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Xbox Live Adds Comcast, HBO, MLB - Beats Apple iTV To The Living Room

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Xbox Live adds Comcast, HBO, MLB, beats Apple iTV to the living room - SlashGear (click for full article)

    "Microsoft has released today as promised an update for Xbox Live that adds Comcast Xfinity, MLB.tv, and HBO Go content to the Xbox 360 console. The Xbox's abundance of content paired with streamlined navigation, centralized search, and Kinect-powered voice and gesture control shows Google TV how it's supposed to be done and scoffs at the much rumored and yet to be seen Apple iTV.


    The update today allows Xbox 360 users who also have a Comcast subscription to easily switch back and forth from playing video games to watching Comcast Xfinity programming all within the interface of Xbox Live. There's no longer a need to press the input button on the remote, turn off the console, and turn on another set-top box. Everything gets wrapped together for a streamlined experience.


    The addition of HBO Go brings a similar convenience by giving users easy access to the app for streaming premium content through Xbox Live. Other apps that Xbox Live can already access include Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, YouTube, and Vevo. A centralized search feature makes it easy to find what you need by sifting through all the content from all providers at once, be it Comcast or Netflix.


    The Xbox-Kinect setup seems to have beat Apple to the living room in providing consumers with an integrated TV and all-around entertainment experience. Apple has long been rumored to be working on an integrated system, dubbed the iTV, that will somehow "magically revolutionize" the way we watch TV as only Apple knows how.


    However, getting the rights and distribution deals to lots of premium content has always been critical and very difficult. Both Google TV and Apple TV set-top box efforts have struggled in this area, while the Xbox has steadily continued to expand. For the Apple iTV to successfully deliver a unified entertainment experience it must be able to offer this scale of content.


    But it should be noted though that being able to access all the content on Xbox Live does come with a huge premium. Users will have to be subscribed to Comcast Xfinity and HBO at roughly $90 per month, MLB.tv for $25 per month, and Xbox Live Gold membership for $60 a year, totaling about $1,440 per year."
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Xbox pre-emptively strikes at Apple iTV with Comcast, HBO, MLB - Technolog on msnbc.com (click for full article)

    "Everybody's talking about Apple's mysterious coming-soon iTV, and with good reason. It will potentially be a revolutionary product - an improvement on the smart TVs currently mucking up electronics stores with their ill-conceived user interfaces. But there's already a voice-controlled multimedia powerhouse on the market, the Xbox 360 with Kinect.


    Tuesday, Microsoft's pre-emptive strike against Apple surged with the promised addition of streamed Comcast, HBO and Major League Baseball content.


    OK, so why am I so breathless over this? Because not only does the Xbox+Kinect media interface, out since last December, establish a technological precedent for usable voice and gesture TV control, but its search function sniffs through all of your high-value content -from Netflix to Comcast -and lists all options at once. I search for "30 Rock" and see every instance of where and when I can watch it, on any of my compatible services.


    You can navigate Comcast content on Xbox using Kinect's voice and gesture controls.


    This is exactly what Google TV promised but never delivered, because Google didn't (or couldn't) get the rights to the content. This is what Apple's iTV will have -ideally. But as many a tech curmudgeon has already pointed out, the kinds of big media content and distribution deals necessary to achieve a unified experience that could live up to the Apple brand are hard to make, even for Apple itself."
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    HBO Go For Xbox A No-Go For Comcast, Time Warner Cable Customers - SplatF (click for full article)

    "HBO Go - plus MLB.TV and Comcast's Xfinity app - launched today for Microsoft's Xbox 360, adding more entertainment utility to tens of millions of Xboxes. As Microsoft tries to expand the Xbox beyond gaming - an important showdown on the horizon with Apple and perhaps Google - this is another positive, incremental step.


    But don't plan on using HBO's app if you're a customer of the two biggest U.S. cable companies, Comcast or Time Warner Cable - 34 million subscribers, combined.


    HBO, still married to the cable industry, requires you to sign in/"authenticate" through your cable/satellite/telco TV provider, which verifies that you're an HBO subscriber, before streaming any videos. But Comcast and Time Warner Cable are not on Microsoft's list that will support HBO Go for Xbox. (Neither supports HBO Go on the Roku box, either.)


    In Comcast's case, it appears you can sign in and watch HBO shows using the new Xfinity app for Xbox, just not the official HBO Go app. So for Comcast, this appears to be a case of wanting to "own the customer" vs. any particular objection to watching HBO shows on your Xbox.


    In Time Warner Cable's case... Perhaps it's trying to build its own app and it's taking a long time? Perhaps its relationship with HBO - owned by Time Warner, the former parent company for Time Warner Cable - is still weird? (TWC subs only recently got access to HBO Go for the first time, and HBO channels were recently added to the TWC iPad app.) Or maybe it's delusional enough to still think that preventing people from watching non-TWC video on their TV is a smart strategy?


    The real losers, of course, are the subscribers - you and me. This silliness about "owning the entire customer experience" is just not productive or sustainable for the long-term. Maybe most of the same shows are available from both sources, but as long as we're still paying for cable TV, why not give us the choice to pick which interface we want?"
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I personally don't think the Xbox announcement today is that big of a deal. The media coverage makes it sound like Xbox has found the holy grail.

    I think this tidbit from one of the articles explains why I'm not excited about the Xbox announcements:

    "But it should be noted though that being able to access all the content on Xbox Live does come with a huge premium. Users will have to be subscribed to Comcast Xfinity and HBO at roughly $90 per month, MLB.tv for $25 per month, and Xbox Live Gold membership for $60 a year, totaling about $1,440 per year."

    IMO a lot of people want to save money by using either GTV, Boxee, Roku, etc. as a cord-cutting device. $1440/year is not a savings. If Xbox could of offered ala carte TV channels - then THAT would of been BIG NEWS.

    Also I don't see talking to my TV as a big deal.

    If you already own an Xbox (and already pay for Comcast cable TV service) - then I guess it might be kind of nice to get Comcast Xfinity through your Xbox - but I don't already own an Xbox - and I certainly won't be running out to buy an Xbox based on today's announcements. And by the way - there's still no web browser on Xbox.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  5. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Will Microsoft beat Apple and Google to make Connected TV work? | Econsultancy (click for full article)

    "Microsoft and Comcast recently announced that Xbox Live users will now be able to stream on-demand Comcast Xfinity content through their gaming consoles. It's been insinuated by some that Microsoft is making some form of payment to Comcast for the deal.


    This doesn't seem outlandish. The 20 million paying Xbox Live users (out of 66 million Xbox 360 units sold) now spend slightly more time streaming content than they do playing video games. Microsoft will keep stoking this trend, pushing its hardware further into the profitable mainstream of entertainment content consumption.


    But, will the Xbox grow up to become a more dominant mode of delivery?


    Getting into the living room has been a priority for Microsoft since it's acquisition of WebTV in 1997. That product, which attempted to establish an entirely new category, never took off. Gaming consoles, however, were popular, and Microsoft has been able to piggyback into the living room using that form factor. To ensure that the Xbox would break into the market, the hardware in 2002 was superior to Sony and Nintendo's products, and was sold at a loss."
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  6. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    So far, I am not interested in buying an XBox 360 or XBox 360 Lite. I am committed to the PS3 and really can't afford more boxes and if I do buy another one, I might find myself and all of these stupid boxes out in the front yard, looking for a new place to put it all.
     
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Microsoft Nabs More Partners for Xbox TV Ads | Adweek (click for full article)

    MMicrosoft is looking to build upon its impressive lead on the interactive TV front, an area where the software giant has seemingly outmaneuvered rival Google.


    To that end, Microsoft announced a slew of new ad partners for its much-ballyhooed ad initiative via Xbox Live, where advertisers can now buy traditional 30-second spots within TV apps running on the platforms. The company made the announcement during its digital ad showcase on Tuesday (April 24).


    Among the new partners are ESPN, CBS Interactive Properties GameSpot and Last.fm, as well as Manga Entertainment and MUZU.TV. Those companies join previously announced partners NBC's The Today Show, MSNBC, Crackle and UFC.


    While companies ranging from Google to the flailing cable industry joint venture Canoe have attempted to bring interactive/addressable TV to the masses, Microsoft believes it can claim a huge advantage with Xbox advertising-and it probably has a point. The company claims Xbox Live has 40 million active members globally. And Xbox owners have gravitated to the digital living room, Web-connected TV experience faster than perhaps any other media segment. "
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012

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