PHILADELPHIA, April 21 (UPI) -- Comcast announced it will bring its Xfinity app to Roku devices and Samsung TV, allowing some customers to bypass its costly and bulky set top box rentals.
Comcast, in response to federal regulators' efforts to open the market for cable boxes, will gradually allow Roku and Samsung customers to watch Comcast programming, including broadcast, cable and DVR shows. Comcast said it plans to expand the program to other manufacturers in the future. To use the app, customers must subscribe to an Xfinity TV package.
"We look forward to continuing to work with partners across the industry on the Xfinity TV Partner Program and to provide our customers with even more choice in where and how they access and enjoy the Xfinity TV experience," the company said.
The move comes as a pre-emptive strike after the Federal Communications Commission began developing new rules that would allow consumers to go through third parties for their set-top box systems, also called digital converters. The move was widely opposed by the cable and satellite television industries.
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to examine steps that would promote cable television set-top box competition. He gave the agencies 60 days to come up with specific areas that hinder competition in the industry and expand consumer choice.
The White House said the effort is akin to work in the 1980s that freed consumers from mandatory landline phone rentals for service.