I traveled through an apparent wormhole to visit the Philadelphia Magazine Design Home, and learned all about the new and exciting things Comcast Xfinity has on tap (really!). This post is sponsored by Comcast, but editorial decisions and opinions are my own.
I don’t know what I did in a previous life to deserve the stressful travels I experience, but this time topped them all. I was scheduled to be at the Philadelphia Magazine Design Home in Wynnewood at 11am, and when I plugged the address into my GPS at 10am this is what I saw. (I took a screenshot and sent it to a friend as a joke, with what turned out to be a prescient, “Let’s see how long it actually takes me…”)
TWO HOURS. NEARLY TWO HOURS IT TOOK ME.
You guys. WHAT IS UP WITH THE TRAFFIC AROUND HERE. I took backroads almost exclusively. It was not rush hour. I hit no noticeable traffic. It took me almost two hours to get there. This is a legitimate question: how is this even possible?
Anyway. At 11:50, almost an hour late and totally stressed out by watching my ETA get later and later, I pulled up to the valet parking Comcast had supplied for the day in a tiny, beautiful neighborhood in Wynnewood, and ran inside to join my fellow Philly Social Media Moms inside the design home.
Which was like instantly walking into some sort of destressing, zen chamber.
Ahhhhhhhhh. That’s better.
What’s New with Comcast Xfinity
OK, buckle up! Here are all the new and exciting Comcast Xfinity developments I learned about while hanging out in the biggest, most beautiful house I’ve probably ever been in. (Graceland, while amazing, is not what I’d call beautiful.)
Now, at this point I need to remind you that the last time I attended a Comcast event, I was on the rock bottom basic cable plan and I was blown away by all the advances in what they offered. I upgraded to X1 and it was lifechanging.
These are changes to what Xfinity offers since then (you can read my earlier post about 7 things I didn’t know about Comcast here). So even if you’re a current Comcast customer, this may still be new info to you.
Xfinity xFi is a digital dashboard where you can set up your home Wi-Fi network, find your password, see what devices are connected, troubleshoot issues, set parental controls and pause Wi-Fi access. It can be controlled via mobile app, the website and on the TV with the X1 voice remote. If you have Xfinity Internet and a compatible Xfinity WiFi device—the xFi Wireless Gateway or the xFi Advanced Gateway—it comes at no extra cost.
So what does that mean? It means you can group all your internet enabled lights together on one network. You can separate out all the devices that belong to your tween, put them on their own network, program parental settings and schedule “bedtimes” to that network, and then change that particular password or even easily shut that network down when needed. It also means that you can set guests up on their own network, and if your shady neighbor is jumping on your network, you’ll see that device listed and you can kick it off and block it. To get started, go to www.xfinity.com/myxfi or download the xFi app (for iOS and Android).
Later this year, Comcast will launch no-configuration, adaptive xFi pods that can be paired with either the xFi Wireless Gateway or the xFi Advanced Gateway to extend your Wi-Fi coverage to even the most remote areas of your homes.
Right now, it wouldn’t matter a whole lot if I shut down my kids’ networks because we have Sprint mobile and unlimited data. So it might slow them down, but ultimately they could still use their phones. But oh-ho-ho-ho, if we bundled Xfinity mobile: brand new ballgame, right?
So Xfinity Mobile is the new wireless service, combining Verizon’s 4G LTE network with Comcast’s 16 million WiFi hotspots.
- You pay only for the gigabytes of data that you use, or go umlimited for one set price
- Mix and match! If Dad barely uses data, sign him up for the lowest and cheapest plan (one gig) while your teen can be on the unlimited plan.
- You can easily see who is using how much data on the app. If you’re going to go over, OR if you’re nowhere near your cap, you can switch back to a different plan with no penalty, once per month.
If you’ve got a number of data hogs on your plan, you can see how that could add up to BIG SAVINGS.
Xfinity Mobile Apps
Now that we have X1, my son at college uses the Xfinity TV Go app to schedule our DVR at home to record his shows, and because they’re on the cloud he can stream those recordings to his phone or laptop after logging into our account. We don’t have to worry about his recordings messing with mine, because you can record six shows at once and I think up to 10 devices can be accessing those recordings at a given time.
That was a huge savings, not having to set him up with his own Comcast account— and while he does pretty good in his apartment, he can use the Xfinity Wifi app to find the closest Comcast wi-fi hotspot when he needs a stronger, faster signal.
I use the Xfinity My Account app to pay my bill, troubleshoot issues, and find my wi-fi password when I need it. And I use the Xfinity TV Remote app to see what’s on and schedule DVR recordings (and change the channel when I can’t be bothered to find the actual remote).
Now here’s what’s new (or new to me):
This replaces the Xfinity TV Go app. You can still stream live TV (limited channel availability) and Xfinity On Demand on any device, wherever you are. But— did you know?— X1 customers can also stream or download your cloud DVR shows to your device to watch anywhere!
New with the mobile plan release, this allows you to view data use and call logs in real time, manage payment options, switch between data options or add additional lines, and upgrade, downgrade or order a new device anytime.
Got kids too young for their own phone? Hold onto your butts. The Xfinity Connect app includes complimentary Voice2go access, “letting customers take Xfinity Voice with them on the go virtually anywhere.” This works via wifi. So if you let your child carry your old phone, they can use Voice2go to call you without a cell plan, as long as they have wifi access.
Down the Pipeline
With Xfinity Home, you can access and set schedules or rules for all your smart home integrations. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to set those up and then say, for instance, Good night Xfinity, and your doors will lock, the lights will dim, the TVs will go off, the kids’ networks will shut down for the night until your preset time for them to wake up again. WE LIVE IN THE FUTURE.
As a reward for reading this far, here’s a chance to win an Amazon Tap, an Alexa enabled Bluetooth speaker thanks to Comcast Xfinity and Philly Social Media Moms. Bluetooth speakers are the BEST and you can’t have too many! Add more for awesome surround sound.
Just follow the directions below to enter.