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Comcast to give its streaming box to internet customers for free

The company had previous charged $5-a-month for the box.

Comcast's internet-only subscribers will now get the company's streaming box, Xfinity Flex, for free.

The communications giant announced this week that the streaming box it launched for internet subscribers for $5-a-month in March will now cost its subscribers nothing.

The Flex box is similar to other streaming boxes – like Roku, Chromecast, FireStick and Apple TV – in that it allows people to access apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Pandora etc. on their TVs.

Xfinity Flex doesn't yet offer access to Hulu, but said that will be coming in the next few months, along with NBC's new streaming service, Peacock.

The Flex box also offers subscribers access to 10,000 free movies and TV shows, comes with a voice-activated remote, and streams at 4K Ultra-High Definition.

The announcement on Wednesday sent shares in rival streaming box company, Roku, tumbling, given that Roku currently charges one-off costs of $30-$100 for its popular streaming boxes.

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But the advantage that products like Rokus and Amazon FireSticks still have is that you don't need to get your internet from Comcast like you do with the Flex box.

Comcast internet packages currently start at $29.99-per-month for the first year of 15mbps download speeds, after which it increases to $51.95.

What's more, Comcast will still charge you $5-a-month if you want a second Flex box in your household, something that homeowners with multiple TVs choose to do.

So if you want two streaming boxes in a household, you could buy two $30 Rokus and it would become more economical after just 12 months.

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