With the advent of streaming services, cable TV has been on the way out. To combat this, Xfinity has put out a device called the Xfinity Flex that you can plug into your TV to use all of the latest streaming services, but this seems extremely similar to another device: the Roku. Is there any difference between these two devices?
The Xfinity Flex and Roku are both devices that you can connect to your TV to stream content. While a Roku will cost you around $25, you can get an Xfinity Flex for free with an Xfinity internet subscription. Though, a Roku tends to have more streaming content than an Xfinity Flex.
After reading that, you still may not know which device is the one for you. There are still some pretty important questions to answer, like “What streaming services is the Xfinity Flex not compatible with?”. Let’s break this down so that you can pick the perfect streaming device for your home.
What is Xfinity Flex?
Xfinity Flex is a streaming device and service offered by Comcast, one of the largest cable providers in the United States. It is a small box that connects to your TV and allows you to stream movies, TV shows, and other content from popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
Xfinity Flex is also a cost-effective alternative to traditional cable TV. It does not require a contract or additional equipment rental fees, and is available to both Xfinity Internet-only customers and those who have both Xfinity Internet and TV.
It also offers a wide range of streaming services and channels, including free content from services like Pluto TV and Tubi TV, as well as premium services like HBO and Showtime.
In addition to streaming content, Xfinity Flex also has a voice remote that allows you to search for content, change channels, and control your TV with your voice. The device also features personalized recommendations based on your viewing history, as well as parental controls that allow you to restrict access to certain channels or content.
To put it simply, Xfinity Flex is a convenient and affordable way to access your favorite streaming content, all in one place. It provides a comprehensive streaming experience and eliminates the need for multiple streaming devices or costly cable TV subscriptions.
What is Roku?
Roku is a streaming device that allows users to access a wide range of online content on their television sets. The device was introduced in 2008 and has since become a popular alternative to traditional cable or satellite TV.
Roku offers access to various streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more. It also provides access to free and paid channels that offer movies, TV shows, news, sports, and music.
Roku devices come in different forms, including streaming sticks, boxes, and smart TVs with built-in Roku technology. The streaming sticks and boxes are small, portable devices that connect to the TV through HDMI, while Roku TVs have Roku technology built-in. All Roku devices are easy to set up and use, with an intuitive interface that allows users to browse and search for content easily.
Roku has a unique feature called “Roku Search,” which lets users search for content across multiple channels and services using voice commands or text input. This feature is particularly useful for finding specific titles, actors, or genres, saving users time and effort.
In addition to streaming content, Roku devices can also be used to play games, listen to music, and access other online services such as weather reports, photo sharing, and more.
Roku has become a popular choice for cord-cutters who want to enjoy the benefits of streaming without the expense of traditional cable or satellite TV. With its affordable pricing, extensive content library, and easy-to-use interface, Roku is the go-to option for anyone looking for a more modern TV experience.
What Are the Differences?
After reading descriptions of the Roku and the Xfinity Flex, they may sound like they’re almost the same device. So if they’re so similar, how are you supposed to decide which one to get for your home?
To determine this, there are three main factors you need to consider: cost, features, and compatibility. Let’s break down each of these three factors one by one.
When it comes to the cost of a Roku versus the cost of an Xfinity Flex, there are a few factors to consider.
First, Roku devices are available in a range of models, from the entry-level Roku Express to the high-end Roku Ultra. The cost of these models varies, with the Roku Express retailing for around $25 and the Roku Ultra costing around $90.
On the other hand, the Xfinity Flex is only available through Xfinity, so you need an Xfinity internet or cable subscription. If you already have Xfinity, then you can get an Xfinity Flex for no additional charge. However, there is a catch.
While the first device is free, customers are required to pay a $5 per month fee for any additional Xfinity Flex devices. This means that if you want more than one device, over time the cost of the Xfinity Flex can add up to be more expensive than purchasing multiple Roku devices outright.
Though, as we said, the first Xfinity Flex is entirely free with an Xfinity subscription. So if you only want one device, then the Flex is infinitely cheaper than a Roku.
When comparing two devices, one of the most important things to consider is the actual features of the devices themselves. Surprisingly, in this category, the two devices come out looking extremely similar, though they do have some differences.
First off, both devices are extremely easy to connect to your TV. Just plug either your Roku or your Xfinity Flex into a power outlet and then connect them to your TV via an HDMI cable. Xfinity created the Flex to compete with devices like the Roku, so it makes sense that they would both have similar designs.
Both the Xfinity Flex and the Roku also come with remotes that can control both your device and your TV as well. This is an extremely convenient feature as you won’t have to constantly switch remotes in order to change the volume or something similar. They also both have parental controls that allow you to prevent your kids from watching certain content that you select.
Another great feature that both devices have is voice commands through the remote. You can actually bring up certain streaming services and shows on both a Roku and an Xfinity Flex by just hitting the microphone button and then saying what you want to watch.
One area where Roku has the upper hand is with the remote. The Roku remote comes with a headphone jack you can plug headphones into in case you want to watch TV without disturbing others with the noise. The Xfinity Flex does not have this same port.
The main thing that used to settle this debate for a lot of users is what streaming services each device is compatible with. This is because the Xfinity Flex used to lack in this department, but it has since gained access to most major things it was missing.
First off, both the Roku and the Xfinity Flex have access to the major streaming services. These include Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+, ESPN+, and more. They also both have live TV streaming services like Tubi, Sling TV, Pluto TV, and YouTube TV.
Both devices also have access to the major music streaming services. These include things like Spotify, Pandora, iHeart, and Amazon Music. However, Xfinity Flex does not have access to Apple Music while the Roku does.
The main thing that Xfinity Flex is missing in comparison to Roku is non-English streaming services. Roku has access to Asian-based streaming services like Crunchyroll and Viki while Xfinity Flex does not.
How to Choose
Now that we’ve laid out the main differences between the Xfinity Flex and Roku, which one should you get? Let’s quickly go through everything we’ve learned so far.
For cost, the Roku will run you somewhere between $25 and $90 depending on what model you get. On the other hand, your first Xfinity Flex is entirely free given that you have an Xfinity subscription. However, every Xfinity Flex you order beyond that will cost you an additional $5 per month.
This basically means that if you only want one device, then the Xfinity Flex is probably the better option cost-wise as it’s free. But, if you want more than one, you should probably go with the Roku. Just having a second Xfinity Flex for 5 months already puts you at the $25 it would cost you for a Roku.
On the features front, the only real difference between the two devices lies in the remote. The Roku remote has a headphone jack that you can use if you don’t want to disturb others while watching your Roku. Other than this, pretty much any feature available on one device is available on the other.
Finally, both devices are compatible with almost the same streaming apps, but Roku does have slightly more options. Roku has access to Apple Music and foreign streaming services like Crunchyroll and Viki, but if you don’t plan to use any of those you may be fine with an Xfinity Flex.