Many Cable TV and Satellite TV providers are now trying to capitalize on the growing market for Home Automation and Home Security. Not to be left behind in the battle for customers, Comcast is getting in the game with their own XFINITY Home Automation product. The ability to offer customers bundles combining HA with Home Phone, High Speed Internet and Digital TV services gives consumers a chance to save some money while turning their residence into a full-featured 21st Century smart home.
Obviously, Comcast’s Home Automation offering is only available where the company currently provides their other services, so keep that in mind before making a phone call to schedule installation. With that small caveat in mind, let’s take a closer at XFINITY Home.
Comcast’s Solution for Controlling and Securing Today’s Digital Smart Home
Like nearly every other provider in the industry, Comcast offers customers a variety of starter packages for their XFINITY Home HA and Home Security system. The company focuses on their security packages, but it is possible to build a system for device control only. As mentioned earlier, Comcast also makes a host of bundles available, allowing you to save some money.
All XFINITY Home Security products come with 24/7 professional monitoring, providing you some piece of mind in case a catastrophic event happens, but remember this extra monitoring comes with an added monthly cost. Of course, choosing the Home Automation system option eschews the 24/7 monitoring, so keep that in mind when creating your budget.
Comcast’s two main packages for Home Security are called XFINITY Home — Secure 300 and XFINITY Home — Secure 350. The 300 system includes one touch screen controller, three sensors used on either a door or window, a motion sensor, and a wireless keypad. Professional installation for this package starts at $99 and there is a $39.95 monthly fee with a two-year contract.
The larger 350 system ups the ante by adding two wireless cameras, two lighting controllers, and either a thermostat or another camera to the devices included in the 300 system. Professional installation starts at $399 and the monthly fee runs $49.95 with a two-year contract. If you don’t want security, check out the Home — Control 150 system, including one motion sensor, one door or window sensor, one lighting controller, and either a camera or thermostat, with everything self-installed for a monthly price of $19.95 with no contract.
If these prices seem a bit too expensive, remember that bundling XFINITY Home Automation with Comcast’s Triple Play bundle lowers the monthly cost of the Home Secure — 300 system to $29.95. The Secure 350 Preferred HD package includes the entire 350 system functionality, plus 220 digital TV channels, and 50 Mbps Internet service for a monthly price of $129.95.
Other XFINITY Home System Features
In addition to the included touch screen controller, Comcast offers apps for the Android and iOS platforms allowing you to control your system either inside your house or from a remote location. In fact, the company should consider allowing customers to drop the touch screen for a lower price, since the iPhone, iPad or Android device offers similar functionality. You can even control your system using your TV using the Comcast X1 box, which even adds voice control to the equation.
If you have already made an investment in devices for Internet of Things, your Comcast system may be able to control them, so check with the installation professional. Other third-party device support for XFINITY Home is coming soon, as Comcast is opening the API for their system to allow device manufacturers to support the product. Lutron Caseta lighting controllers, the cool SkyBell video door bell, and Rachio sprinkler controls are among the companies slated to support the Comcast HA solution.
So with Comcast now offering their own Home Security product, this is a market continuing to get crowded. You will pay more each month, but 24/7 professional monitoring may be worth it. For many of you, the DIY Home Automation route also makes perfect sense. Ultimately, do your research before making a final decision on the best way to automate your digital smart home.
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