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Comcast’s Xfinity Home: A Sophisticated Security Monitor

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Comcast Xfinity Home Security
(credit: istock) Technology Report
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PLYMOUTH — Imagine being able to pull out your smartphone and watch live video of your home from anywhere in the world.

Not only that, but you can remotely adjust thermostats and turn lights on or off.

And you can program alarms to take specific actions — say, if a door opens when you’re gone, the lights and doorway video cameras come on, so you get a good long look at who’s causing the problem.

Those are just a few of the features of Comcast Corp.’s new Xfinity Home security service, which the cable TV, Internet access and phone company demostrated Tuesday at the Sylvan Lake home of a Comcast employee.

Watch a YouTube video demonstration of the system at this link.

Xfinity Home offers traditional home security components, such as police and fire alarm protection backed by around-the-clock professional monitoring, as well as the ability to remotely adjust digital thermostats, turn lights on or off and watch secure live streaming video from wireless cameras while away from home.

The system also reports smoke alarms. The addition of carbon monoxide and water alarms is coming soon, Comcast officials said.

The service also comes with the Xfinity Home app, which is available for free on Apple’s iTunes App Store and Google Play for Android.

“Xfinity Home brings digital home monitoring to a new level,” said Mitch Bowling, senior vice president and general manager of new businesses for Comcast Cable. “It comes with a range of broadband-based technologies that empower customers to stay better connected to their home virtually anytime, anywhere.”

Xfinity Home offers consumers the ability to create personalized settings that include real-time e-mail or text alerts when doors open or close or when motion detectors identify activity occurring inside or outside of the home.

The system is controlled by a tablet-like touch screen that’s a pretty powerful little minicomputer in itself, with a menu of widgets that allow access to the latest weather, news, traffic, and sports scores.

The system can also be programmed to store a history of doors and windows opening and closing, as well as to automatically start shooting video when a door opens.

Comcast is selling the Xfinity Home Preferred Package for as low as $39.95 per month. Xfinity Home customers may also be eligible to receive up to a 20 percent discount on their homeowners’ insurance.

“What I loved about the system was that it was app-based and I could pull my phone out of my pocket and check the status of my home from anywhere,” said Carl Erickson, owner of the demonstration home. “I was on vacation out of the country… and I could check on my phone the temperature of my house, check that the perimeter was secure. It is very cool.”

Installation of the Preferred Package, normally $495, is now on sale at $199, according to Kevin Gunkel, Comcast marketing manager. The Preferred Package includes four door and window sensors and a motion sensor, a key fob and a key pad to disarm the system when entering the home.

Visit www.xfinity.com/home for more information on pricing, equipment and additional features.

The service was first unveiled in Houston in mid-2010 with the name “Xfinity Home Security” and is continuing to roll out in various markets across the U.S.   Besides the Detroit area, the system is available in Houston, the greater Philadelphia area, Portland, Naples, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Nashville, Chattanooga and parts of New Jersey, Indianapolis, Twin Cities, Manchester, areas of Southern New Hampshire, Denver, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, areas of Connecticut, Vermont, Delaware and Chicago.

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