Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Microsoft Xbox to carry live TV from Sky TV, Foxtel and Canal+

Microsoft announced a new streaming TV implementation for the Xbox 360. The Kinect and Bing-powered voice search that can pull in content from online sources like Hulu, Netflix and Xbox Live Marketplace, will also work with live TV from IPTV partners. So far that list only includes Sky in the UK, Foxtel in Australia and Canal+ in France, but users there will be able to search across all the services and view them directly through the console itself. There's no word on any US-based partners but if we had to guess AT&T's U-verse will probably be first in line again. One thing you will be able to watch in the US -- PPV UFC fights, streamed directly to the Xbox 360.

 In the  official press release Microsoft mentions its "commitment to expand access to live television programming on Xbox 360 to more providers in the United States and around the world during the upcoming year". While
AT&T's U-verse's Mediaroom underpinnings certainly put it in the lead, we can see others like FiOS or Comcast potentially swooping in as well. Finally, would it be too much to ask for some of this universal search magic to extend to the Media Center extender software as well?

Canal+ live & on-demand TV comes to French Xbox 360s

Press Release:

Bing on Xbox: You are The Controller
The Bing Team 6/6/2011

The future living room does more than give you great entertainment; it helps you find what you're looking for and helps you decide what to enjoy. It gives you simplicity, discovery and personal choice. Today at E3, we are excited to preview a new way for people to find movies, games, music and other entertainment: voice search with Bing on Xbox.

Today's announcement opens up your living room entertainment in the same way search engines opened up the Web by indexing it and making it discoverable. When you think about the state of your entertainment media, the challenge of finding what you want is similar. You have games, movies, music, TV shows and other content on your console, through services like Netflix, Hulu, and Zune, and programming and on-demand options available through cable and satellite providers. Xbox alone is growing from hundreds of thousands of pieces of content to millions. By combining all this content with the power of Bing's deep search expertise, Microsoft Tellme's voice technology and the magic of Kinect, we'll be able to provide instant access to the expansive catalogue of entertainment options on Xbox Live. You say it, Xbox finds it, and you can enjoy it faster. Voice search works across media types and across apps so you can focus on deciding what to enjoy rather than where and how to find it.

Just saying: "Xbox Bing Lego" or "Xbox Bing X-Men" will give you all the available options for the movie, music, game and other matches around those titles.

You can select, browse or refine your search using voice and hand gestures so that you find what you want in a fraction of the time it currently takes.

Because you may have several viewing options, in this case, Xbox will prioritize your choices based on what you own or the services to which you are a subscriber, such as Netflix. Bing on Xbox will help you decide by giving you other options to consider such as High Definition and purchase price.

Bing on Xbox will initially be available in English in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom, and we're committed to bring voice search to as many languages and dialects as possible in the future.

Bing on Xbox gives you ultimate control. Bing on Xbox means you spend more time enjoying your entertainment, and far less time hunting for it. Bing on Xbox combines your voice and all your entertainment to make TV more amazing -- you are the controller.

Yusuf Mehdi
Senior Vice President, Bing

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