July 13, 2015 Last Updated 2:21 pm

Comcast ramps up Internet and TV streaming services as new competition in on the horizon

But new TV service is limited to using one’s own Xfinity broadcast network at home, rather than allowing viewers to view TV on mobile devices from anywhere

The cable companies must see what is coming down the pipe, a whole series of streaming TV competitors, each trying to let consumers easily cut the cord, while providing more flexible viewing products.

Because of this, Comcast announced a series of product launches and upgrades intended to both lure and retain customers.

One of these is called Stream, a $15 per month add-on that let’s existing Xfinity Internet customers can watch live TV.

“With Stream, Xfinity Internet customers can watch live TV from about a dozen networks – including all the major broadcast nets and HBO – on laptops, tablets and phones in their home,” wrote Matt Strauss, Executive VPt and General Manager, Video Services. “It includes thousands of on demand movies and shows to watch home or away and even comes with access to TV Everywhere and a cloud DVR so you can record all your favorites and watch them later.”

If you reread that quote above you’ll quickly understand the big drawback to Stream: it only works when you are on your home network.

speedtest-125A more promising upgrade involves Comcast’s broadband services. Last weke Comcast announced that they will be bumping the Internet speeds the company offers customer in Northeast, raising the Blast! tier by almost 50 percent to 150 Mbps which formerly topped out at 105 Mbps. They are also introducing a new Performance Pro speed tier at 75 Mbps.

“Today, our customers simultaneously connect to the Internet through multiple smartphones, tablets and laptops, and whether it’s to stream, shop, video chat, upload photos or do homework, we’re committed to ensuring they get the best overall experience with blazing fast speeds and the most Wi-Fi coverage, all delivered over our state-of-the-art network,” said Kevin Casey, President of the Northeast Division, which includes 14 states from Maine to Virginia and the District of Columbia.

This speed bump already has been rolled out here in the Chicagoland area, though the article written I believe has all the details wrong (which is one of the reasons I won’t link to it).

What Comcast knows, and readers of the Apple and tech websites know, is that there should be new streaming TV competitors coming soon. Rumors were that Apple would announce a streaming TV service as part of its WWDC keynote, trouble lining up content probably is to blame for largely improvise presentation for Apple Music. Most think, though, that something will be announced in the fall.

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