What You Don’t Know About XFINITY TV

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Comcast’s XFINITY TV web service is a web portal that allows users in the United States to stream relatively unlimited amounts of video online. Basically, you’re only limited by the bandwidth of your Internet connection. Let’s take a look at the website and see what you can do with it.

XFINITY TV: Stream Popular TV Shows in Your Browser

XFINITY TV Home pageImagine this: You’re watching the newest episode of “Criminal Minds” and it’s approaching the climax. Hotchner and Dr. Reed are about to reveal who the guilty person is and — the phone rings. It’s your mother, so you have to take the call. Of course, you end up missing the most important part of the show. So, what do you do, wait for the rerun on A&E?

No, you boot up your browser, surf over to Comcast’s XFINITY TV page, and watch the episode there. You can also watch clips from your favorite episodes, or full episodes from the latest seasons and get caught up with the latest happenings on the show.

How to Use the Site

You’ve got a few options on how to use the XFINITY TV website. You can go to the homepage and watch any one of a series of video clips with an “Entertainment Tonight”-type feeling. Want to catch up on all the entertainment industry news? This is the place to do it.

XFINITY TV ListingsFrom your member page, tell the system what your zip code is, and who your provider is, and it’ll present you with the current schedule for your area and provider. You can select and queue up whatever you wish right from the TV Listings grid. This is cool, but what you really want the service for is watching movies and episodes that you’ve missed in their regular time slots, right?

You can click on the TV link atop the page on the menu bar and be presented with a number of different TV shows that are some of the higher ranked shows on the air this season. You’ll be able to watch top shows like “Survivor,” “Storage Wars: Texas” and “Hardcore Pawn.”

You can also search for programs by network. All of your favorite networks are available to search for programs you want to watch: A&E, ABC, BBC America, CNN, Discovery, and History. They’re all there for you to catch up on the episodes of your favorite shows that you’ve missed. You’ll have fingertip access to more than 100 TV networks with a free, basic XFINITY TV account. However, some of the content may require the paid membership.

You can search for programming from premium networks such as Cinemax, HBO, Encore, and XFINITY Streampix, if you have an XFINITY premium account. You’ll have immediate access to all the dramas, comedies, and commentary shows from most of the top premium networks.

Use Your Big Screen TV Instead of Your Computer to Watch

XFINITY TV Video connectorsThe next question on your mind is, “My computer screen is too small, so how do I let the family watch the same show?”

That’s easy, especially if you have a Wii or Xbox 360 gaming console that’s connected to your home network for online gaming and updates. Just open the browser that comes loaded on the gaming console and surf over to the XFINITY TV site, choose the program the family wants to watch, pop the popcorn, sit back and enjoy.

Optical Cable for XFINITY TV hookup
Optical Cable for XFINITY TV hookup.

But if you don’t have one of these game consoles, don’t worry. You can use your laptop and your wireless network. You’ll need a VGA cable and 1/8-inch stereo to RCA adapter plug, along with some RCA cables, which, if you’re like me, you’ve got a few extra lying around, collecting dust. Plug the VGA cable into the blue (or black) 15-pin plug on the side or back of your laptop (it looks like the letter D laid on its back.) And then plug the other end into the VGA input on the back or side of the TV. If you’ve got a newer laptop, you can also use a HDMI cable for better picture quality. The 1/8-inch-to-RCA adapter gets plugged into the headphone jack, while the RCA plugs get plugged into the audio input jacks that correspond to the VGA input. You can see what these look like in the pictures below.

RCA to headphone adapter -- XFINITY TV
RCA-to-headphones adapter.

All this is fine, if you have a laptop, but what if all you have is an older desktop computer that’s no longer being used? Even better, since it probably has a better audio subsystem in it and you can hook it up to that beautiful surround sound receiver you just bought. You can use the same adapter cable to hook up to the auxiliary inputs on the back of the receiver. Or for that movie theater sound experience, when you’re buying the VGA cable, pick up an optical audio cable. You can see what this cable and the corresponding jack looks like in the pictures below.

Enter your street address into the form on the top right of this page to see if you can get XFINITY TV in your area, and which deals are currently being offered.

Now you’re all set to start watching TV online with Comcast’s XFINITY TV service and get the greatest possible enjoyment out of your video streaming experience. Pass the popcorn!

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