Comcast today launched a home security offering that the company calls “Self Protection” and which aims to leverage the company’s xFi Gateway to control an indoor or outdoor video camera. The launch of Comcast Self-Protection just prior to the winter holidays appears well timed, as the company is touting the service’s ability to keep an eye on packages delivered to customers’ doorsteps.
The offering will cost $10 a month, which includes the ability to have an alert sent to a mobile phone when cameras detect people or activity, along with 24/7 continuous video recording. Customers also must purchase video cameras for $120 or pay for them through a 24-month plan costing $5 a month.
Comcast Self Protection is similar to other offerings on the market with brand names such as Ring, owned by Amazon, and Nest, owned by Google. Traditional security dealers also have similar offerings.
What may differentiate Comcast in this market, however, is that the company offers both the video security service and the broadband connection on which any such service must rely. That could make the system easier to set up in comparison with purchasing the camera from someone other than the broadband provider, as a press release about Comcast Self Protection notes.
The video camera used with the service “automatically connects to your WiFi – taking a page from the effortless onboarding experience of activating xFi Pods,” Comcast explains. The press release about Comcast Self Protection also notes that the offering also integrates into the Xfinity app.
Video monitoring services from other providers would typically require a separate app from the one that customers may use to connect with their broadband gateways.
The Comcast Self Protection service is unique in including both physical and digital security, according to Comcast. The latter is a cybersecurity protection service that works with all connected devices in the home and is included with xFi gateways.
Comcast has offered home monitoring for about a decade and has also been marketing smart home capabilities for the xFi gateway. It would seem to be a smart strategy at a time when some customers are canceling traditional video service, but Comcast’s broadband service is still going strong.
The company views the broadband connection as a platform for delivering a wide range of value-added services – and the xFi gateway is viewed as a way of providing a single easy-to-use interface for controlling all those services.
Among other things, the close coupling of the xFi gateway and numerous devices in the home also enables images from the video camera to appear on the customer’s television screen.