For quite sometime my husband and I went back and forth over making the switch from satellite to Comcast Xfinity. As our rates kept creeping up, we slowly began cutting back on services. One by one we disconnected receivers in our bedrooms and bonus room (aka the guest room/office/multi-purpose everything and everyone room), until we only had service in the living room; it was pretty ridiculous really. One huge bill for just basic satellite TV in one room and that did not even include our landline phone service or internet.
My husband is one of those people that really take their time and fully investigate when making a decision, especially one that involves his hard earned money or making a change. You can't pressure or force him, so waiting patiently has become a part of being his wife. I have quickly learned that once he makes up his mind I better hang on because after he knows which direction he is going he does it in a hurry.
So that was that. The second he had made up his mind...poof, we had Xfinity at our door talking us through the remote operation. I must say that in all honesty, I was pretty impressed with my husband because I had no idea the degree of thought he had put into changing carriers. Not only did he ditch the satellite, but he also did away with our old phone and internet providers – something I had wanted to do for a really long time, but had not pressed his
snail mode decision making processes.
The switch was really easy and pretty painless. We were able to keep our old phone number and none of our services were ever interrupted. And oh y'all how have I been functioning? I just cannot describe how much better our internet connectivity is. I feel like we’ve been living in a cave and have finally just stepped into this century. Spending as much time as I do online, I had no idea what I was missing……..it was more than a lot!
Our bills have all been drastically cut and my husband is one happy TV watching camper. He loves his football….well, really anything that involves a ball, a bat, turf, a hoop, a club, commentary or a professional acronym. I often say that the highpoint of his days are all the lights – that is the highlights, lowlights, bright lights, back lights, and go ahead and throw in some headlights, cause I’m sure there is a racetrack somewhere on TV. Of course my boys are exactly the same way.
With all the testosterone under our roof, little girl and I don’t get much time with the remote, so we probably appreciate the Comcast On Demand option more than they ever will. Not only can it be accessed from the TV, but on the go through our tablets and our phones. At home she and I cuddle up on the couch upstairs in the bonus room and watch movies together on my laptop.
We could not have picked a better time to make the switch because now that Ms. Ma’am is out of school and home fulltime she’s stuck spending her days running errands with me. One of our daily trips is not exactly a quick run either. In the afternoon, I pick up my step-son from school every day, if we don’t get there early, it’s a madhouse; there are three school zones that are dismissing students as we drive through and a train tracks that we inevitably always get caught behind, so even though he doesn’t get out until 3pm, we leave at 2pm, otherwise we would be late, turning our 20 minutes run into about an hour and 45 minutes….no wonder she doesn’t like to go. Truth be told, it’s not hadn’t that much fun taking her. Until it occurred to me that I could install the Xfinity app on my phone.
There's an App for that
Xfinity’s summer of kids addition to their programming has been a mama saving joy to my bag of keeping her entertained (while navigating traffic) bag of tricks. Xfinity has a ton of her favorites -- Hannah Montana, Jessie, Good Luck Charlie, Shake it Up, and a bazillion other programs for the kids. The On Demand catalog has more than1,000 downloadable kid-friendly viewing choices that come free with Xfinity Digital TV and Streampix subscriptions. Little girl usually uses my phone, but since we just figured out that we don’t need an internet connection to view content after it’s been download I’m sure she’ll be switching between my phone and her tablet….making our long car ride whine free.
Xfinity Travel for Kids
Though, the full benefit of what the Xfinity apps can do, are soon to be discovered. About every year and a half or so we try to take a vacation with the kids, since there are 5 of us, it’s more affordable if we drive, so you can imagine what 10 to 12 hours in the car is like….hot, smelly, hungry, and cranky. The longer we’re in the car the less entertained the kids become, which means more bickering, more cries of hunger, way more pleas to potty, and a lot more of “how much longer till we get there?”
We're long past coloring books and slug-bug games to keep everyone entertained so I've come to dread the thought and creativity of making the trip saner. We changed it up this year and are shooting for fall break; hopefully this will take care of the hot, smelly and will require a few less drinks so maybe we’ll even be able to skip a few bathroom stops. Now typically we are all about a fun filled family jaunt to the theme parks, but this time, I’d like to go for something with a bit more nostalgic and enriching. I have never been to our nation’s capital and would love to see the monuments and take a White House tour. I think everyone should at least once in their lives, especially my children. I had been dragging my feet based solely on the car ride. I know, it’s not the best mom attitude in the world, but the idea is exhausting and I know I may not be able to tolerate as much as I have in previous years. Since my spinal fusion last fall the car is not really my most favored place in the world. So I’ve been really trying hard to strategize on how to make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone. This means making sure everyone has their own small space by minimizing what we pack (so that those growing boy legs can stretch), traveling after the summer heat peak, being strategic about snacks and drinks, programming my husband’s mp3 player with kid friendly oldie but goodies, making sure little girl is able to lean back and not have to sit straight up for long periods of time and seriously thinking about entertainment for everyone.
After getting a chance to really explore the Xfinity TV app….I think the entertainment piece of our travel or a significantly large part of it may not be as bad as I thought and as long as we stop for lunch I just may survive.
Learning the Ropes
Because Xfinity has so many great apps to use I admit that the first time I tried to install the streampix app I downloaded the wrong one.
I was able to learn how to download content with the Xfinity TV Player app through the information found on their slideshow page. This was helpful and really easy to follow. I quickly discovered just how really is simple it is; using the Xfinity TV Player we download what we want, disconnect for offline viewing and still watch that content on the go.
I’ve had the boys along with little girl to start clicking through the app features so that they know how to use it and aren’t left scrambling on the road either, but in all honesty it’s a fairly streamlined process and they were able to figure it out pretty quickly.
Initially I was concerned that viewing from our phones or tablets would not provide the same level of parental control as our digital TV receivers, which provide us with very effective parental controls by setting up passwords that restrict access to channels or shows that are not rated for their viewing ages, but Comcast’s partnership with Common Sense Media, Xfinity TV is integrating TV show and film ratings into Xfinity.com/TV kids content makes it easy to make informed choices about entertainment for families through a media ratings system based on child development guideline. Parents can filter the kids' content by age and most watched on Xfinity on Demand and is available whether children are watching on TV, PC, tablet or Smartphone. Though, it hasn’t been really that much of an issue since they have so many family friendly picks to choose from: Nickelodeon, Disney, Sprout, Cartoon Network, Angry Birds Toons, PBS KIDS, the HUB Network, Dreamworks, NBCUniversal and way more.
I can’t imagine ever getting bored if I were a kid…Xfinity on demand truly does have everything a car trapped child could ever want including Dora the Explorer, Angry Birds Toons, Sofia the First, Phineas and Ferb, Ben 10, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, The Chica Show, Sid the Science Kid, Lazy Town, Pajanimals, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and hundreds more hundreds more that can be downloaded directly to tablets and smartphones so they can be enjoyed in places where there’s no internet connection. With up to 3 devices permitted the kids can use their headphones to watch alone or find something they all enjoy and watch it together; not only in the car, but at the hotel or any roadside stop along the way. The other travel perk is no more bulky DVDs to pack which is right in-line with my minimized packing.
For more information on how to download the app and take your favorite content on-the-go visit the Comcast Summer of Kids.
Please read my disclosure