Home security and home control has been a hot area for cable and telephone companies in recent months – and one of the more aggressive players in that market has been Comcast. The company has offered home security and control in several markets since 2011 or earlier and has expanded that offering since then by adding energy management capabilities.
Comcast apparently sees demand for home control and monitoring and energy management services that are not bundled together with a traditional security system, as the company today announced that customers can obtain the home control capabilities as a stand-alone offering. Along with the new offering comes new nomenclature. While Comcast previously used the name “Xfinity Home” for the security offering, that offering will now be called “Xfinity Home Secure” and the stand-alone home control offering will be called “Xfinity Home Control.”
Xfinity Home Control works over a broadband connection which, according to a company spokesperson, can be from Comcast or another service provider. It gives customers the ability to get real-time text and email alerts when doors and windows open or close and to watch live streaming video from home wireless cameras.
A “starter pack” of Xfinity Home Control equipment is available for $99.95 up front. The monthly fee for the service starts at $9.95 a month.
Xfinity Home Control sounds quite similar to stand-alone products available from Time Warner Cable, Verizon and others. Some cable and telephone companies, including Verizon, have avoided launching a traditional security system offering, instead focusing only on home control and the ability to get alerts sent to wireless devices.
Some end users may perceive that they do not need a traditional security system if they have the ability to get such alerts. In the event of an emergency, this type of service relies on the homeowner to notice the alert immediately and make calls to first responders. Traditional security systems, including Comcast’s Xfinity Home Secure, are monitored around the clock by a central station, where operators are on hand to call emergency personnel immediately if needed.
Other cable and phone companies that have home security and control products include Cox, AT&T and others.