Comcast Xfinity customers will soon be able to replace their cable box with an app for television sets and streaming media gadgets.
The new app, which will be available “later this year” will turn Samsung smart TVs and Roku devices into quasi cable boxes.
The app will serve up live TV and on-demand video just like a standard Comcast X1 cable box.
Customers can use the app to watch TV and also to record shows on their virtual DVRs.
Comcast customers who return their boxes will save $10 a month since it will exclude their cable box rental.
“Our customers should be able to access their Xfinity TV cable service wherever they want, whenever they want, on whatever device they want,” Mark Hess, Comcast’s industry affairs chief, said in a statement.
Eventually Comcast would like to expand the cable-less app beyond Samsung and Roku.
Other cable providers have also started to offer apps as they attempt to expand their services to mobile gadgets that are being increasingly used by millennials to consume video content.
In a statement, the FCC criticized Comcast’s app plan, arguing that it’s just offering the same old Xfinity service on a different device.
“While we do not know all of the details of this announcement, it appears to offer only a proprietary, Comcast-controlled user interface and seems to allow only Comcast content on different devices, rather than allowing those devices to integrate or search across Comcast content as well as other content consumers subscribe to,” an FCC spokesman said in a statement.
The FCC had previously called for a more “open source” cable box that is capable of offering more universal services.