but only save money if you are replacing a full box.
 
Rcosta
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:52 pm

andyross wrote:
I had a little fun with my Roku 4. First, when I powered it up, it seemed to be locked up, so I had to power-cycle it. I couldn't find the Xfinity app in the store, so used some of the online links to add it from a PC. I then had to go to the system up to force it to check, which then downloaded and installed the program. I then ran it and used the web link to activate it.

Be aware that the Beta is free to use, but most reports seem to imply that it will be treated like a CableCard device once it goes live. You will be charged a connection fee (typically $9.95), but get a device discount (-$2.50). Those of you hoping to save money may be out of luck. It will have more features than a DTA (currently $5.99), but only save money if you are replacing a full box.

I wish that this information was available on the Roku blog and/or during the activation process so that "beta" testers are not caught blindsided with charges after you take the time and effort to "beta" test the product. Also I do not see that this is a managed beta where you can log bug reports or feature requests. Anyone have the inside track on this new application and the methodology for tracking any issues? Not a true beta in my opinion, unless I am missing some information. 
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Rcosta
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:17 pm

What I am curious about is what is the feature set of this Roku-based application over my desktop box? The O/S on my X1 Comcast box is pretty intuitive, supports voice commands. What can this application give me that the Xfinity box cannot? If there is going to be charges with this application once it goes into production, then what is the value-add over my hardware box? It seems like complete upside to Comcast as they will not have so much overhead for the boxes, but what is the value-add for the consumer?
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burntbeane
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:22 am

Quick question. Does the xfinity channel carry local stations? I would love to get my local Boston channels again. I would order cable again if they did (without any blackouts for Redsox or Patriots games).
 
sharpedge
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:15 am

burntbeane wrote:
Quick question. Does the xfinity channel carry local stations? I would love to get my local Boston channels again. I would order cable again if they did (without any blackouts for Redsox or Patriots games).

Yes, I live just north of Boston and the stations on the channel seem to match exactly what's on my cable box.  I only checked the first 50 or so channels, but local news is in the lower part of that range.
 
andyross
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:33 am

Rcosta wrote:
What I am curious about is what is the feature set of this Roku-based application over my desktop box? The O/S on my X1 Comcast box is pretty intuitive, supports voice commands. What can this application give me that the Xfinity box cannot? If there is going to be charges with this application once it goes into production, then what is the value-add over my hardware box? It seems like complete upside to Comcast as they will not have so much overhead for the boxes, but what is the value-add for the consumer?

It will probably emulate an X1 box. The value will depend on what, if anything, they decide to charge for it. Even if it's the roughly $7.45 ($9.95 - $2.50) estimated, it can be useful in a lesser used room or bedroom where you want more access than a DTA. I did a quick check, and i can access Smithsonian and other Preferred channels that are not on my bedroom DTA. Also, Smithsonian appeared to still only be SD, but it does look a bit better than the SD from the cable box (Smithsonian HD is not available by me.)
 
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:34 am

sharpedge wrote:
burntbeane wrote:
Quick question. Does the xfinity channel carry local stations? I would love to get my local Boston channels again. I would order cable again if they did (without any blackouts for Redsox or Patriots games).

Yes, I live just north of Boston and the stations on the channel seem to match exactly what's on my cable box.  I only checked the first 50 or so channels, but local news is in the lower part of that range.


I would expect the same blackouts you would normally get. They blackout by your location, regardless of how you receive the channel.
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knuckle
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:42 am

because it does not require any special modem settings my bet would be that eventually they would sell services outside their grid -- take it national like sling or vue
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Rcosta
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:43 am

Beta Feedback location:

New Information that I found out on how to report bugs and issues and provide feedback on the application.

You have to go to the Roku thread on https:/// forums.xfinity.com.
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MacysBruce
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:06 pm

I'll stick with PSVue. This just sounds like a money grab and I'm not falling for it. 
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jontalk
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Re: Xfinity Channel in Beta

Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:38 pm

I added the channel, went to the site to authenticate, typed in the 6 digits and the web page said "Success". Then I went back to the TV and the channel said, "This can only be used with Xfinity WiFi" and had the "Exit app" button...Huh? I've been a Comcast customer for 20 years since they have a monopoly here in the Bay area. I called Comcast tech support to report the bug. 
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