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Posts with tag iptv

BT's 360 TV service on-demand only, over the air live TV not possible [update]

Upon reading a BBC article published today, it seems that British Telecom's planned IPTV service is much less attractive than we had hoped. It turns out that the service does not support live TV or digital video recorder (DVR) functionality, but will be entirely on-demand. In other words, 360 owners will have access to BT's programming library, but won't be flipping channels or recording their favorite shows to watch later. Looking through the CES press release again, the only advantage we can see over the standard set-top box service (which offers live TV and DVR) is that gamers can stay connected to Xbox Live while watching on-demand programming through their 360s, allowing them to send messages and receive game invites among other things. We're not sure that alone justifies a 12-month contract. Of course, if you're interested in nabbing a BT set-top box and you just happen to have a 360 as well, it makes some sense.

Perhaps the most interesting quote in the BBC article is from a BT spokesman: "The reason for streaming only on the Xbox is because currently the console does not have the capability for live TV ...." Now, we know the 360 is capable of live TV, as it was demonstrated at last year's CES. Furthermore, all IPTV is streaming, which makes the quote a bit odd. As far as we know, the only thing keeping the 360 from streaming IPTV is a firmware update. For now, we'll give BT the benefit of the doubt and assume that's what the spokesperson was referring to. We've got a call in to Microsoft for clarification.

Update: After a helpful comment and some digging, we've figured out the basis for British Telecom's claim that the 360 couldn't support live TV. It turns out that BT's live TV offerings are all made over the air. In other words, live TV is received via an antenna, something the 360 currently can't do. The on-demand services, on the other hand, are offered through IPTV. Still, as the first official IPTV offering on the 360, it seems a bit lacking. (Thanks for the insight, mike.)

[Thanks, Scotty Turbo]

British Telecom to launch 360's IPTV

During their CES keynote, Microsoft took stage and also announced that British Telecom will be the first company to launch the Xbox 360 IPTV service in the UK. British Telecom is the largest telecommunication company in the UK and will eventually allow customers to purchase Xbox 360 consoles for IPTV service. No release date was announced for the program to be up and running, but if history is any indicator of future events then we should see 360 IPTV up and running by around ... 2010. We kid, we kid!

Microsoft says IPTV not part of Fall Update


Microsoft has now officially responded to the story we broke yesterday regarding photos we received displaying an Xbox 360 with IPTV features enabled (though unusable). Joystiq has learned that these features were "inadvertently exposed" to the Xbox 360 in question during repair. Microsoft adds that IPTV is not part of the upcoming Xbox 360 Fall Update, but will be made available to service providers by the end of the year. It will then be up to service providers to decide when and how to roll out the Mediaroom enabled boxes. So there you have it folks. It is IPTV, but not part of the fall update.

See Microsoft's statement after the break.

Continue reading Microsoft says IPTV not part of Fall Update

Rumor: Leaked screens show IPTV and Fall update [update 2]

Update 2: Microsoft has responded to our screenshots saying that this isolated IPTV incident is not part of the Fall update and was accidentally exposed during repair. Learn more here.

Update: We just learned that Aaron just got his 360 back from Microsoft repair this week. We also know that his dash version isn't any different than the one that is already out (2.0.5787.0) leading us to believe that his 360 doesn't have the Fall update. But the new options are definitely related to the IPTV service as more options were discovered in his 360's settings. Need proof? Check out the two new screenshots we just added.

If the sweet, juicy, rumor friendly screenshots that we just received via our tipster inbox hold any water, then everyone can look forward to IPTV being part of the Fall update. Though, remember kids, this is all filed under the "rumor" tag ...

The two four screenshots you see in the gallery below were sent to us by tipster Aaron, who says that he turned on his Xbox 360 today and noticed a new TV icon with four text squares in his media blade and was wondering if we knew what it was all about. We investigated and noticed that this new TV icon option wasn't normal and replaced the "Video Marketplace" option that we see on our dash. The second thing we noticed was that, when hovered over, the description for the mysterious TV icon option reads:
  • Use television services.
  • Live & recorded TV
  • On-demand movies
  • Chat while watching TV

Sounds like IPTV options to us. Once clicked, an error message pops up stating that it was "unable to start" and to contact support at www.microsoft.com/tv. That URL will take you to Microsoft's Mediaroom website ... also interesting. So, if everything is legit in these pictures and Aaron doesn't end up being a Photoshop God, we're going speculate that this random occurrence is related somehow to the Fall update. The square text boxes, error message and overall un-ready status of the dashboard option all smell of a Fall update that isn't yet ready for the masses. Maybe Aaron was online at the right moment when an Xbox Live engineer tripped over a cord sending Fall update goodness to his 360. Who knows. We'll try to get more information about this odd occurrence and ultimately find out if these screens are real and relate to IPTV or the Fall update. Until then, file everything into the rumor section of your brain and give the screenshots a look over.

Gallery: Rumored IPTV



[Thanks, Aaron]

British Telecom to exclusively offer 360 IPTV?

Remember Microsoft's grand announcement that IPTV would be available to Xbox 360 owners sometime in 2007 and all the excitement that followed? Yeah, us either, but our European friends may be getting one step closer to the promised IPTV function with the latest rumor hitting the web. Word on the street is that British Telecom may have cut a deal with Microsoft to exclusively offer IPTV to its subscribers through the Xbox 360 sometime this year. And it isn't all that far fetched seeing that BT is the largest and only telecom provider in the area and has already partnered with Microsoft using their Microsoft Mediaroom software. We'll just have to be patient and wait to see if the IPTV talk starts up again, because the topic has been hidden in the shadows for quite the long time. Wereez R IPTV doodz?

[Via Xboxic, Thanks DjDATZ]

IPTV to be shown in Europe


During the The Connected Home exhibition in London, Microsoft will be showing off their IPTV service for the Xbox 360. We've given you plenty of information to digest on the subject and after Ed Graczyk gives his keynote during the event in March, we'll probably have plenty more to talk about. The proposition of watching your favorite TV shows and still being connected to Live, with the ability to be in private chats or sending messages sounds very interesting. Depending how bandwidth heavy the service is, you might even be able to download content off of Marketplace at the same time. With a slated 2007 release on the service, we can't wait to hear more about it, and the event takes place between the 5th and 7th, so fortunately it won't have to be for long. Are you chomping at the bit for this, or is your 360 strictly a gaming device?

[Thanks, SeNiLe]

Xbox 360 and IPTV interview


Our compatriots at PVRWire uncovered a 1UP video interview with Microsoft's Chris Satchell and Albert Penello. The group discuss the Xbox 360's feature set and what sort of improvements we might expect in the future. Some of the more interesting topics discussed include Xbox Live, features that the 360 should have, and, of course, a larger hard drive. The interview is broken up into two parts. The first part mainly covers IPTV and the possibility of a larger hard drive for DVR functions. The second half focuses on the 360 itself and its future potential. Part one is embedded above and you can watch part two after the break.

Continue reading Xbox 360 and IPTV interview

Specialized 360 for IPTV in the works?

Speaking with Major Nelson in his most recent podcast, Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg spoke of the possibility of a specially configured 360 built with IPTV and DVR functions in mind. When questioned about DVR functions and the possibility of a larger HDD, Greengerg said, "clearly the current way the Xbox 360 is designed is not for that ... we did not build this box to be a High Definition DVR." Greenberg further states that it's possible that consumers will eventually purchase some kind of IPTV upgrade (possibly referring only to a larger hard drive) or purchase an IPTV specific 360 "configuration" from a service provider. Greenberg points out that a larger hard drive is really only necessary for DVR functions and that it's possible to run IPTV without a hard drive at all.

While this doesn't necessarily mean we'll be seeing an entirely new 360, it may be the first time an MS representative hasn't outright deflected the possibility of a larger HDD, and that's saying something.

Xbox 360 IPTV outshines Apple TV?


While the Apple iPhone may have unexpectedly blown Microsoft's Zune out of the water at CES, the 360 looks as though it may have pulled an unexpected fast one of its own. What we're talking about here is Xbox 360 IPTV versus Apple TV. As noted by Beta News, it may have been the frothing Apple blogosphere itself that muted the announcement of Apple TV: "I got the feeling that as [Steve Jobs] was going through the iTV announcement, the blogger was going, okay, 720p ... yadda, yadda, yadda ... come on, let's get to the phone!" Meanwhile, Microsoft dropped something of a bomb by announcing that IPTV was coming to the Xbox 360. The reason that this is very different from Apple TV is that Microsoft has already established an Xbox ecosystem. They already have millions of customers with 360s in their homes. According to the article, Microsoft has a key advantage in the TV space because of its leverage with the gaming audience (you know, 18-30 year old guys who dig technology).

We have to admit, had we known that our Xbox 360 was merely a sneaky way of Microsoft solidifying its dream of creating the mythical "set top box," we would have been skeptical to say the least. But now that it's here, now that downloading movies and TV is possible (and having great games to boot), we're enjoying every minute of it. Microsoft has succeeded in an arena completely separate from games, and is giving similar services a run for their money (we wouldn't be surprised if the Video Mareketplace moves from its number 2 position to claim 1st place either).

So, maybe the iPhone did shoot the Zune in the face, but Microsoft seemingly struck a similar blow with the IPTV announcement. Then again, maybe the Apple TV and 360 IPTV shouldn't even be looked at as competitors, as Apple clearly isn't aiming for the HDMI loving, 1080p needing crowd. What do you think, will the 360 become the first mass market set top box that the tech industry has been dreaming of since the 90s? (Bonus question: has it already?)

[Thanks, Jonah Falcon]

Hands on with 360 IPTV


Joystiq had a chance to mess around with IPTV on the Xbox 360 and have some nagging questions answered. First of all, the service itself will be served by one of a number of telcos like Verizon or AT&T (it won't necessarily be AT&T as previously speculated). A number of telcos use Microsoft IPTV middleware, so it stands to reason that these companies will offer their services on the Xbox 360. As Joystiq points out, a 20GB HDD just ain't gonna cut it for a DVR, and recorded TV will likely take up at least the same amount of space as videos downloaded from Marketplace. Joystiq speculates that a larger HDD will be available for the 360 in time for the launch of the IPTV service at the end of the year. Finally, IPTV allows for multiple streams to be viewed and recorded at once -- limited only by bandwidth and the HDD -- and is capable of delivering more HD content than standard services. Of course, none of this will matter if IPTV isn't available in your area. That is unless Microsoft has yet another trick up their collective sleeve. Check out a gallery of IPTV images here.

If it performed competitively and was reasonably priced, would you ditch your cable provider for Live enabled IPTV on Xbox 360?

Rumor: Xbox IPTV may not be so grand

Doug, from the Peoples Republic Of, visited Microsoft's IPTV booth at CES yesterday and got some more dirt on how the Xbox 360 IPTV will work. According to him, he found out that the IPTV service will be available over AT&T's 35Mbps lightspeed service which would allow for 2HD and 2SD channels to run simultaneously. Though the big problem here is that you'd have to replace your current ISP and cable provider to AT&T. And if you don't have access to the lightspeed service, then no IPTV for you! Secondly, you'll need a separate set top box that would work by itself or connected to a 360. So, the 360 still needs a separate set top box to use IPTV. Finally, if you have a home router it will need to be replaced by a special QOS (quality of service) router. Feeling sad yet?

Again, this isn't official information from Microsoft, but is information Doug received from Microsoft's IPTV booth at CES. Hopefully things will change before the roll-out, because the whole Xbox 360 IPTV service isn't sounding very good. A separate box? A specific cable and ISP provider? Do you meet the supposed requirements for the Xbox IPTV roll-out and would you be willing to make the necessary changes to get it?

Xbox 360 IPTV in action


Those lucky guys over at Engadget received some quality time with yesterday's newly announced IPTV service for the Xbox 360. Details are still extremely vague as we have yet to hear specifics, but the Microsoft team is demoing the service at CES. Engadget posted some screen grabs of the service and over at on10 they have a video of the IPTV demo in action. We'll hopefully see how Microsoft plans to roll out the service and what companies have signed up in the coming months. Until we know more, is anyone really excited about getting IPTV running on your 360?

[Via Joystiq]

CES aftermath: 360 gets IPTV, no HDMI [update 1]

The CES presentation of the Xbox 360 has just finished and we've received a better idea of where the 360 is headed. The rumored IPTV service coming to the 360 is true and will allow cable stations to offer IPTV content through the 360. This service will be up and running this year, holiday 2007. We'll also be seeing Windows Vista integrating the Xbox Live service allowing cross communication between a Vista PC and the 360. Friends lists, game invites, and friend status' all from your PC rolled out this summer. They also gave out a few numbers including 10.4 million Xbox 360s shipped sold so far, 5 million Xbox Live users, and 2.7 million copies of Gears sold. They then compared the Gears of War IP to Halo and stated that they will be supporting the IP for years to come. Noticeably absent was any talk of a larger hard drive or an integrated HDMI port in future 360s, but that's why they call them rumors ... right? That's all we can come up with right now, but stay tuned for more tidbits that we may have missed.

Update 1: We corrected the Xbox 360 sales numbers. They did indeed sell 10.4 million consoles, not ship.

Xbox 360 hits 10.4 Mil, IPTV imminent, probably

Coming from a recently vaporized post on Dean Takahashi's website (it was dated January 7), Microsoft is expected to announce that they have reached and surpassed their oft promised goal of shipping 10 million units by the end of 2006. The actual number is expected to be 10.4 million. We shudder to think what body part Peter Moore will tattoo next. Also expected is the announcement of IPTV support for the 360 from Microsoft bigwigs Robbie Bach and Bill Gates. Both announcements are expected on Sunday, during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

With the recent (probably factual) revelation of the Xbox 360 v.2, Microsoft continues to expand the abilities of its wonder box. The larger hard drive would certainly be welcome for DVR features. We do share a sentiment with Joystiq, though: we're not sure we relish the idea of leaving our 360s running for hours at a time. We only do that when we feel like cooking some eggs or heating the office.

As mentioned above, the article in question has been taken down. It was dated for January 7, so it's possible Dean Takahashi hit the "publish" button a little early. Of course, we'd never to anything like that. No, never.

[Via Joystiq]

HD Movies on Marketplace? It could happen

Nothing like a nice juicy rumor to keep you going through the weekend. This week's rumor is a doozy. Originating on an obscure blog called, ahem, Shsibae, the rumor goes a little something like-a this: Microsoft will soon be offering full-length high definition movies over the 360 Marketplace. Rentals would supposedly cost $4. Buying them outright is a possibility too, though the price is undetermined. The service would launch with over 1000+ hours of available video. For the uninitiated, 1000 hours is a lot of hours.

Now, the idea of downloadable movies on 360 is nothing new. In fact, we've been downloading high def clips ever since the console launched. Still, we've heard rumors of more substantial downloads for a long time. Die-hard 360 fanboys will recall the rumors of a DirecTV blade being added to the dash and another rumor of IPTV support. So, what makes this rumor different? One, Bill Gates thinks digital distribution is the future, even saying that HD DVDs and Blu-Ray will be the last generation of physical media. Two, that mysterious Video Marketplace button that was added in the Fall dash update might be more than we thought.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons why it won't work, with the most obvious being the 360's 20 gig hard drive. 20 gigs just isn't enough space for a collection of HD movies and all game related data. Unless Microsoft was lying when they denied the existence of a 100 gig hard drive, or they have some sort of streaming solution planned, the 360 really isn't the best place to keep your movies.

Still, from a business standpoint, it makes sense. Sony is offering similar services, and Microsoft has been quick to update the 360 in order to compete (1080p anyone?). And there is one more thing that adds credence to this obscure rumor: it's not there anymore. The rumor has been removed from Shsibae. Did MS ask them to take down the news, or did Shsibae know the internet would jump all over it? Only time will tell.

[Via Joystiq]

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