Monday, January 08, 2007

Microsoft Confirms IPTV for the Xbox 360

Microsoft confirmed IPTV for the Xbox 360 at this years CES. Quote from the Microsoft Presspass website:

"Xbox 360 and Microsoft TV: Together Expanding the World of Games and Entertainment

In a move that will combine the power of Xbox 360 with Microsoft TV IPTV Edition, Bach provided an early look at a new service, IPTV on Xbox 360. The offering is expected to deliver world-class TV experiences such as digital video recording capabilities, with gaming, movie viewing, and even voice and video communications. Tapping into an expanded set of entertainment experiences, users will be able to watch their favorite sporting event live while chatting with their friends, for example, or participate in a match on Xbox Live® while they record a TV program in the background. IPTV on Xbox 360 is expected to be available to consumers by holiday season 2007 and will be offered by providers that are deploying TV services based on the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform.

“Our goal is to make entertainment more personal, more interactive and more social,” Bach said. “IPTV on Xbox 360 and Xbox Live are powerful examples of ways we are bringing together the worlds of gaming, TV viewing and community to make it easy for people to access and discover their favorite content and share their personal experiences with the communities they are part of.”

Microsoft TV IPTV Edition continues to strengthen its position in the market with deployments under way with five of the world’s largest service providers and trials with 11 additional companies, representing a footprint across 14 countries on four continents.

Bach also showcased the strong momentum behind Xbox 360 and highlighted the company’s success in delivering high-definition viewing experiences with HD DVD. Exceeding expectations by hitting the 10.4 million-console-sold mark this holiday season, Xbox 360 is the leading next-generation games and entertainment platform. It is also the largest social network in the living room, with 5 million Xbox Live members.

In addition, strong sales of the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player and strong demand for downloadable movies and television programs are a clear indication that increasing numbers of consumers see Xbox 360 as an ideal device for connecting to a broad range of entertainment experiences. In just over a year, people have downloaded more than 100 million pieces of content to their Xbox 360 consoles, which include game content, television shows and movies."

I hope this goes over well and they take the time to make this into a quality service. If the offering is in HD, has good programming and is recordable, this service should go far. I also hope they will step up their bandwidth and servers before opening this up. No need for another bug plagued start like the video content service had when it went live. Hopefully Microsoft will figure out I can't record much IPTV on my 20 gig hard drive. For IPTV, gaming, movie and music downloads, and other Live content I am going to need a lot more space, something in the triple digits, maybe somewhere around 120-180 gig at minimum. I would love to see a 250-300 gig drive. They also announced Windows Home Server. Quote from the release:

"Connecting Digital Devices and Experiences at Home and on the Road

During his keynote address, Gates announced Windows Home Server, a new software product for families with multiple PCs that want to connect their home computers, digital devices and printers to help easily store, protect and share their rapidly expanding collections of digital content and entertainment. Later this year, HP plans to deliver the HP MediaSmart Server, powered by Windows Home Server.

Windows Home Server was created to help consumers deal with the explosion in digital content. For example, 273 billion digital images were captured worldwide in 2006.1 Today, more than 40 million homes in the U.S. have more than one PC2 and one in three homes in the U.S. has an MP3 player.3 Windows Home Server automatically backs up home PCs and provides a central location for storing a family’s photographs, music, videos and documents. Using a personalized Windows Live™ Internet address, people will be able to remotely access digital content on Windows Home Server when they are away from home. At CES, companies such as AMD, Inventec Corp. and Quanta Computer Inc. will demonstrate hardware reference designs for Windows Home Server. Windows Home Server will also serve as a platform for independent software vendors to build innovative products for the digital home."

So what kind of functionality will it have with the Xbox 360? I am hoping something like this will allow you to transfer things from the 360 hard drive onto the family server. All kinds of possibilities come to mind. 2007 is starting to look a lot more interesting. Oh, they also talked about Vista, Xbox Live gaming on Vista, using 360 accessories on Vista as well. It looks as if Microsoft might actually have a clue, at least so far. We will just have to wait and see how things go. Oh, if you are reading this and your from Microsoft, I would be willing to beta the IPTV, the bigger HDD, and the HP Media Server if you send it my way since I seem to have missed the Vista laptop...

Anyhow, head over to Microsoft Presspass to read the other goodies Microsoft has in store for us this year.


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