Convenient apps that let you stream movies and TV shows to your tablet or smartphone are commonplace these days—think Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and more. But who among them lets you download content for offline viewing without having to pay a separate fee?
If you want to enjoy offline viewing of shows and movies, you usually have to buy them from iTunes or bring your own DVD. But if you’re a Comcast subscriber, you can use the newly updated Comcast Xfinity TV Player app (Android|iOS) to download movies and TV shows from Encore, MoviePlex, Showtime, and Starz and watch them offline—a real bonus when you’re on the plane or anywhere else where you’re stuck in one place without any internet connection. As long as these channels are part of your Comcast pay TV package, you should be able to download any show that’s included in the app’s on-demand content.
You can choose between “medium” and “highest” quality versions for your shows, but keep in mind that the higher the quality, the more memory is eaten up from your device. If you don’t have enough free space, it may be advisable to get the medium quality—especially if you will be watching it on a smaller screen. High quality files only really make sense on larger screens on devices with plenty of hard drive space.
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This is a nice addition to Comcast Xfinity’s TV Everywhere initiative, which literally lets you take your TV wherever you want to go. Will HBO and the major broadcast networks follow suit and let viewers do the same with their content? It may depend on how much money they think they can ask for the privilege of letting consumers download their offerings for offline use.