Xfinity Instant TV Review

8

Great

Price 9 out of 10

Interface 7.5 out of 10

Compatibility 9.2 out of 10

New Shows 8 out of 10

Xfinity Instant TV is a streaming service which promotes itself as customisable streaming TV. The channel packs allow users to enjoy live HD streaming, both on TV at home and on the go with the Xfinity app. 10 hours of cloud DVR are also included, making it easy to store recorded programs to watch later. To select the best package for you, it’s possible to load up a page of plans which can be filtered according to whether you want to purchase internet, TV, phone or a combination of the three.

There are many devices which can be used with Xfinity Instant TV. For example, it can be used with Roku, Android phones, Android tablets, iPhones, iPads and web browsers. Unfortunately, there is not compatibility with Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox, Nintendo, VIZIO smart TV, LG smart TV or Samsung smart TV.

Content available

The content available with Xfinity Instant TV depends on the type of package you sign up for. For example, with the Choice TV package, your selection will include basic essential channels such as CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC. However, with a package which includes over 260 channels, you’ll have the below included:

  • ABC
  • AMC
  • A&E
  • Cartoon Network
  • Comedy Central
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN 
  • ESPN 2
  • History Channel
  • MLB Network
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Teen Nick
  • The Weather Channel
  • TNT
  • Starz
  • Fox Sports
  • HGTV
  • Viceland
  • Bet
  • Bravo
  • CBS
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • E!
  • Stars Encore
  • Fox
  • Freeform
  • MLB TV
  • NBC
  • Nickelodeon
  • Sprout
  • TBS
  • Nick Jr
  • HBO
  • Showtime
  • Hallmark
  • Food Network
  • Lifetime

User experience with Xfinity

It’s possible to make Xfinity your browser homepage, so you can access news, entertainment and more from the moment you load it up. The theme is minimalist, with a black menu bar. The menu bar has options to view My Xfinity, which is the customised homepage. Alternatively, you can view the Shop or Upgrade. The Support pages are also easily accessible via the top menu bar, as is a link to access your account – referred to as My Account. Further along this bar, there are options to access your email, Xfinity stream, Xfinity home, Xfinity xfi, Xfinity voice and Xfinity volume. Finally, there is a link to sign in, as the Xfinity homepage can be viewed regardless of whether you are signed in or not.

Scrolling down the homepage, you will see a slider inviting you to watch content such as movies and sports, along with a top news story which is available to stream live. There is a dedicated bar beneath this information, inviting you to watch TV online. There will be a selection of TV shows to choose from, with enticing sub headers to encourage you to click on them. New movies which are available to rent or buy will be on offer underneath the TV shows, and there will be summaries of each one in the captions to inform you of what you’d be watching. If you don’t have much time, or want to watch something shorter, there are also top videos available, which can range from news to weather, nature and sport. Alternatively, you can choose to read the news, browse games or explore the shopping option, all via the dedicated links on this menu.Furthermore, staying up to date with the news is easy, as there are top stories on offer, along with trending videos. 

Standard Plan

$18
1 month

Xfinity Instant TV DVR

The main DVR system is known as the X1. Three different models are available, but they all have an identical interface and are capable of recording shows in the same way. You’ll either get the ARRIS and Pace XG1v3, Pace XG1v1 or ARRIS XG1v4. Voice remotes are available in either the model XR11 or XR15. Key features includes voice control, backlit keypad, 5-minute skip for either live TV or DVR recording, 10 minute skip for Xfinity on Demand, and future plans 

such as integrating Alexa and having control over other home devices.

The X1 system is capable of turning your smartphone into a remote control. By downloading the app for iOS or Android, the X1 menu can be navigated from your phone and used to control your TV system. Additionally, the smartphone app can recognise voice commands, like the voice remote. The user interface offers a minimalistic design, with network logos for each channel displayed to make it easier to find the channel you want. A perk of the new interface is the fact that whatever you’re watching keeps playing in a small window if you navigate to elsewhere in the menu. 

The search function is intuitive and easy to use. By typing in a show or movie title, there will be information about the content, including cast details. This means that if you’re searching for movies by a particular actor, and only know one title they were in, you can search this first to bring up their actor page in the results, then click on the next set of results to find movies they have been in.

When you’ve finished watching a TV show on demand, the X1 system will ask if you want to continue with the next episode. This is much more convenient than browsing through the menus to find the show again, followed by the correct episode to resume watching. Additionally, when you click on the ‘Last’ function, this won’t just bring up the last live program you had on – instead, you will be able to see a list of the last nine programs you were watching. These could be live, on demand, or DVR recordings.

What’s more, Netflix has been integrated into the X1 system, so you can easily access content from this platform. Plus, if you want to record more than one show at once, the X1 allows you to do this with up to six shows. To do this, you need one master DVR and additional cable boxes interconnected in your house. This means you’ll be able to control the DVR from any room that has a TV connected to an X1 box.

The X1 Cloud DVR stores all of your recorded programs using cloud technology, as opposed to a hard disk located inside the machine. This means that, although you get much more space, an internet connection is essential, as when you’re watching recorded programs, you will technically be streaming them. If you’re worried about the possibility of multiple buffering pauses as you play content back, you can download shows ahead of time. If you go over your storage limit, the X1 will start recording over older content, but fortunately you can prevent specific shows from having this rule applied to them. If a show does get deleted, you can access your list of deleted shows in order to recover them.

Pricing, trials and subscriptions

There are several packages available, and you can customise them according to whether you want TV, internet, phone or a combination of these. Here’s an overview of the TV packages on offer with Xfinity Instant TV:

  • Choice TV ($30 a month): Over 10 channels, ability to stream movies and TV, HD service, option to add new channel packs
  • Limited Basic ($46.95 a month): Over 10 channels, local channels such as ABC, NBC and Fox, thousands of TV shows and movies available on demand
  • Digital Starter ($59.99 a month for the first 12 months): Enjoy over 140 channels, including FX, TLC, Bravo and HGTV
  • Digital Preferred ($69.99 a month for the first 12 months): Gain access to over 220 channels, including NFL Network, NBA TV and MLB Network
  • Digital Premier ($84.99 a month for the first 12 months): Over 260 channels come with this package, including HBO, Starz and Showtime

Summary

Xfinity Instant TV offers a flexible range of channels and impressive DVR capabilities to make watching live, recorded and on demand content a breeze. Whether you only need the core channels or feel you’d benefit from a larger package of over 260 channels, there’s an option that will work for you. Furthermore, the service is constantly making efforts to improve its offering, so you can be sure to have a top quality experience with this streaming services provider.

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