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Samsung, Roku Eliminating Need For Comcast Cable Boxes

Consumers with Samsung smart TVs, Roku players, and Roku TVs won’t need a Comcast cable box to get all of their Comcast content, including Comcast’s programming guide, live and on-demand programming, cloud DVR recordings, and local broadcasts.

The cable-TV company launched its Xfinity TV Partner Program to help manufacturers of smart TVs and IP-connected devices build apps that access Comcast content in the cable operator’s footprint. Samsung and Roku are the first companies to participate. Comcast stressed that the app could replace all leased settop boxes in a household.

The announcement follows an FCC vote in February to open up the leased settop-box market to competition from smart-TV and tablet apps that access the programming of pay-TV providers.

Samsung is the first smart TV supplier to sign up for the program. The Xfinity TV Partner app will be available on 2016 Samsung smart TVs later this year, Comcast said. Also later this year, Comcast subscribers will be able to enjoy their cable subscription via an Xfinity TV Partner app designed specifically for Roku TVs and Roku streaming players.

The apps will also access local public, educational and governmental (PEG) channels. 

Comcast content will be delivered to homes via IP over Comcast’s cable network and not over public Internet connections.

Said Comcast SVP Mark Hess, “We remain committed to giving our customers more choice in how, when and where they access their subscription, and the Xfinity TV Partner Program enables us to efficiently and effectively expand the range of devices our customers can utilize to do that.”