Hulu’s streaming service is available almost everywhere. But one significant platform it hadn’t yet launched on was Comcast’s set-top boxes. That changes today as Hulu announced its on-demand service will as of today be available on Comcast’s Xfinity Flex platform, with support for Xfinity X1’s platform planned for the weeks ahead.
Xfinity Flex is Comcast’s streaming device for broadband customers who would use it as an alternative to something like Roku, Apple TV or Fire TV, for example. Because the box is newer, it doesn’t yet have the app catalog of its rivals. Hulu wasn’t the only major streaming service missing from Flex — Disney Plus isn’t yet available, and neither is Sling TV, Spotify, CBS All Access and others.
However, Xfinity Flex customers will only have access to Hulu’s on-demand offering at launch (either ad-free or ad-supported), but not its live TV service.
First-time Hulu customers will also be able to personalize their experience through the Taste Picker feature, by adding favorites to “My Stuff,” and by using the Like and Dislike buttons Hulu rolled out last fall.
Neither Hulu nor Comcast gave a specific time frame as to when the service was launching on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 platform, beyond “the coming weeks.” We’re hearing that it’s actually targeted for the end of March, though.
In addition, Comcast said Hulu will be integrated with its Xfinity Voice Remote, which will allow customers to say “Hulu” to launch the app or search for programs with voice commands.
Hulu programming will also be available throughout the X1 and Flex guide in the collections curated by Xfinity TV editors. Customers also can say things like “New on Hulu” or “Best of Hulu” to see the editors’ picks.
Last May, Disney took operational control of Hulu, though Comcast will retain its 33% stake until 2024, at which point either side can initiate a sale. The deal allows Comcast to still financially benefit from Hulu’s popularity in the years ahead, before its own streaming efforts via NBCU’s Peacock gain steam. It makes sense, then, that it would want Hulu on its own boxes as a key part of that strategy.
Since Disney took over Hulu it has worked to fill in the gaps in Hulu’s platform support. Earlier this month, Hulu with Live TV arrived on PlayStation 4, for example, which previously only offered the on-demand service.
Comcast says Hulu subscribers can log in to Hulu now through the Flex app and new subscribers can sign up at hulu.com/start/xfinityflex.
UPDATE, 4/2/2020: Starting on 4/2, the Hulu app will be rolling out on the Comcast Xfinity X1 platform, as previously noted.