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Xbox TV Launch Planned Before End of Year

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the xbox-surf-channels-until-i-pass-out dept.

Television 81

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has confirmed plans to launch its TV service over Xbox Live by this holiday season. Negotiations with content partners are still underway, but options for live TV will include both news and sports. 'Microsoft believes the key differentiator between Xbox as a TV platform and the sea of failed competitors will be its voice and motion search tool. Utilizing the Kinect attachment, users will be able to navigate through content with voice commands. The search function will be powered by Bing.' The company also wants to tie Xbox Live's social experience into viewing video content. Steve Ballmer said, 'You should have any entertainment you want with all the people you care about, really simply and on any screen.'"

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Why? (0)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432444)

All the TV shows I already don't watch because I'd rather play video games, now on my video game console. What a deal!

Re:Why? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432544)

Now, when you're too stoned to play video games, you can lie back and watch TV on your console.
Once they figure out how to make it deliver pizza to satisfy the munchies it will be perfect.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432636)

No, there's games for that too. Rez?

Re:Why? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433642)

Once they figure out how to make it deliver pizza

You mean like this? [slashdot.org]

The difference is marketing. (1)

Cidolfas (1358603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432448)

That many buzzwords and brand synergies concerns me greatly.

Key Differntiator (2)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432472)

The key areas for almost all TV services is content, price and usability. Look at the success of Hulu in years past and the recent stumble of Netflix (somewhat attributable to both increased prices and the loss of the Starz contract which gave them Disney and Sony content). Look at the failure of divx (the single-use DVDs). Big Content two of these three key factors (they've learned since TiVo).

So Ballmer says "Negotiations with content partners are still underway, but options for live TV will include both news and sports"... good luck man. Perhaps big media is so scared of Netflix and Apple that they'll give you some great combo of content... but if the content isn't there, or the price is too high, it's a lose.

So they think Kinnect is somehow going to make their system more usable than say, an AppleTV or Roku? Novelty aside, that's just crazy talk. Poeple have been using remotes for decades now.

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

calvert (1335203) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432490)

Completely agree. A nifty interface (no matter how usable) does not make a TV service great--it's all about content. If they can't get big media hooked (at a reasonable price), no interface in the world will save them.

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432550)

Yeah, we already saw Google TV [wikipedia.org] already. It was its own device too and didn't come with any agreements with content producers, it only displayed YouTube and tv channels own websites. It was quickly blocked and pretty much become completely unusable device.

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435792)

That is google's fault. if they would have OSS'ed the platform and left it unlocked the "blocking" on website would have been bypassed in 30 seconds. all you needed to do was change the browser user agent string. in fact if they were smart they should have reported as Internet Explorer 9.0 running on Vista and that would have screwed the content providers hard.

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432638)

If they can't get big media hooked

How relevant is "big media"? You enjoy watching re-runs of the same old shows, over and over? How many times can you watch Friends, or House?

Re:Key Differntiator (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432784)

How relevant is "big media"? You enjoy watching re-runs of the same old shows, over and over? How many times can you watch Friends, or House?

Well, given all the screaming, handwringing, and threats of cancellation right here on Slashdot [slashdot.org] a few days ago when it was announced Starz was walking away from the negotiating table with Netflix... I'd say it's pretty darn relevant, even to this group.

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433776)

How relevant is "big media"? You enjoy watching re-runs of the same old shows, over and over? How many times can you watch Friends, or House?

Well, the Google TV team thought they didn't need "big media" and look what a rip-roaring success that product has been...

Re:Key Differntiator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37433262)

Yep and big media is greedy and stupid. They are all consumed with two core concepts. Those being "every last pirate should be stopped at all costs" and "the unit cost of our content should be as high as humanly possible". Until they learn to sell at volume for a low unit cost, and to stop punishing your legit users to stop pirates these types of deals won't be successful.

Unfortunately like most humans media execs are not very adaptable and think they deserve to make millions they way the always have without changing their distribution model or adapting to a changing risk profile. I've got bad news for them, it's not 1965 any more. Technology has change which risks are relevant and where and how the money can be made. The only thing that has kept their aged model relevant is the purchasing of lawmakers and artificial regulation. This slows down their need to adapt but in the end it ensures their demise. They're short term thinkers who are hurting themselves and part of a mentality that in general slows down the technological progress of society (media is by no means the the primary offender but they are a good example of this type of idiocy).

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432532)

Negotiating local news/weather/traffic as well as professional and semi-pro (college) sports is the only way to make a dent in this market. Microsoft's problem is that they opened their collective mouth. If you are negotiating with local affiliates and NFL/NBA/NCAA/etc. then STFU until it is a done deal.

Re:Key Differntiator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432536)

So they think Kinnect is somehow going to make their system more usable than say, an AppleTV or Roku?

The obvious difference between those and Xbox is, there are 50 million of people who already have Xbox.

Re:Key Differntiator (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432552)

That doesn't matter unless you have a service those 50 million are willing to pay for.

And if you try to bundle it with an increased price so that those 50 million are forced to take it with their X-Box Live subscriptions, you'll hear a howling and gnashing of teeth not seen since the Sony hack.

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433214)

And if you try to bundle it with an increased price so that those 50 million are forced to take it with their X-Box Live subscriptions, you'll hear a howling and gnashing of teeth not seen since the Sony hack.

And that "howling and gnashing of teeth" simply destroyed sales of the Playstation 3.

If I remember correctly, Sony soon went bankrupt after that episode.

Xbox 360 - 50+ percent failure rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432724)

The aren't remotely close to 50 million Xbox 360 owners.

The Xbox 360 is the worst consumer electronics hardware ever created. Most Xbox 360 owners have bought 3,4,5+ new models(not Microsoft replacements of their old RRoD models) hoping that each new hardware revision would finally fix the absurd hardware problems the Xbox 360 is plagued with.

There aren't 50 million Xbox 360s in consumer hands. Not even close.

Re:Xbox 360 - 50+ percent failure rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432884)

Wrong. And self-defeating.

If people bought 5 Xboxes because 4 of them failed -- which they didn't, but let's pretend that happened -- doesn't that mean that despite a high failure rate there's something INTENSELY awesome about Xboxes, which means it's not really the worst consumer electronics hardware ever created???

What is the source for your made-up facts, anyway? We know it had a shitty failure rate in the beginning -- what is the source for your made-up fact that "Most Xbox 360 owners have bought 3,4,5+ new models(not Microsoft replacements of their old RRoD models"? Anyway, they have ~35 million live subscribers, and then there are people who don't use live.

Anyway, presumably there would actually be more people with an Xbox 360 in their home because most people don't live alone.

Re:Key Differntiator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432548)

Meh. I'm waiting for all these internet TV companies to get their act together and address the root problem. Content companies bundle too many brands together, force all distribution channels to buy them together, and charge against total subscribers. That's bullshit.

Apple, MSFT, Google, etc. need to collude to stop them, either by forcing them to break their content up or by producing their own. It's the only way to free everyone from the madness of $120/mo for 4 channels you actually watch.

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432800)

They're probably too busy colluding with the "content" guys. A "DISNEY HAS TAKEN ABC AWAY FROM YOU [salon.com] " show of manufactured outrage a year can keep the antitrust doctor away, after all, and gives them some time together to research (under the name of their hired survey company and the guise of asking their opinion of a hypothetical competitor's offering, perhaps) how much they can jack up the fees without starting a Tahrir-on-Madison.

That, or they just like the bigger cuts (in dollars, if not percentages) they get from the ol' bundle-and-burden. Why give more TLC when you can get more ARPU?

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435206)

The thing is, the Xbox is already a successful TV platform. Streaming Netflix took off in large part because of Xbox's living room integration. Hulu on Xbox... actually, I have no idea how Hulu is doing on Xbox. But Netflix is solidly there, Hulu is on, and ESPN streams to Xbox (if your cable carrier includes it, weirdly).

This is all heresy, but Netflix and Hulu have displaced traditional premium cable for a large number of friends and colleagues. Why pay $100 a month for 50 channels of crap that never quite corresponds to what you want, when you can pay $20 a month for 1/2 of what you want whenever you want it? Really, the parts of the equation that Xbox is missing currently is the real-time information... news, weather, and sports (well, except for ESPN).

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435292)

Hulu would be doing better on Xbox if there were no ads.

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435782)

Yup. and Microsoft wont gain me back because of their $70.00 a year extortion to use any online apps. I bought a RoKu box and only pay the hulu plus fee.

Hay MSFT, I'll consider yours if you drop the gold membership fee.

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

MHolmesIV (253236) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436456)

Microsoft doesn't want you as a customer. A customer is only useful if you can make money from them :)

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441540)

I used to believe in the Xbox, but this whole Kinect push has really made me lose faith in MS. The console is at the end of the traditional five year console lifespan, and seriously showing its age (especially with the lack of a blu-ray drive). And instead of announcing a new generation console, all MS is doing is pushing that stupid Wii-knockoff motion control system that no one I've ever met gives a rat's ass about. Now they're even trying to pitch their non-game content with lame Kinect "enhancements," seriously MS?

Re:Key Differntiator (1)

Stuarticus (1205322) | more than 2 years ago | (#37455770)

But can't you envision the awesome synergies? Now when you want to change channel all you have to do is shout "XBOX, hear me!" then stand up, raise your right hand for 10 seconds, wave it around a bit, do a squat and you will have changed channel! It's going to be soooo awesome.

Ooo. Voice commands! (3, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432482)

Yeah. That'll make for a killer app. After all, voice command has been promised for general computing for what, 20 years now?

And as good as software like Dragon is, it's still never been good enough to include in a "standard" desktop from any vendor.

Some people download TV. Some people PVR/Tivo it. Some settle for a standard cable/satellite feed.

But I have never heard anyone complain that they couldn't use voice commands to control their viewing.

I predict another epic fail...

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (2)

thePuck77 (1311533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432540)

But I have never heard anyone complain that they couldn't use voice commands to control their viewing.

This. Microsoft has a long history of adding features no one ever asked for and ignoring the features they do.

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436236)

That's funny. I don't know of anyone who has never yelled, "Where's the fucking remote." at least once or twice a week, if not hourly.

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

thePuck77 (1311533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437176)

X-Box controllers are hard to miss. Mine is pink! ;)

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432554)

How does it tell the difference between your voice commands and someone else's voice commands?
Could a commercial include voice commands in it's audio to take over your viewing?

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432990)

Could a commercial include voice commands in it's audio to take over your viewing?

Presumably it will already (be attempting to) cancel out the sound it's passing on to the TV.

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434510)

Could a commercial include voice commands in it's audio to take over your viewing?

Presumably it will already (be attempting to) cancel out the sound it's passing on to the TV.

That's too bad... I think about 1/5 the star trek episodes revolved around "computer, activate self destruct", instant red ring of death on the xbox. I suppose all those pr0n actresses who think acting is saying "F me" over and over, would cause the xbox to change its user interface to "microsoft bob" mode or sign me up for multilevel marketing schemes or have me online internet e-vote for Obama...

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432562)

Uhhh...you mean included in a standard desktop like say... all versions of Windows 7 [microsoft.com] except Starter? While I haven't personally tried it I hear its quite nice.

As for TFA if they can score football and basketball they have a shot, but if they don't get the content they are boned. I guess it will all come down to how much Ballmer is willing to lose to get a real toehold in the market, because as we saw with the original Xbox MSFT isn't above taking a loss if it'll get them a good foothold into a new market they desire.

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432578)

And it's so well advertised and integrated that this is the first I've heard of it after 6+ months of using 7 Ultimate.

At least I learned something today. :)

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37438074)

You'd think they'd advertise such a cool feature, wouldn't you? Just shows what a shitty CEO Ballmer is. I found out about it by accident when my dad plugged in his mike and typed mike into the search box trying to find out where he needed to be to change the settings Up popped "voice recognition" and he started working with it. works about 50/50 with dad, but a lot of that is due to the meds he's on making his voice change timber. Some days he sounds normal, other days like Slappy White, and I think having the voice just keep switching like that throws it off. It did the same with Dragonspeak when he gave it a spin.

But barring that it does work pretty well for typing letters, at least for dad. Me I can type quicker than I can talk most of the time so I don't really see the point for me but for those like dad that have eyesight problems or just those that want to control their PC ala Star trek it IS pretty cool nonetheless.

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433050)

Yeah. That'll make for a killer app. After all, voice command has been promised for general computing for what, 20 years now?

I personally wonder about all the technical issues. Like, a console is usually placed in the living room. And in the living room there's usually more than one person and constantly some noises around. Then there could also be several people talking simultaneously. Somehow the console has to filter out everything except the voice of the person controlling it, and that's going to be tricky and likely not work all that well in lively homes. And how about a situation where you're just watching something and someone in the same room says a word that the console (mis-)recognizes?

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433368)

I can picture some TV show messing with people, too, by having a character shout "TV off!" :D

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433432)

It can't happen if the TV show is playing from the Xbox. The Kinnect sensor knows what sounds are being output from the Xbox, so all such sounds are automatically cancelled out when listening for commands.
Honestly, the voice commands I can use on Netflix and Zune are the best part of Kinnect. The motion controls work fine, but it's just awkward waving your hands around. The voice commands make it feel like the future has just arrived.

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435078)

>>And how about a situation where you're just watching something and someone in the same room says a word that the console (mis-)recognizes?

You have to say the word Xbox to get its attention. So it's "Xbox pause", for example. That said, it will indeed fuck up occasionally - the worst is when it things you said "Xbox fast forward", and it nicely spoilerizes the next 10 minutes for you while you yell at it to stop. This happened to me a few times (including it just flipping to the next chapter), and since there's no apparent way of killing the voice recognition, I had to unplug my Kinect in order to watch video on it.

Actually, the worst part is that since it listens to everyone it's like you have five people holding the remote at once. Xbox, Pause! Xbox, Play! Xbox rewind!

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

Psicopatico (1005433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433108)

Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all.

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435100)

Actually, I VERY much enjoy Netflix with Kinect voice-command. Enough so that i'll pony up for another year of LIVE for it until such time as we have some mature Kinect PC software for my HTPC.

Re:Ooo. Voice commands! (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37443354)

As software developer who has to interface with Dragon, it is not all the great.

kinect control? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432488)

in soviet redmond, the tv watches YOU.

Uh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432538)

Why not a damn browser?

Yay (0)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432546)

Now I can watch Halo Big Brother where they put a transsexual brute, an effeminate elite and a naked Master Chief in the sauna together.

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I beg you pardon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432672)

If the fan noise didn't intrude over quiet pieces, as it does if using it as a DVD player, I still wouldn't be interested thanks.

Why bother using another power consuming item just to watch TV?

Isn't that what EZTV is for?

Six-figure statutory damages for file sharing (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433280)

Isn't that what EZTV is for?

Yeah, if you're fine with the six-figure statutory damages for file sharing [slashdot.org] that fellow console maker Sony won in a U.S. federal court.

HalTV (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432690)

Utilizing the Kinect attachment, users will be able to navigate through content with voice commands.

Me: "HalTV, can you hear me?"

HalTV: "Yes, I can hear you, Kid."

Me: "Could you please select something intelligent from the program offerings for me to watch?"

HalTV: "I'm sorry, Kid. I'm afraid I can't do that . . . the program offerings seems to be the result of human error . . . "

The Next Xbox. (3, Interesting)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432782)

I'm getting the feeling the next Xbox will just be a dumb Kinect terminal that connects to an OnLive-like service, or potentially an outright buyout of OnLive itself.

They can put out a box for $50, they get to do that whole cloud thing they like so much, all running on their own servers, collecting subscription fees, no need to give those pesky users access to the game data files, no need to compete with Sony on who has the most powerful hardware or lose face by licensing their optical media format.

And if the country you're in doesn't have Microsoft infrastructure you're probably all dirty pirates anyway and not worth bothering with, right?

Personally I wouldn't like this to happen one bit, but it seems to make a lot of sense to me from Microsoft's point of view.

Re:The Next Xbox. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432830)

Shhhh!
Stop giving Fapping material to M$ - Marketing department. I'm sure they and legal are having joygasms just reading that

Good luck getting ISPs to cooperate (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433120)

I'm getting the feeling the next Xbox will just be a dumb Kinect terminal that connects to an OnLive-like service, or potentially an outright buyout of OnLive itself.

Good luck getting ISPs to cooperate. They're having enough trouble with 720p24 Netflix as it is, and that's pre-encoded and buffered. Imagine what it'll take to get 1080p60 video with low latency over home users' last mile, especially in rural areas where the Xbox 360 is the only thing kids have to do after farm chores.

Re:Good luck getting ISPs to cooperate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37435668)

Well "midwestern kids who want to play video games after their farm chores" isn't exactly a large demographic. Companies don't target products at yokels in flyover states.

Re:Good luck getting ISPs to cooperate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37485418)

I'm getting the feeling the next Xbox will just be a dumb Kinect terminal that connects to an OnLive-like service, or potentially an outright buyout of OnLive itself.

Good luck getting ISPs to cooperate. They're having enough trouble with 720p24 Netflix as it is, and that's pre-encoded and buffered. Imagine what it'll take to get 1080p60 video with low latency over home users' last mile, especially in rural areas where the Xbox 360 is the only thing kids have to do after farm chores.

The only thing kids have to do after farm chores is eat, brush, and go to bed.

No, it doesn't. (1)

Shandalar (1152907) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434472)

OnLive has a built in latency problem that is impossible to solve, which would be universally rejected by the Xbox 360's user base of fast-action gamers.

Re:The Next Xbox. (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435110)

OnLive takes SERIOUS uninterrupted bandwidth. I couldnt even get it to start up until I replaced my WRT54g Router (which was capping at 5Mb/s) and went Docsis 3.0 and a Netgear WNDR3700.

XBMC4XBOX (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432836)

http://www.xbmc4xbox.org/

Lets me watch all the TV I want on my XBox...

Re:XBMC4XBOX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37433206)

I still don't understand all these different spellings of Xbox. People write it X-Box, XBox all over the place. As far as I can tell, it's either Xbox, or if you're recreating the logo, then XBOX.

It's like writing EMail or E-Mail - who does that?

Re:XBMC4XBOX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37433704)

I still don't understand all these different spellings of Xbox. People write it X-Box, XBox all over the place. As far as I can tell, it's either Xbox, or if you're recreating the logo, then XBOX.

It's like writing EMail or E-Mail - who does that?

Get over yourself.

Re:XBMC4XBOX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37435826)

In glorious 480p?

Sports (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433200)

If they focus on live sports with video chat for virtual game parties they could have a win. It's an under served market in this space - likely because of existing contracts of course but if it could be done... Imagine watching favorite sports teams with friends abroad or big game face-offs between rivals and being able to say "eat it" to your rival fans.

Re:Sports (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434302)

The problem with showing sports would be the cost. You can already get online access to the games from MLB.tv and the like, but it costs around $150 per season. Just supplying the big four would cost $50/month, unless Microsoft manages to extract a sweetheart deal from the NFL, MLB, and other TLAs. And that doesn't include the postseasons!

Add in the cost of all the non-sport programming, and you're probably looking at ~$80, at which point you might as well just pay for cable or satellite.

I've already got live TV on my Xbox (2)

cluedweasel (832743) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433414)

It's called the Windows Media Center extender. Sadly, MS don't seem to be that interested in WMC which is a shame. It's one of their better products.

Re:I've already got live TV on my Xbox (1)

jseale (691367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37439330)

Such late 90's M$ tech that is. Makes no sense having that on XBox.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1)

SlowDancing (687920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433570)

Your watchers want to know whether you are watching them, to twist a phrase.

"Microsoft believes the key differentiator between Xbox as a TV platform and the sea of failed competitors will be its voice and motion search tool. Utilizing the Kinect attachment, users will be able to be identified by number and state of activity, providing valuable feedback to the content providers and their customers, the advertisers." Fixed that for you.

Bonus if they build profiles of individuals and estimate ages by correlating with easily available databases and public records. Extra bonus if Microsoft listens to all other programming being played in the room and identifies it audibly.

Finally! Live TV on my Xbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37433740)

Now I can replace live TV on my TV!

Re:Finally! Live TV on my Xbox (1)

KillaBeave (1037250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37439186)

Now I can replace live TV on my TV!

There's a "yo dawg" in there soemwhere ... I just know it.

Race to be first (2)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433920)

The fact that TV will soon stream over the internet is too obvious, many companies are vying to be first mover. But the complete ecosystem is still missing, preventing mass adoption.

Interface - We use an old Dell re-purposed to drive our HDTV, but the masses will not want to use a wireless keyboard and mouse to find something to watch. Someone will have to get a simple to use interface going that you can use with a simple remote from your couch. There have been several attempts, like Boxee, but none are really ready for prime time. btw we cancelled our Netflix because they aped the interface, not the price increase.

Interface Push vs. Pull - Many people watch tv to sit and unwind, and do not want to constantly select content. Imagine the dentist office constantly having to select something to watch off the food network. On demand is wonderful when you really do want to watch something specific. I believe the internet interface of the future will have both, some channels you can just "tune" to and they stream, and then an on demand interface to watch content from those same channels. Give the power to choose to the users.

Content Sports - I only follow a couple local teams, but many want to follow more. Our local teams are usually playing on a network channel that my real antenna can pick up. But many people want to follow a college or pro team from a different part of the country, and they are not on local over the air channels. Some people like ESPN, and/or want to watch Monday Night football. For this demographic cable is the only way to follow what they want.

Content Original - HBO makes original content just to push their premium channels, and soon original content will soon start showing up on internet only channels not available to Cable companies. This will help drive adoption. Who will be first?

Content Ala Cart - Price is what is driving us cable cutters today, but could also drive mass adoption. To do so will require the provider to choose what "channels" they subscribe to. Discovery channel is not going to take a price cut simply because it streams over the internet, and they should not have to. I would gladly pay for Discovery, Science, Animal Planet, HGTV, etc., but not $60 a month to include all the stuff I don't watch. In other words the content providers that are getting watched will get paid, and the ones not getting watched will not.

Content Movies - As a casual movie fan that doesn't watch everything that comes out, the older selection on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu is enough. Many people want more. Apple (and Amazon?) has a lot of this covered through rentals (I hear). Get a nice internet interface to stream HBO, and then a way to rent a huge selection of movies, and everyone wins. This should also include a ton of Indy content.

Kinect as remote?- As someone that owns a Kinect, and loves it, I'm not sure this would make a great remote. You have to be right in front of it for it to track you correctly, so across a big room, to the side of a small room, etc. and it doesn't work. Voice? So now we have to watch what we say or the channel changes?

Complete System - The internet video distribution is a lot like music before iTunes, with people working on different parts of the whole, but nobody has put together a complete system. The company that can make an interface anyone from a 5 yo kid, to a 95 yo grandad can use from their couch, with a great selection of content, with original content, with sports, with ala cart pricing will win! The problem is... simple is hard to do.

Re:Race to be first (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434246)

i really do wish hulu or netflix would pick-up hbo and/or shotime as a partner, with an additional but fair price increase, say $5-7. it's $14.99 thru cable but that quality is better, i can record it(if only at lower dvd res), etc., so a balance must be struck. i think that is part of the problem. these companies expect the same pricing when they take away more consumer abilities. if i can no longer record to a permanent copy, then you must charge less. they think just because they found a new (at the time) revenue stream of tv on dvd, that they can eschew all the people that had been home recording for the previous 2 decades, but i'm not having that. i personally subscribe to cable and have a dvr, but for some reason i can't just dump all the hd recordings via firewire, so i do download copies of all the shows i watch. find me a legit way to do that, included in my subscription for no increase, and we'll be about square. kind of went off-topic but whatevs.

Re:Race to be first (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434554)

Interface - We use an old Dell re-purposed to drive our HDTV, but the masses will not want to use a wireless keyboard and mouse to find something to watch.

My mythtv frontends use IR keyboard/mice, because my infrared learning remote control works perfectly with them.

I standardized on mythtv before the wii was released, but I hear that relative "noobs" swear by using a wiimote with mythtv. A wiimote is just another bluetooth gadget.

The other part is that times change. If you told my semi-technophobe sister in law that most of the 1st worlds "socializing time" would be carried out by typing on a website using a smartphone that costs more per month than my electric bill, she would have considered me crazy, but here we are.

The future is already here, its just not evenly distributed.

Re:Race to be first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37485478)

Interface - We use an old Dell re-purposed to drive our HDTV, but the masses will not want to use a wireless keyboard and mouse to find something to watch.

My mythtv frontends use IR keyboard/mice, because my infrared learning remote control works perfectly with them.

I standardized on mythtv before the wii was released, but I hear that relative "noobs" swear by using a wiimote with mythtv. A wiimote is just another bluetooth gadget.

The other part is that times change. If you told my semi-technophobe sister in law that most of the 1st worlds "socializing time" would be carried out by typing on a website using a smartphone that costs more per month than my electric bill, she would have considered me crazy, but here we are.

The future is already here, its just not evenly distributed.

I disagree, the future is not here, we are still waiting for the future foreseen in the 1920's and 30's with the discovery of the atom and photon. We have lots of new toys, but not much in the way of new technology. We're getting better at taking the same parts and putting them together in different ways, but we're not making new parts.

Wow they finally figured it out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434008)

But how will they price it? MS needs to follow the low cost model. But they won't because well they're Microsoft.

so will there be mirroring fees or outlet fees to (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434066)

so will there be mirroring fees or outlet fees to get less channels that you will get that adding a full box or cable card will get you?

Also this will kill the download caps as well. MS should try to make a cable card powered box with the same UI as ATT U-Verse.

You can add a xbox to ATT U-Verse but then like cable card there are lot's of BS fees like
* Purchase of $99 Xbox kit required. For existing U-verse TV members, additional $55 installation charge will apply. Requires subscription to U-verse TV with at least one standard receiver, U-verse High Speed Internet service, Xbox 360 with hard drive, and Xbox Live Gold membership. Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Gold membership must be purchased separately. DVR not included with U100 or U-basic packages. Xbox 360 is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

Also the outlet / rent fee may also be needed as well.

"social experience into viewing video content" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434298)

Yeah because I really want to share my obsession with desperate housewives with all my friends. Even better my xbox live friends.

My Kinect video experience (1)

Shandalar (1152907) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434470)

I watch Netflix and Hulu + using my Xbox+Kinect with a DSL link, which saves a lot of money compared to Comcast, the cable TV monopoly in my area, which I used to use until six months ago or so. My observations:

1. The Kinect is a detriment to my TV watching experience, not a benefit. About once every 2 or 3 nights, the Xbox will start fast-forwarding or fast-rewinding for no apparent reason. The Kinect software did it, either because my wife or I said something it interpreted as a command, or because the actors on the TV commanded the Kinect to do it. I'm told the Kinect software attempts to subtract the Xbox's audio output from the room's environmental sound, in order to prevent the latter; but in my personal experience it seems to happen sometimes anyway. I know it's the Kinect because my wireless controller turns itself off after a few minutes, and it's always off when this event occurs. By the way, the event does suck; it's not minor. It takes about a minute to fumble with the controller to turn it on and rewind to where we were. We don't use voice command for this because my wife and I are usually shouting or throwing things at each other, and voice command isn't amenable to panic situations.

2. I love this setup for the ability to watch our favorite series one-after-another without waiting a week for each new show. However, now that NFL football season has started, I miss football. A lot. The PS3 we also have next to the TV has a new NFL Ticket option, I'm told, but it's over $300 for the year, which I can't afford.

3. More minor point: About once per week, the Xbox used to display an unwanted Kinect UI at the bottom of the screen in response to me stretching my arms out, shifting my position, or otherwise moving a little whilst sitting on the couch. This problem was unintentionally fixed by my wife when she actually rotated the Kinect to point away from us, and to point right at the wall, because she is sure there is some network hack available that will let strangers use the Kinect camera to spy on us as we sit in our living room. (Yes, the kids rotate the Kinect camera back to face them when they play Kinect games.)

Although point #2 is the most pedestrian comment above, it's the most important one. Content is the killer app. Not voice command while watching TV. As msobkow posted above, I, too, have always heard complaints about being able to access content, and I have never heard anyone complain about not being able to use gestures and voice to control their television.

Re:My Kinect video experience (1)

MHolmesIV (253236) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436514)

So you rotate the kinect completely out of position, invalidating the audio calibration (which measures the audio reflection characteristics of your room), and then complain that the echo cancellation doesn't work perfectly? Did you even read the text that said you need to rerun calibration if you move the kinect or your speakers?

Except Blu-ray (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435664)

'You should have any entertainment you want with all the people you care about, really simply and on any screen.'

Except Blu-ray

Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436520)

Success of internet TV is based on content and price vs the competitors of cable and satellite. Also, quality has to be taken into account for low speed internet connections. My guess is this will fail miserably because Microsoft thinks people care about voice command and hand motions when watching TV. I want a quality DVR, good selection of channels, and good price for the features. That will be hard for any internet TV because of the overhead required to run the servers.

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