Cable Show 2013: Comcast Lights Up Xfinity Home Control Service

Washington -- Comcast is targeting the automated, “smart” home market more directly with the launch of Xfinity Home Control, a new service tier that supports elements such as video monitoring and remote thermostat controls without a security component.

The tier that includes the security piece is now called Xfinity Home Secure. The Xfinity Home Secure and Xfinity Home Control service both fall under the MSO’s broader Xfinity Home service umbrella. The new Xfinity Home Control tier starts at $9.95 per month. A “starter pack” of Xfinity Home Control monitoring equipment sells for $99.95.

In addition to video monitoring, Xfinity Home Control also supports other smart home features, including remote access to lighting and thermostat controls. The service is also set up to send texts and email alerts to customers when doors and windows are opened or closed.

Comcast also launched EcoSaver, a new cloud-based platform that's paired with the Xfinity Home thermostat and designed to help customers trim energy use and utility bills. Similar in ways to the Nest thermostat, Comcast’s new system is designed to learn the unique heating and cooling patterns of a home and make automatic, incremental adjustments based on real-time weather data, as well as the “thermal characteristics of the house and the temperature preferences of the occupants.”

Comcast is introducing EcoSaver about 16 months after the MSO inked an agreement with EcoFactor, a company that specializes in energy management systems.

“The home control market is growing tremendously, and it’s being driven by innovative technology, affordability and consumer demand,” said Mitch Bowling, SVP and GM of new business for Comcast Cable, in a statement, “With the launch of Xfinity Home Control, we’re adding yet another way customers can remotely manage their homes anywhere and at anytime.”

Comcast has launched its portfolio of Xfinity Home services in all markets. It is facing off with incumbents such as ADT as well as a batch of new comers, including Verizon, AT&T, and DirecTV, which is entering the market via its recent acquisition of Langhorne, Pa.-based  LifeShield.