Comcast launches Streampix video service


Comcast has upped the ante with Netflix for viewers. Xfinity Streampix is an online VOD subscription service featuring thousands of TV re-runs and older movies. Launching this week, it allows users to watch content on televisions and Internet-connected digital devices like smartphones. It will be free to customers who subscribe to Comcast’s video, Internet and phone service, and cost $5 to those who get only TV from the company.

Netflix, meanwhile, announced a deal to stream movies from Weinstein Co., including the Oscar favorite “The Artist.” The multi-year deal gives Netflix a number of modest box-office performers, many of them documentaries and foreign-language pictures that appeal to niche audiences who have proved to be avid users of on-demand services. Netflix streaming costs $8 a month.

The two companies are fighting for dominance in an increasingly crowded field of competitors, among them Dish Network, DirecTV, Verizon and

Xfinity Streampix — which has TV shows like “30 Rock” and “Grey’s Anatomy” and movies such as “Brokeback Mountain” and “Ocean’s Eleven” so far doesn’t come close to the more than 14,000 titles available to stream from Netflix. Netflix also has exclusive deals for TV shows like “Mad Men” and independent films like last year’s Ryan Gosling drama “Drive.”

Also, while anyone with an Internet connection and a digital device can access Netflix, Xfinity Streampix is currently available only to the 22.3 million Comcast-subscriber homes nationwide.

This new service is separate from Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand, which offers more recent movies available to consumers on a per-title basis.