Watching the Winter Olympics Online with the Kids

Tablettoddlers plans on watching the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony with the kids tonight at 8:00 pm EST.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking full advantage of all Comcast Xfinity has to offer in ways of watching both online and off.  They’ve made it easy to personalize our viewing experience on X1 and the streaming app.  We’re fans of using the voice remote for EVERYTHING.  For the Olympics, just say “Olympics Home” to get started.  Ridiculously easy.

There are 50 virtual channels on X1 including dedicated ones to hockey and curling.  For quick updates, just press the “C” button, or as my kids call it, the “sports” button, or say “sports app” on the voice remote and you can get updated on specific competitions, athletes, country medal counts and sport specific video clips to binge.

Instant On Demand ensures you won’t miss a moment of primetime action.  Just select or say “restart” and you’re all set.  Otherwise, all competitions are available next day On Demand in high def or 4K.


Image result for Olympic rings


More Than Half of Parents Told By Kids to Put Away Phones During Dinner

Recently, Comcast took a survey showing parents across the country are almost unanimous in their belief that disconnecting from devices during mealtime improves family bonding (98 percent), with nearly half (42 percent) not able to remember the last time their family had a device-free meal and some going so far as to disconnect their modems to stop their children’s Wi-Fi usage.

If this hits too close to home, check out the xFi app from Comcast.  The xFi experience can be controlled via a mobile app (iOS and Android), website, and on the TV with the X1 voice remote.  Chances are you have it as xFi is now available to more than 10 million Xfinity Internet customers with a compatible Xfinity Wi-Fi device, and comes at no extra cost.

Re-Connecting the Cord with Comcast

Tablettoddlers attended an event sponsored by Comcast last week which introduced us to its X1 platform and KidsZone.  As a first generation cord-cutter, we were skeptical.  However, after witnessing a demo of the product, we’re here to say that when Tablettoddlers moves into its new home (office) in Chestnut Hill at the end of June, we’ll be coming back to Comcast.  Here are a few reasons why:

  • The Guide is so much easier to navigate.  It looks better and lets you “Favorite” top shows, movies, actors/actresses, and sports teams
  • You can stream videos of your kids from your iPhone to the TV and most importantly, share with family and friends.  Very easy to save, access and share videos and photos with cloud storage.
  • The X1 sports app turns the TV into a live scoreboard with stats.  For a fantasy baseball aficionado like me, that’s golden.
  • The DVR allows you to now record up to 6 programs at once, plus stream those recordings from any internet connection (wifi and 4G) or download them to go with the free Xfinity TV app – great for plane, train, and car rides with no internet access.
  • The X1 voice remote blows Siri away.
  • And last but certainly not least – KidsZone.  Read much more about this here.  A total game-changer/lifesaver.


Keeping Kids Connected During Long Winter Days

From snow days to holiday breaks, kids will be off from school often over the next few months. And with the inclement weather, this means they are inside, itching for something to do. Instead of watching TV or fighting with siblings, using the Internet is a more interactive, productive choice for kids of all ages.

Unfortunately about 30 percent of Americans, many of whom live below the poverty line, don’t have Internet access in their homes. To help connect these families to the Internet, Comcast is offering a low-cost broadband adoption program called Internet Essentials.

Internet Essentials offers families with at least one child eligible for the National School Lunch Program Internet for $9.95 a month; the option to buy a laptop or desktop computer for less than $150; and access to digital literacy training online, in person or in print.

With a service such as this, kids can connect to fun online educational activities for free while they are off from school, and they can keep up with their assignments and stay connected to teachers and classmates. This way, they are not only keeping busy, but they are learning.  Here are a few cool sites:

–          Khan Academy ( Get a personalized experience in math, biology, economics, computer science, art history and more.

–          PBS Kids ( Find learning games associated with your favorite PBS Kids characters like Clifford, Curious George and The Cat in the Hat.

–          FunBrain ( Access a ton of activities; read books and comics; and play mad libs, math baseball and tic tac toe.

Plus, the whole family can use Internet at home this winter to stay in touch with loved ones, search for new healthy recipes to start the year off right, fill out tax returns and apply for financial aid.

So far, more than 350,000 families, or about 1.4 million low-income Americans, have been connected to the power of the Internet through Internet Essentials. There is also a new amnesty program for families who would qualify for the program, but have a past due balance. If they meet all other eligibility criteria, Comcast will offer amnesty for a bill that is more than one year old in order for that family to be eligible.

To learn more or apply, visit or call 1-855-846-8376, or for Spanish, visit or call 1-855-765-6995. Educators and third parties can visit

Comcast Integrates Common Sense Media Ratings and Reviews

Comcast has integrated Common Sense Media ratings and reviews into its Xfinity TV Go website to help parents determine what content is appropriate for different ages. These ratings are based on developmental guidelines culled from some of the nation’s leading authorities.   Comcast is also integrating Common Sense Media’s ratings and reviews directly onto the TV via its X1 Entertainment Operating System.

Comcast Offers Up to Six Months Complimentary Internet, Amnesty for Low-Income Families

Ever since Comcast introduced Internet Essentials the program has continued to expand and grow.  As parents prepare for the 2014 school year, Comcast has announced two new components.  First, new Internet Essentials participants can get six months of free service if they sign up before September 20.  Second, amnesty program for certain low-income families who could qualify for Internet Essentials, but have a past due balance. Customers who have an outstanding bill that is more than one year old are now eligible for the program.

Internet Essentials is Comcast’s flagship community investment program for families with children in either the free or reduced National School Lunch Program, which provides free digital literacy training to ALL participants, offers Internet service at a guaranteed price of $9.95 per month (which will never change as long as the family has a child enrolled in the lunch program) and gives the opportunity for participants to buy a computer for less than $150 if they don’t already have one.  Not only has this program helped kids do better in school, but it’s also enabled family members and caregivers to find new jobs and better connect with their communities.

Comcast Trying to Close Digitial Divide

From the “Internet Essentials” website:

Over the past few months, the digital divide and online education have been a hot topic of conversation in Washington. President Obama introduced the ConnectED Program, which has a goal to connect 99 percent of our country’s students to true high-speed Internet service within the next five years, and F.C.C. Chairman Tom Wheeler announced a down payment on this goal with plans to invest an additional $2 billion over the next two years to support broadband networks in schools and libraries.

At Comcast, closing the digital divide has been one of our most important Community Investment priorities for years. Since 2011, we have invested more than $165 million in cash and in-kind support to fund digital literacy initiatives nationally, and in May 2011, we announced Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program.

Today, we are proud to join the President’s call to action with the extension of Internet Essentials indefinitely. The program began as a voluntary three-year commitment that we offered during the regulatory review of Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal. Now, it is much more than we ever thought it would be, and the fact is, the program has become a key part of who we are and what we do.

In just two and a half years, more than 1.2 million Americans, or 300,000 families, have been connected to the power of the Internet at home through Internet Essentials. We’ve sold more than 23,000 low-cost computers, and, with our community partners, we have provided support for free digital literacy training for more than 1.6 million people.

Nice job, Comcast.