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Comcast is planning a streaming set-top box for cord cutters

Comcast is planning a streaming set-top box for cord cutters


But can it compete with Apple, Amazon, and Roku?

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The Comcast logo on a black background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Comcast might be getting ready to cut the cord: the company is reportedly planning a streaming set-top box for its internet customers, according to CNBC.

The upcoming box is said to be able to combine offerings from various streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube in a single, centralized place, along with a remote that features voice control for navigation. Comcast also intends for the set-top box to be a smart home hub, letting users control things like lights and thermostats directly from their TV. In other words, it sounds a lot like Comcast’s X1 cable box, minus the cable part, or like Apple’s Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV, and Roku’s slate of set-top boxes that it’ll have to compete against.

Like a Comcast X1 box, minus the cable TV part

CNBC notes that Comcast’s box won’t have the app selection that Apple, Amazon, and Roku do. (Think of it more like the specifically curated and integrated services that the X1 offers.) Unlike those third-party platforms, there won’t be an option to, say, install Sling TV or DirecTV Now, which directly compete with Comcast’s own TV services.

But it will have other advantages, including the option for Comcast to directly market it to its internet customers as a monthly add-on to their existing subscription. And while the box won’t offer cable TV, users will still be able to rent shows and movies from Comcast as well as upgrade to a Comcast video package of some kind.

The new Comcast streaming box is set to launch sometime next year.