Comcast plans to bake a Netflix subscription into its TV bundles, giving X1 subscribers package options that will condense the payments into a single bill. The two companies have been working together since late 2016, when Comcast first released its Xfinity X1 Netflix app that integrated the on-demand service into the set-top box.
That was followed a year later with a 4K update, which added Ultra HD and HDR streaming support on Xfinity X1. Though it’s clearly not the only way to get Netflix on your TV – there are numerous options, from cheap HDMI sticks like Amazon’s Fire TV, through to more expensive boxes like Apple TV, and many TVs themselves have integrated Netflix apps – Comcast’s integration was preferable in a number of ways.
For instance, the Xfinity X1’s voice remote could be used to search across both the Netflix catalog and Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand catalog. However users were still expected to get their own Netflix subscription and log in separately. That’s going to change as Comcast expands the integration.
Later this month, it’ll begin offering bundles that include both Xfinity X1 packages and Netflix in one. Exactly how much they’ll cost, and what they’ll include exactly, is unclear: Comcast says those factors will depend on each market. However, they’ll be open to new and existing customers. All of the Netflix-related billing will be handled by Comcast.
It’s likely to be popular, too. According to Comcast, nearly 50-percent of its existing Xfinity X1 subscribers are already actively using Netflix on the X1 set-top box. It’s said to be one of the most popular applications for voice searches using the microphone-enabled remote, and for those households with X1 Netflix integration set up, it’s the platform of choice for consuming the streaming service.
Whether this deal will reduce the monthly price of a Netflix subscription is unclear, however. Currently, the on-demand service is priced from $7.99 per month, though that only allows viewing on a single screen at a time and at the lowest possible quality. For HD streaming, you’ll need Netflix’s $10.99/mo Standard plan, which also increases the number of simultaneous streams to two. Finally, there’s a Netflix Premium subscription which supports Ultra HD quality and up to four simultaneous streams, for $13.99/mo.