Thursday, September 29, 2011

Update on Xbox-integrated TV

According to a Bloomberg report, Microsoft will be partnering with such providers as Comcast and Verizon Communications for its Xbox-integrated TV experience which will be released sometime in the near future.

Bloomberg reports that users will sign in via the Comcast Xfinity and Verizon FiOS apps on the Xbox 360. Users will be able to use their existing account information. The report states that it is likely that content deals will be contracted with HBO, Sony’s Crackle, the Bravo and SyFy channels, and Amazon’s Lovefilm.

Microsoft first talked about its Live TV plans at this year’s E3 conference. Microsoft kicked off the plans with the release of Sky TV in U.K., Canal Plus in France, and FoxTel in Australia. Earlier this month at Microsoft’s BUILD conference, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer discussed some more details concerning what users in the U.S. can expect.

"It's quite obvious that we need to increase the amount of video and TV content that are available on the Xbox," Ballmer said. "Our goal this year is to dramatically increase the total amount of content, the total entertainment catalog available on the Xbox, particularly by working in partnership with a number of video suppliers."

"The content choices on Xbox will grow dramatically from hundreds of thousands to millions," Ballmer said.

Ballmer went on saying that Microsoft will be incorporating Bing into the Xbox TV experience. They will be offering Bing’s search engine capabilities with voice-activated access.

"You say it, Xbox finds it," Ballmer said. “We all know the frustrations of using guides and menus and controllers, and we think a better way to do all of this is simply to bring Bing and voice to Xbox.”

It might be a little while longer until Xbox-integrated TV is available for the public, but I think that it will be worth the wait. I can’t wait to see everything that Microsoft has to offer with this new feature.

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