Xfinity Stream review

Xfinity Stream highlights

  • Starting at $49.99/mo.
  • Best if you already subscribe to Xfinity
  • Sign up now

Xfinity Stream review

Streaming services like Sling TV, Hulu Live and YouTube TV pose a major threat to cable giants like Xfinity. Streaming has become close to a 40 billion dollar industry, so it makes sense that cable companies have decided to get in on the action. 

Xfinity entered the market in 2015 with, you guessed it, a service called Xfinity Stream. Subscribers initially had to pay $15/mo. for the capability to stream content included in their cable package. Since then, the provider has continued to experiment with ways to deliver streaming content — it now has a variety of plans that offer everything from live TV to on-demand shows and movies. The company serves up live TV through its cable and streaming packages. And it’s Flex plan, free for Xfinity internet subscribers, lets you dig into a library of complementary on-demand content. Xfinity Stream essentially operates as an extension of whatever you’ve got going on with Xfinity. 

The current iteration of Xfinity Stream is not a service — it’s an app that lets you view the movies, shows and other content you’re already paying Xfinity for. Best of all, it’s free for Xfinity cable and internet subscribers.

Compare Xfinity plans

Xfinity offers a variety of plans featuring content you can watch using the Xfinity Stream app. Flex, included with Xfinity internet plans, features access to free on-demand content. X1, the company’s live TV streaming creation, gives you a bit more versatility, letting you watch live TV, movies and on-demand programs. It also serves as a hub for all your streaming and music apps, including third-party options like Netflix and Pandora. The company also has streaming TV options you can tack onto one of its internet plans. 

Xfinity cable subscribers can use the app to watch most of the channels in their channel line-up at home or on the road. 

Xfinity’s cable and live TV streaming plans, including X1, have multiple tiers featuring varying numbers of channels. 

Flex, X1, Xfinity cable and streaming TV subscribers all have the option to purchase premium channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz. Other add-on choices include sports and international programming packages.  

X1Xfinity FlexXfinity cableXfinity Instant TV
Price$69.99Free with internet subscriptionPrice varies by location$49.99/mo.
Live TV channels140+NoneVaries by location10+
DVR includedYesNoYesYes
On-demand contentYesYesYesYes

Most of these prices involve some kind of promotion, so expect your total bill to rise after the first year of service. 

The exact cost of your service and the number of channels provided will vary based on where you live.  

All streaming plan prices listed above include the cost of an entry-level internet subscription. Some plans require you to sign a multi-year contract. Xfinity claims subscribers can cancel its Xfinity Streaming TV at any time, but keep in mind that you might not be able to just walk away from your internet subscription. 

Xfinity regularly offers bundled deals featuring options such as upgraded internet speeds and landline telephone service — so it pays to shop around a bit. 

Flex and X1 require the use of a TV box. Some X1 features, such as the ability to pause live TV, depend on the type of X1 TV box you have. 

Why Xfinity Stream may be the right streaming service for you 

Xfinity Stream isn’t a stand-alone streaming service. In fact, it’s only available to Xfinity internet or cable customers. The app itself simply increases the ways in which you can watch the content you’re already paying for with an Xfinity streaming TV plan. 

User experience 

When it comes to user experience, the Xfinity Stream app features most of the functionality you would expect — you can search, watch shows and movies as well as find on-demand content to enjoy.  You can’t use the app to record Flex content.  

The amount of cloud strange you get depends on your underlying plan. Flex doesn’t provide any and X1 comes with 60 hours or 500 GB of storage. Your X1 TV box has 150 hours of local DVR space. Because Xfinity divides things between the cloud and your X1 TV box, you won’t be able to access all your recorded content via the Xfinity Stream app. The basic Xfinity Instant TV plan includes 10 hours of free non-cloud-based DVR recording time. 

Device compatibility 

The Xfinity Stream app is compatible with the following devices

  • Amazon Kindle Fire and Fire Phone
  • Apple iPhone, iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPod touch
  • Web browsers

Keep in mind that the app doesn’t work with the following products:

  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Nook devices 
  • Windows tablets and phones

Xfinity Stream features you’ll love

Xfinity packed its app with tons of fun and useful features. Your exact setup will depend on your TV or content delivery plan. 

Local broadcast channels on the go

If your Xfinity TV plan offers access to local broadcast channels, you may be able to watch ABC, Fox and NBC through the app when you aren’t at home. 

Remote recording management

Xfinity Stream lets X1 subscribers manage DVR recordings through the app. You can even set up recordings when you’re away from home. 

Watch offline

If you have an X1 plan, you can download DVR recordings to watch when you don’t have internet connectivity. Everyone has the ability to enjoy purchased on-demand content offline.

Versatile Parental Controls

Head to Settings to turn on parental controls. You can establish different limits for each device.

What to watch on Xfinity Stream 

Xfinity Stream doesn’t really provide programming. For the most part, it’s a way to view content that is part of an Xfinity TV plan. Flex subscribers without a TV plan have access to a variety of on-demand movies and shows for free. 

Xfinity Instant TV offers several channels, including CNN, ESPN, NFL Network and Golf Channel. It also carries ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. Some plans limit your ability to watch live local networks when you aren’t at home. 

All Xfinity plans permit subscribers to purchase premium channels, giving them access to Cinemax, HBO, Showtime and Starz.  

The takeaway 

Xfinity Stream gives you the ability to watch content when you aren’t at home. To get in on the action, you’ll need to be an Xfinity TV or internet customer. The app is technically free — your Xfinity plan determines your cost. Given the availability, and cost, of on-demand streaming services such as Hulu ($5.99/mo) and cable replacement options like YouTube TV (49.99/mo), Xfinity Stream is probably only worth bothering with if you already have some sort of relationship with Xfinity. 

Aaron Trumm

Aaron Trumm has been writing, creating content, and producing media, online presences and music for 25 years. He is the founder and head of NQuit Music, holds a master’s degree from Stanford University, and was once the 10th ranked slam poet in the world. He's written for publications like Recording Magazine, Linux Journal, Computer Music Magazine, and SonicScoop, to name a few. He also enjoys sports and fitness so much that he's a certified personal trainer and often writes in that area as well.