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Microsoft To Bring Cable TV To 360

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the aggregation-and-disaggregation-in-one dept.

Microsoft 133

iONiUM writes with a CNET article outlining the next step in Microsoft's plans for cable television, which he says "seems like yet another step forward in killing traditional cable companies." From the article: "[Microsoft] announced this morning that nearly 40 television content providers — including Comcast, Verizon, and HBO in the United States — will roll out programming over Xbox Live. The company also has deals lined up with providers in the U.K., Spain, Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Italy."

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so it will count as part of the your download cap (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#37625506)

and you may have to pay a outlet fee as well?

Re:so it will count as part of the your download c (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 years ago | (#37625902)

It is almost certain that any third party TV over IP will contribute to your download cap.

Re:so it will count as part of the your download c (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 3 years ago | (#37626200)

The cable companies know that bandwidth caps are their best defense against people canceling cable TV. If they essentially say the Xbox (or Netflix, or whatever) plan is limited, but cable TV is "unlimited", then they still have a competitive edge they can try to wield.

What consumers really need is real, effective choice in who their ISP is. Competition is the key to delivering value.

As long as Comcast, et al., have monopoly power to wield, prices are going to be suspended artificially high and consumers will continue to cut the cord.

Re:so it will count as part of the your download c (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 3 years ago | (#37627008)

I know the ATT uVerse version of this for XBox was an expensive addition. I don't know anyone that did it.

But assuming it's free for comcast or verizon users, the one thing this isn't, is a cord-cutting or cost saving move against your cable company... as was pointed out in a number of articles earlier in the week. It's another widget to try to keep you on board, just like their awful dvrs.

I'm not sure what the whole "seems like yet another step forward in killing traditional cable companies" thing is about. This is brought to you by the "traditional cable companies". The only difference is that your xbox gets to show you ads before comcast does... and you still get to pay both of them for the privilege.

nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625526)

xbox, as a platform, is really kicking some ass. who would have throught that the xbox would be microsofts road to integrating entertainment and computing, as they've wanted to for 15 years

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625544)

Cable companies probably won't take this lying down! Are we all going to see internet costs going up if their main profit center no longer is without competition?

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625572)

Companies exist to make money. Do the math. They can't afford continual network upgrades to provide more and more bandwidth without revenue. And no one can afford to overbuild them because the construction costs are mammoth.

Re:Hmmm (1)

iiiears (987462) | about 3 years ago | (#37625642)

MSNBC on XBOX? - Rupert Murdoch buys Nintendo? - lol
What to do when Moores Law arrests profits... Sell entertainment.

Re:Hmmm (1)

bobbomo (877614) | about 3 years ago | (#37627432)

MSNBC has been on Xbox LIVE for over a year now. This is not a change.

Re:Hmmm (1)

CodeHxr (2471822) | about 3 years ago | (#37628238)

So has Netflix... it's still included in the provider listing to make it look larger.

Re:Hmmm (2)

JonySuede (1908576) | about 3 years ago | (#37625744)

at a 800% markups over net cost for bandwidth, they sure can afford some upgrade, but they wont : http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5952/125/ [michaelgeist.ca]

Re:Hmmm (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 years ago | (#37626096)

ISPs should use usage-based billing and vary the price according to the time of day: peak usage periods would cost more than off-peak, similar to the way cell phone plans have unlimited nights and weekends. Then the heavy users could still download all they want, during those times when it won't disturb other users. And grandma's bill would be very low, perhaps $10 per month for the line charge and almost nothing for usage.

The other wonderful thing about usage-based billing is it gives the ISP an incentive to improve the network so that it can move more billable bytes through the wires.

Re:Hmmm (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | about 3 years ago | (#37630008)

if the price had a link to the cost, I would it for it but as it was proposed, it had an average profits of 980cents per GB transferred, it was insane....

Re:Hmmm (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 3 years ago | (#37625820)

Except we the people have already paid for those network upgrades, with the tax breaks and incentives since the Clinton administration. The cable companies agreed to provide what 30mbps? to the US by this time but have failed, yet are still expecting their payday.

At the end of the day faster internet serves the betterment of the country as a whole, we have a lot of IT situated here, what if all the Microsoft's and Google's, decided to leave because the internet was so poor here?
If private enterprise cannot get something like that to be profitable, maybe we should turn it into a public venture.

Re:Hmmm (2)

Tsingi (870990) | about 3 years ago | (#37625770)

Cable replaced transmitted TV just as the internet will (has) replaced cable.

Of course the cable companies will object, that changes nothing.

As for internet costs going up, they're already sky high here in Canada. I think we rank below #40 (price/bandwidth) for internet service in the world. Not very good.

Re:Hmmm (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37625802)

Unfortunately, due to copyright law, they can stall it a good while.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37626094)

Cable has not replaced broadcast television.
It sure beat it up for a while, but OTA television is making a big comeback.

Re:Hmmm (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 3 years ago | (#37626328)

OTA television is making a comeback due to the spiraling cost of cable TV service, not due to the virtues of OTA TV itself.

I think most of this trend can be attributed to changing consumer tastes. Gone are the days of the 80s/90s where people just sat down and watched a block of sitcoms every night. Most people, particularly the coming generation, spend more time using the internet than watching TV. Using the internet and social media as well as streaming services have made people more social and less inclined to uni-directional entertainment. We don't need to sit through commercials or wait for our program to come on a certain night of the week. We stream them later, or DVR them for later.

Cable TV is an antiquated technology. It's analogous to the newspaper and will see a similar decline. That doesn't mean the companies won't fight to limit people's choice, their ability to get the entertainment they want without paying the piper.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37627496)

Yeah, just like vinyl is making a huge comeback and totally making inroads against online distribution of MP3s.

Let's not overhype a niche market just because they made a little more money this year than they did last year.

Re:Hmmm (3, Interesting)

green1 (322787) | about 3 years ago | (#37626326)

I work for a telecom company that has been providing tv service to parts of canada for the past 7 years. One of the options we give our customers is the ability to use an xbox as a digital set top box, this saves them the rental fee for a normal stb, and makes for one less device on the shelf by the tv.
The system generally works well, however there are some drawbacks, the first is boot time, stbs are somewhat "always on" and wake up near instantaneously. The xbox takes a moment to boot, and then another moment to launch our tv application. The second issue is the remote, xbox remote controls just arent as easy to use as our dedicated ones.

For those that were asking about bandwidth, our iptv service uses its own vlan seperate from the internet service, so although both go through the same modem, the iptv doesnt count toward bandwidth caps, nor does it interfere with your download speeds on the computer

Hungh? (0)

gearsmithy (1869466) | about 3 years ago | (#37625566)

Cable TV? Is that thing still around?

Re:Hungh? (1)

hjf (703092) | about 3 years ago | (#37625876)

Is it even cable TV if you get your connection through DSL or FIOS and watch on an XBOX?

Re:Hungh? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37625880)

Yes. The major professional and college sports leagues still have long-term exclusive contracts with cable TV.

Killing? (4, Informative)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | about 3 years ago | (#37625598)

seems like yet another step forward in killing traditional cable companies

Yet these same cable companies are the ones most likely providing you internet access. It's evolution, nothing more.

Re:Killing? (1)

cornface (900179) | about 3 years ago | (#37625702)

It really is kind of ridiculous to say it is another step in killing traditional cable companies and then listing Comcast as one of the companies that is on board.

Re:Killing? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#37625772)

The pricing isn't listed but if Comcast is on board I expect it to more expensive than regular cable. For years the cable companies have wanted to offer a-la-carte channels however they would charge much more than bundled channels. They have been stopped by a number of factors like technology, regulation, etc. This would effective bypass all of that.

Re:Killing? (1)

sporkboy (22212) | about 3 years ago | (#37626616)

As far as I know it's not an "instead of" type thing. The xfinitytv.com site that they have now is basically an online video on demand service for existing subscribers. Previously it was only accessible via a computer, so for those of us without their rental cable boxes (go TiVo!) this is the first chance to have easy access to their VoD solution on the TV without running HDMI to a computer.

Nothing at all about killing cable, more features for subscribers.

If Microsoft made TV... (2, Funny)

DragonHawk (21256) | about 3 years ago | (#37625612)

Oh, boy, this is comedy gold:

If Microsoft made TV...

When you change channels, you will occasionally get an hourglass for a few seconds, for no apparent reason.

Every time there's a change to the channel line-up, you'll have to download a 300 MB update, wait ten minutes for it to install, and then restart your TV.

Instead of the NTSC color bars, during "technical difficulties" they will show a blue screen with white text.

Every year they'll change what all the buttons on the remote do. Next year volume up/down will be mapped to numbers 2 and 7.

"Hi there! It looks like you're trying to find something good to watch. Would you like me to suggest something?"

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (1)

Pope (17780) | about 3 years ago | (#37625656)

When you change channels, you will occasionally get an hourglass for a few seconds, for no apparent reason.

Sounds like just about every digital cable box I've seen! :D

Could be worse, though. My parents have digital cable through Rogers here in Ontario, Canada. The remote has a Guide button that would normally take you to the channel guide with all the program listings and a small channel preview area. Now with the latest boxes, it instead takes you to some shitty Rogers screen where you can go to PPV movies, Games, etc. and to get to the frggin' channel guide you have to push the Guide button a second time. There's always a bit of lag, so half the time I push the button twice it exits out of the menu and goes back to the original channel I was watching!

I'd like to meet the moron who thought of this blatantly user-hostile idea so I can kick him in the nuts.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (2)

Tsingi (870990) | about 3 years ago | (#37625888)

Rogers sucks.

You rarely hear opinions that disagree with that sentiment. The only thing Rogers has going for it is that it isn't Bell.

When they first started delivering internet, I had a dedicated IP, nice. When they switched me to DHCP (with no notice) I was told by a help desk flunky that you can't get on the internet with Linux. I eventually learned that I had lost the dedicated IP.

Then they dropped the news server.

Now I have a cap.

They do packet inspection and throttle services.

I think those last two are illegal.

Rogers sucks.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (1)

mrops (927562) | about 3 years ago | (#37628392)

Ever thought going DSL, maybe Teksavvy or Acanac!!!!

A lot of places u can get 25mbos down 7mbps up, at least I do.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625946)

I have Rogers also - there's a setting in the options to go directly to the guide on the first click. The first thing I did after that update was switch it back.

See: http://redboard.rogers.com/2010/we-listened-how-to-customize-the-order-of-the-quick-start-menu/ for more info.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628546)

There is a setting that lets you change this so that you only have to press the guide button once to get to the guide. Link [rogers.com]

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625666)

Boring troll.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 3 years ago | (#37625684)

More like comedy tin.

Microsoft has made TV for 7 years now, and none of your predictions/joke have come to pass. Windows Media Center was released in 2004.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (1)

The Moof (859402) | about 3 years ago | (#37627194)

Microsoft actually has been doing the TV thing over 12 years now. Their second receiver got discontinued in 2003 when they lost their contract with DirectTV (the details [wikipedia.org] ). Can't find anything about their original attempt at a Windows TV platform. My Google-fu is failing me.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (1)

The Moof (859402) | about 3 years ago | (#37627272)

And as I finish submitting that, there it is [wikipedia.org] . So MS has been doing this for 15 years, starting with MSN TV.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | about 3 years ago | (#37625714)

If Apple made TV:
There would only be one channel, because, "why would you want to change it"?

If Linux made TV:
Everything would look like low budget cable access shows.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625846)

Oh, boy, this is comedy gold:

You would have thought so... but apparently not?

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (1)

nickrjsmith (1407237) | about 3 years ago | (#37625994)

Oh, boy, this is comedy gold:

If Microsoft made TV...

When you change channels, you will occasionally get an hourglass for a few seconds, for no apparent reason.

Every time there's a change to the channel line-up, you'll have to download a 300 MB update, wait ten minutes for it to install, and then restart your TV.

Instead of the NTSC color bars, during "technical difficulties" they will show a blue screen with white text.

Every year they'll change what all the buttons on the remote do. Next year volume up/down will be mapped to numbers 2 and 7.

"Hi there! It looks like you're trying to find something good to watch. Would you like me to suggest something?"

how's Apple TV doing?

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 3 years ago | (#37626058)

"Hi there! It looks like you're trying to find something good to watch. Would you like me to suggest something?"

*cough*TivoSuggestions*cough*

Actually, the suggestions do a decent job aside from the fact that they suggest things I've already watched. Pretty accurate, though, so, um, two points for that, I guess. Mmmmyep.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37626602)

YEEEEHAA! That would have been HILARIOUS in 1998. Now, well, you're quite the moron.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37626752)

Oh, boy, this is comedy gold:

It was, a decade ago. Now it's more funny that some people still, on a tech site, are stuck in the 'good old days' on this.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | about 3 years ago | (#37626820)

Our U-verse DVR runs microsoft-supplied software. While my wife isn't a huge fan of it (I rarely use it), it's more or less on par with the dishnetwork unit we used to have, and usable. It does none of the things you jokingly posted.

The standout nits are probably no predictive search, and no memory of past searches, and a little glitchiness in recording streams from time to time. Nothing hair-tearingly bad though.

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 3 years ago | (#37627050)

"Hi there! It looks like you're trying to find something good to watch. Would you like me to suggest something?"

"Hi there! It looks like you're trying to watch porn. Would you like help?
-Skip the story.
-Erase it from your history.
-Just watch the porn without help."

Re:If Microsoft made TV... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37627430)

Oh, boy, this is comedy gold:

If Microsoft made TV...

When you change channels, you will occasionally get an hourglass for a few seconds, for no apparent reason.

Every time there's a change to the channel line-up, you'll have to download a 300 MB update, wait ten minutes for it to install, and then restart your TV.

Instead of the NTSC color bars, during "technical difficulties" they will show a blue screen with white text.

Every year they'll change what all the buttons on the remote do. Next year volume up/down will be mapped to numbers 2 and 7.

"Hi there! It looks like you're trying to find something good to watch. Would you like me to suggest something?"

Oh look, 10 year old humor. Quick everyone, laugh to make it feel better.

So when Fios finally come to my town... (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 3 years ago | (#37625620)

I can completely give comcast the shaft? best news ive heard all day.

Re:So when Fios finally come to my town... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625660)

Uh, since FiOS provides both TV and Internet, how does this announcement relate to that at all? Were you previously planning to get FiOS internet but keep Comcast cable in some sort of bizarre plan to rack up the highest possible monthly TV/Internet bill? Because I think you can still do that, and then if you tack on an XBox Live membership and Netflix subscription you should be able to get it even higher.

Re:So when Fios finally come to my town... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37626020)

Uh, since FiOS provides both TV and Internet, how does this announcement relate to that at all? Were you previously planning to get FiOS internet but keep Comcast cable in some sort of bizarre plan to rack up the highest possible monthly TV/Internet bill?

Frontier is a much smaller company than Comcast, meaning it can't demand the same sort of volume pricing out of the networks that Comcast can, meaning it has to charge much more per month than Comcast.

Re:So when Fios finally come to my town... (3, Insightful)

jacksinn (1136829) | about 3 years ago | (#37625688)

We recently ditched our DirecTV service we have had for years due to skyrocketing prices, inflexibility, and lack of time or desire to watch enough TV to justify the cost. We've been using the 360 (and PS3, AppleTV) to watch Hulu and Netflix as well as renting some movies and the transition hasn't hurt us one bit. We've talked about it for a couple years I only wish we had done it sooner. It was cool when Red State was available to rent (at $10) before it hit the theaters. I hope this is a continuing trend.

Re:So when Fios finally come to my town... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37625826)

That works fine as long as you don't want to watch sports. Pretty much everything else can be viewed by hooking up a laptop or set top device to the TV.

Re:So when Fios finally come to my town... (1)

jacksinn (1136829) | about 3 years ago | (#37625980)

The 360 has ESPN on the Video Marketplace which is free to use. It has some live events and you can follow whichever sports you like e.g. hockey and soccer. A lot of it, however, is mostly clips and archives and not live so there is definitely that downside. We're planning to use an antenna to get over the air 'live' feeds/channels too so if the sport comes on one of the big 4 networks here in town we should be good to go.

Re:So when Fios finally come to my town... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37626072)

An antenna is great for getting some sporting events like NFL, but it seems over time that MLB/NBA have been moving away from traditional TV and now are almost-exclusively on the cable networks (i.e. Fox Sports, Comcast Sports). It is frustrating because I have to pay for cable if I want to watch anything from those sports. They have slowly moved away from OTA transmissions of sporting events, and in the process forced customers to get screwed and buy cable service. The only exception is Yankees/Red Sox, Lakers/Celtics, etc. on Fox.. which basically means nothing to us smaller market teams.

That being said, if it ever comes down to me having to ditch cable to save money, I won't hesitate for a second. NFL is my sport of choice anyways :)

Re:So when Fios finally come to my town... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37626148)

The NLCS isn't on ESPN, so I am SOL.

Re:So when Fios finally come to my town... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37629622)

Not being live is a serious problem with it. MLB was the one I was looking at and it turned out to be significantly worse than what you'd get through cable. Anything under a regional black out would still not be available and you could only access the streams after the game was over.

Personally, I don't need or want to have cable or a dish, but for folks that want live sports there's basically only one game in town.

That being said, we get more channels over the air now than we used to, but the number is still quite low and you're only going to see a few games like that.

Re:So when Fios finally come to my town... (1)

Inda (580031) | about 3 years ago | (#37628160)

I watch a fair bit of sport by hooking up a laptop to the TV. I'd love to pay for it in return for an HD quality picture, honestly I would.

My problem with using the Xbox is it's so bloody noisy. Fix that first Microsoft and I'll happily cancel the TV part of my cable package.

Partnering with Cable companies won't kill Cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625676)

Call me cynical, but if MSFT is partnering with Comcast (and Verizon) to do this, then I don't think there's going to be a chance that this de-thrones cable. It'll be the same crappy deal, but this time you get it through your XBOX instead of a set-top.

Re:Partnering with Cable companies won't kill Cabl (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#37625834)

I expect to be more expensive. For example basic cable is like $40 for 30 channels but may not have some channels you want. Well you can get another 50 channels and digital for $60 more. Want specific channels in addition to your package? $5 each using the Xbox. Comcast and Verizon will be making lots of money.

Nothing New Here (1)

theRiallatar (584902) | about 3 years ago | (#37625716)

This is nothing new - they're already doing this on iOS and on the web. You'll still need to subscribe to cable in order to utilize the programming on the XBOX, much like you must pay Netflix to watch their movies on the Xbox. All they're doing is replacing the Set Top Box / DVR with the Xbox, and for that I'd applaud them - one less energy sucking device on the table is always good, but they won't be cutting out the cable companies in this, just shifting the medium.

Re:Nothing New Here (1)

bjwest (14070) | about 3 years ago | (#37626134)

... one less energy sucking device on the table is always good....

I had a first generation 360, that thing sounded like an A-6 taking off at full throttle, and I doubt the newer models are any better. My Tivo, Media Center PC, and Wii are all but dead silent. Hell, my laptop sitting right in front of me with fans on full speed can barely be heard. Until MS gets the noise problem solved, I don't think it would make a good media center replacement.

Re:Nothing New Here (1)

schlechtums (2108798) | about 3 years ago | (#37626212)

Good thing the new models aren't loud. It's not SILENT, but you have to get up next to it and actively listen for it to hear it. If you're watching tv at a normal distance, you'll never hear it. I'm not sure if you really don't know/care, or if you're just trolling, but the newer models are manufacturer on a smaller process, which means less heat which means less noise.

Re:Nothing New Here (1)

Slider451 (514881) | about 3 years ago | (#37626586)

Do what a lot of people do: Put it behind a wall and control it with RF remote and IR blasters. My Logitech Harmony works great.

Re:Nothing New Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629774)

Do what a lot of people do: Put it behind a wall and control it with RF remote and IR blasters. My Logitech Harmony works great.

No one wants to do that. No other device needs this kind of treatment. MS fscked up the design on the aging 360. Current models should be silent running, but they're not. The platform is in maintenance mode while they work on the next box.

Re:Nothing New Here (1)

ActionDesignStudios (877390) | about 3 years ago | (#37628308)

and I doubt the newer models are any better.

/facepalm

How many times can I pay to watch the same show? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625786)

Let me count:

1) by subscribing to fiber/cable giant (internet)
2) by subscribing to Xbox Live Gold (streaming ability)
3) by paying overage charges for busting limits watching a cable show via XBL served over cable network
4) by paying Netflix/Hulu to stream the show ala video-on-demand
5) by paying Netflix/Blockbuster to send me a DVD of the show
6) by downloading the show via torrent, then paying a lawyer's extortion fee
7) by ignoring the lawyer's extortion letter and going to court
8) by appealing the jury's ruling
9) by appealing the appellate court's ruling

I'm stopping at nine. I could keep going. It just seems cheaper in the long run to download everything from a CDN like RS, MU, FS, NL, UT, WU, etc. No subscription fees other than internet, and no torrent uploading to lawyer spies to get your IP address on a list of people who are distributing their God-forsaken content...

meh

Re:How many times can I pay to watch the same show (2)

hjf (703092) | about 3 years ago | (#37625948)

And don't forget that, even when you're paying all that, you still need to watch ads.

That's what I hate the most. Last monday was "Terra Nova" premiere on FOX (Latin America), they had a FUCKING COUNTDOWN TIMER 2 days before, on the top left of the screen, during EVERY SHOW!

What the hell?

Re:How many times can I pay to watch the same show (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 3 years ago | (#37626244)

The easy way is to have patience. I just wait for the season to come out on disc.

[1] No commercials other than the stupid previews
[2] Can rip them to any device I own
[3] I know if the show failed or survived and whether to even bother
[4] If I want a nice copy of the show for myself, season box sets are often heavily discounted

This is why I scoff at the "streaming is hip and now and *with it* and discs are dead" folks. Not as long as streaming is buried under Byzantine legal rights agreements and I can't watch precisely what I want. It's like I'm supposed to poke through what some streaming source has available to find something watchable. Uh, no, that's not how those of use with limited and valuable entertainment time do things. I have a list of things I want to watch. Disc rental/purchases are the *only* way to fulfill that list right now.

And if I do get impatient, there's always the magic of "unofficial" downloads.

They've already done it, and I'm already using it. (2)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 3 years ago | (#37625790)

My home is set up with a Ceton Cablecard hookup and Windows Media Center.

It is the best DVR I've ever had the pleasure of using, and the UI and usability far surpasses everything out there. What they will do with the XBox integration is beyond me, but I've saved over $400 a year by swapping to media center (2 boxes = $40 a month).

Granted not everything Microsoft does is great, but Media Center is one of their best products that nobody knows about. That said, I think if it's in the same vein, that their TV service will do well.

Re:They've already done it, and I'm already using (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625962)

+1

Media Center is the best product Microsoft never marketed.

Re:They've already done it, and I'm already using (1)

Slider451 (514881) | about 3 years ago | (#37626726)

Clarification: You do need a PC for your solution, unless there's a cablecard for Xbox I don't know about.

That said, I really like the Windows Media Center interface. That's the only DVR we use currently. Much better out of the box than the Comcast DVR or homebrew solution I used for years: GB-PVR. I just wish the link to it on the Xbox was more prominent. More than a couple clicks/menus fails the WAF.

If there was an easier way to access WMC TV recordings from other small STBs (Roku, Apple TV) it would be the perfect solution.

Re:They've already done it, and I'm already using (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37627458)

I just wish the link to it on the Xbox was more prominent. More than a couple clicks/menus fails the WAF.

You do know that you can set the Xbox to auto-boot into WMC, right? It's all in the system settings. That's exactly how I have mine set up. They even wake up the WMC host PC using WOL. WAF++++++14!

I love my Ceton, but I do wish that it would boot faster. From the moment that the HTPC boots or wakes up, it is about 70 seconds or so before it itself is ready to go (in the meantime, WMC acts kind of kooky, like it can't find an available tuner). The only way around this is to just leave the HTPC on all of the time, which is something I'm not willing to do. Of course, this is only a problem when I'm watching live TV (an increasingly rare event, as opposed to recordings).

Re:They've already done it, and I'm already using (1)

Slider451 (514881) | about 3 years ago | (#37630118)

Good idea. If our 360 was just for WMC that's what I'd do. But we use it for games and Netflix, too. I can update my Harmony remote to put the WMC button on the first screen (it defaults to the second screen). That will probably do the trick.

Do you find your media PC wakes up sporadically on its own, even when it's not recording a show? I'm backing mine up to a Windows Home Server, with the media extensions enabled. Between that and WMC it seems to wake up often.

Re:They've already done it, and I'm already using (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 3 years ago | (#37627936)

Honestly, if the media center extender worked on other Windows PCs, I'd rather just buy a small dell zino box and set it up on my TV. No such luck though... another boneheaded thought by microsoft.

Re:They've already done it, and I'm already using (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629344)

I agree that it'd be nice. But honestly, I don't think it's as much Microsoft's fault as it might seem. The content providers have their paws all over what can be played, where, and by what. As I'm sure that you've seen, you can't copy most shows from one WMC to another WMC and play it there. That's not Microsoft, that's the likes of Comcast. Clearly, Microsoft put a lot into WMC, it's also unlikely (on that front) that they just "forgot" or "didn't notice" that a PC functioning as an extender would be the ultimate.

On the flip side, for $150 (when on sale), the Xbox 360 Slim is not a bad extender IMHO. Have two of them, booting directly to WMC (this is just the easiest for everyone involved, even when grandma visits). Family has gotten used to "it takes a minute or so when I turn on the TV." By far the slickest DVR I have ever used ... if move to another room, simply pause in one room and pick it up in the other room. Works great!

Re:They've already done it, and I'm already using (1)

Fallon (33975) | about 3 years ago | (#37629794)

I just finished rolling out my Windows Media Center with a InfiniTV 4 & the CableCard setup as well, it rocks. I haven't turned in my DVR & Cable Box yet, probably in a few weeks, but it will end up saving me $30+ a month, enough to pay off the InfiniTV 4 card & other parts in under a year.

I'm using a free Xbox360 as a media center extender, which works well. The thing that pisses me off is Microsoft requires me to spend $60 a year or something on an Xbox Live Gold account if I want to watch Netflix, onto of the Netflix account I already pay for. Netflix is great on my Media Center already, I just refuse to be gouged to watch it on a different device.

Re:They've already done it, and I'm already using (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 3 years ago | (#37629904)

Agreed on the XBox Live account for Netflix. I don't want to pay twice for Netflix, so I won't. It's just annoying to get a service that's basically free, only when you're a member of something else. Blargghhggh!!%$!@$

I wish it were another step forward but it's not.. (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | about 3 years ago | (#37625842)

You still have to have a cable subscription to access the content for most of this content. If anything, it's a step forward in killing the standalone set-top box. This hurts set-top box manufacturers, AppleTV, GoogleTV, and Boxee.

Re:I wish it were another step forward but it's no (1)

hjf (703092) | about 3 years ago | (#37625922)

This hurts set-top box manufacturers, AppleTV, GoogleTV, and Boxee.

Oh, BOOHOO!

Re:I wish it were another step forward but it's no (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 years ago | (#37626966)

I have no interest in extending Microsoft's monopoly into the Living room any more than I want to hand Apple the same monopoly on a silver platter.

Single vendor solutions ultimately do more harm than good.

Re:I wish it were another step forward but it's no (1)

Slider451 (514881) | about 3 years ago | (#37626818)

I don't see how, unless you plan to have an XBox in every room. We have one on our big entertainment center TV. But in the bedroom we just have a Roku. If MS starting putting out sub-$100 Media Center STBs (with Netflix and Hulu, etc., in addition to XBL content ) then you could make that argument.

Re:I wish it were another step forward but it's no (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 years ago | (#37626998)

Yes. This is by no means a cheap option.

Besides, if you are going to put xboxes under all of your TVs you could just use Media Center and avoid channel specific streaming.

Stream everything.

This does nothing to displace conventional cable like an AppleTV or Roku does or even XBMC.

Microsoft to bring cable TV to 360 (1)

jamesl (106902) | about 3 years ago | (#37625878)

360 what?

Re:Microsoft to bring cable TV to 360 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37626112)

Anderson cooper 360. Obviously.

Re:Microsoft to bring cable TV to 360 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628168)

360 what?

If you have to ask that then you are obviously not a geek, so what are you doing here on Slashdot?!?

So what? (1)

dkf (304284) | about 3 years ago | (#37626060)

[Microsoft] also has deals lined up with providers in the U.K., ...

That's hardly surprising, given that most TV content in the UK is already available on competing platforms, and has been for a while. This is just MS playing catch-up with what Sony's PS3 has done for a while now; the surprising thing is how long they took to do it.

Entertainment sprawl. (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | about 3 years ago | (#37626150)

There is no doubt that cable TV are losing market place.

Devices like the Roku- and a subscription to Netflix/Hulu and you can get almost anything you want- and for lower price. That said- most of the major channels (with a decent budget to make original content) are channels that have a firm base in cable. These channels are grand-fathered in- there is an inherent cost to become a new cable channel- and there isn't much point being an internet startup if most people only see cable.

Once a larger portion of people switch to internet-based TV this could spark a revolution over the established order. There would no longer be such a big threshold to start up new channels- and borders will inevitably be crossed. British stations, American stations, Australian stations... they'll all be competing for the same "English-speaking" world market.

Suddenly there will be many multiple the current number of stations producing their own content. Most of this will be very low budget and not get much of a following- however the big stations of today will see their share eroded. It will be survival of the fittest.

This is a good thing right? Well, yes and no. The spread of stations available mean stations will need to produce good-quality (but cheap) productions.

A lot of high-budget shows will die. A lot fewer high-budget shows will be made. You will have greater choice- but it will all be lower budget- but most likely better written. There will be a lot of wading through crap to find the good stuff- but the good stuff will be there because content will matter due to higher competition.

Stations will come and go- just like local commercial radio- they will constantly reformat, collapse, and be born.

The absolute worst thing that could happen would be if enough "good" stations team up "buy us as a package" to monopolise internet TV to stiffle competition. Then we would be back to the old days- of big budget but low quality. The more competition the better TV we'll get.

Re:Entertainment sprawl. (1)

Slider451 (514881) | about 3 years ago | (#37626886)

Cream rises to the top. "Mad Men", an Emmy winning hit for a few years now, runs on AMC, a channel for old classic movies. I doubt many Mad Men fans watch much of the other content on that network. I'm sure it will find a home on another network if nobody wants to pay for AMC ala carte.

Not the end of Cable companies (1)

plebeian (910665) | about 3 years ago | (#37626202)

The deals look like extensions of service for their traditional customer base. I doubt Xbox will provide anything if I don't already have a cable TV contract with the supplier. What I want is to be able to stream the shows that I want to watch, and not subsidize channels I don't want. Until that happens I will continue to rely on Netflix, Hulu, and the broadcast corporation websites to what the shows I am interested in.

Bandwidth Cost + Content Cost = Too Much (1)

PhaedrusTheGreek (2478278) | about 3 years ago | (#37626308)

I'm starting to become concerned about these inexpensive web video content services not being all they're cracked up to be in today's internet service market. I'm all for web content, but what happens when I leave the web TV on all day? I'm going to get dinged for the bandwidth charges that what! Recently Netflix introduced a "low resolution" version of their service to combat this problem. I guess the future really does look like Max Headroom.

Re:Bandwidth Cost + Content Cost = Too Much (1)

Slider451 (514881) | about 3 years ago | (#37627056)

Concur. Internet TV is not broadcast. If your ISP (often your cable provider, ironically) has a download cap, you have to select your content carefully. I suspect a lot of folks will investigate OTA or the bare bones cable packages to offset the increased bandwidth needs. Assuming you have the equipment do it (tuner card and DVR software) avoid bandwidth cap issues by recording broadcast shows for free.

This is awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37626394)

I hope Microsoft makes this happen! This will nationalize cable making prices, service, and content more competitive. Also allow companies to start they own syndications.

AT&T Uverse on the XBox (1)

DanCentury (110562) | about 3 years ago | (#37626498)

AT&T U-verse customers have been able to use the XBox as their set top box for some time now.

http://www.att.com/u-verse/explore/xbox-receiver.jsp

Good luck with that in Canada (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 3 years ago | (#37626742)

..... They expect Rogers, Bell, Telus and Shaw to let them play in the sand pit? LOL...

Re:Good luck with that in Canada (1)

z00_miak (1305831) | about 3 years ago | (#37628002)

Actually they're already 'playing in the sandpit': you can use a 360 with Telus Optik TV, since they already use Microsoft Mediaroom as their digital TV platform software. They were even giving away 360s as a signup bonus a while back.

Maybe this article is suggesting Microsoft's intent to bypass incumbent providers, otherwise it's missing the mark, at least for Canada: if you were signed up for any content like HBO (through Telus) you can already view it using your 360.

Re:Good luck with that in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37630076)

They sort of already do. TELUS Optik already use MS tech and you can use a XBOX 360 as a receiver for their service

Conflict (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | about 3 years ago | (#37626850)

Is it intended to act as a DVR or is it streaming only? If the former, can it record a show while playing a game? Convergence sometimes has casualties.

Can broadcast efficiencies be retained? (1)

Marrow (195242) | about 3 years ago | (#37627478)

To the best of my knowledge, cable companies send their signal once, and all the boxes entitled to hear it hear it at the same time. This is very efficient for the sender. Transmissions based on tcp/ip will not be efficient. Are there plans in the works to use udp broadcast or multicast to replace the functionality of broadcasted stations? If they do broadcast the tcp data, then it would probably not be efficient for the receivers.
Are they discussing a replacement for broadcasted content that keeps things efficient?

Sony Content on Xbox, not PS3 (1)

bobbomo (877614) | about 3 years ago | (#37627550)

One of the free providers is Crackle.com which is like HuluPlus except free and Sony-only movies and television content. Yes, that means we can finally watch Seinfeld since Netflix doesn't stream it! The slap to PS3 owners is that Sony doesn't have this on their own system, haha.

pffff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37627914)

The reason streaming media failed for me was:

1. It killed my data cap from my ISP

2. crappy remotes that you had to use arrows and point to a letter on screen

3. inconsistent content

Unless Microsoft can fix my biggest issue.... capping out my ISP (watching HD content does this quickly), I will have no use for it... Which is why companies like comcast should be sued for the data caps (many other countries around the world have no caps... because their companies were not greedy fools and they knew how to invest a good amount of money back into their systems)

No news here (1)

dcavanaugh (248349) | about 3 years ago | (#37628442)

It won't do more than cable TV via the old set top box. It won't cost less. What's the point?

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