NBCUniversal is slowly rolling out its Peacock streaming service to Xfinity broadband customers ahead of a nationwide launch in July. Here’s what you need to know about Peacock device support now.
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What Devices Work with Peacock Right Now?
Just as Disney+ leveraged its parent company’s huge fan base to drive subscription numbers, Peacock is taking advantage of its corporate parent. Comcast owns NBCUniversal as well as the Xfinity cable and broadband service. Xfinity has nearly 27 million broadband customers and all of them get free access to Peacock’s ad-supported service with their subscription.
But there’s a catch. Right now, Peacock only works with Xfinity-provided hardware. The Xfinity X1 is a cable gateway and WiFi router that broadband customers “rent” for a few dollars a month. Of course, that monthly payment adds up every year to more than the cost of a brand new WiFi gateway — one of the reasons so many people cut the cord.
Xfinity Flex is a streaming media box similar to a Roku or Apple TV that Xfinity’s broadband-only customers can get for free. (Getting a second or third Flex requires a monthly fee.) Peacock works with the Flex as well.
What Devices Will Work With Peacock in July?
At the moment, Peacock is only saying that it will be available “across a variety of platforms.” There are two possible approaches that Peacock could ultimately take with respect to device support.
Peacock could follow the mobile-centric strategy that YouTube TV, Philo and Quibi used when they launched. In all three cases, the new services believed that focusing on mobile apps would attract the most customers. What they quickly learned is that people prefer watching movies and TV shows on… televisions.
Disney+ launched with widespread support for most streaming platforms. It hit the market with apps for both Android and iOS mobile devices as well as streaming box support for Roku, Apple TV and Android TV. It even had apps for the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 gaming consoles.
Given NBCUniversal’s resources and the way it’s testing things out on Xfinity customers, the Disney+ approach is probably what Peacock will follow. There’s a good chance Peacock’s public launch will see apps for all of the major streaming platforms.
Why Use Peacock?
It’s free and comes with some great content. Seriously, NBC has a sixty-year track record when it comes to producing high-quality TV content. Peacock combines that with NBC’s sports and news operations as well as the NBCUniversal cable channels like E! The Universal side of the house has been around for more than a century.
By using an ad-supported business model, Peacock is going to market with free access to all of that content. CBS and Disney, by contrast, charge for access to their archives.