Oct 5, 2011

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Verizon and Comcast to Bring TV to Your Xbox 360

Verizon and Comcast to Bring TV to Your Xbox 360

Today Microsoft announced a partnership with Verizon and Comcast to help bring live television programming to your Xbox 360. Microsoft also announced other TV and entertainment provides that will be included in the Xbox TV Experince, these include: Bravo, HBO GO, Syfy in the U.S.; BBC in the U.K;  Rogers On Demand in Canada. The Xbox 360 will undergo a big interface change (seen in the image above) this Fall and with it will come the new TV streaming service.

“Today’s announcement is a major step toward realizing our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Combining the world’s leading TV and entertainment providers with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360* and the intelligence of Bing voice search will make TV and entertainment more personal, social and effortless.”

The new interface will allow for voice search and navigation via the Kinect, but it is also supposed to be easier to navigate even without the motion sensing device. No details have been released regarding how many shows we will be able to watch Live as opposed to on-demand; however the list of programs and channels available continues to grow. We do know that for some services there will be a required subscription fee and for some of these you’ll also have to have a Xbox Live Gold Membership. While I am excited to see the TV integration (especially HBO Go), I am still skeptical as to how this service will be any better than my DVR.  Even if the point of this is to switch seamlessly between Games and TV, isn’t that what your remote is for? If you are excited for the service here is the current list of entertainment partners including the recently announced partnerships:

Entertainment Partners on Xbox 360 (Existing and New)

•    ABC iView – Australia
•    AlloCiné – France, Germany, Spain, U.K.
•    Antena 3 – Spain
•    Astral Media’s Disney XD – Canada
•    AT&T** – U.S.
•    BBC – U.K.
•    blinkbox – U.K.
•    Bravo – U.S.
•    BSkyB** – U.K.
•    Canal+* – France, Spain
•    Channel 4 – U.K.
•    Channel 5 – U.K.
•    CinemaNow (Best Buy) – U.S.
•    Comcast – U.S.
•    Crackle – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
•    Dailymotion – Available in 32 markets
•    EPIX – U.S.
•    ESPN** – U.S.
•    Facebook** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
•    FOXTEL** – Australia
•    GolTV – Spain
•    HBO GO – U.S.
•    Hulu – Japan
•    Hulu +**– U.S.
•    iHeartRadio (Clear Channel) – U.S.
•    Last.fm** – U.K., U.S.
•    LOVEFiLM – Germany, U.K.
•    Manga Entertainment – U.S.
•    Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Real Sports – Canada
•    Mediaset – Italy
•    MSN with MSNBC.com – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.K.
•    MUZU.TV – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K.
•    Netflix**– Canada, U.S.
•    Rogers On Demand Online (RODO) – Canada
•    RTVE – Spain
•    SBS On Demand – Australia
•    Syfy – U.S.
•    Telefonica – Spain
•    Televisa – Mexico
•    “The Today Show” – U.S.
•    TELUS** – Canada
•    TMZ – U.S.
•    Twitter** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
•    UFC – Canada, U.S.
•    Verizon – U.S.
•    VEVO – Canada, U.K., U.S.
•    VimpelCom** – Russia
•    Vodafone Portugal** – Portugal
•    YouTube – Available in 22 markets
•    ZDF – Germany
•    Zune** – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain

* Xbox LIVE Gold membership and/or other subscriptions/fees required. Kinect functionality varies by feature, provider and region.
** Denotes existing partners on Xbox LIVE available today.

[Source: Press Release]