Microsoft planning Xbox 360 cable TV service

Reuters reports that software giant is in talks with networks to create "virtual cable operator" on its console.

When the Xbox 360 fall dashboard update went live earlier this month, it brought ESPN programming to Xbox Live. Now, according to a Reuters report, Microsoft may be planning to bring more cable channels to the console--so many channels, in fact, that it may become an alternative to standard cable television.

The cable box of the future?

Citing sources close to the matter, Reuters reports that Microsoft is mulling several options, including a new "virtual cable operator," which will offer a range of channels for a monthly fee. The company is also apparently in talks with cable providers themselves to turn the Xbox into a cable box of sorts to allow for "enhanced interactivity" with programming.

Unfortunately, Xbox 360 owners eager to cut the cord with their cable TV providers will have to wait a while, as Reuters' sources say that any such service is at least 12 months away. Currently, television shows from a variety of networks, including NBC and Comedy Central, can be bought individually on Xbox Live's video marketplace. The box can also be used as a second receiver for AT&T's U-verse cable TV service, provided there is already one U-verse DVR in the home.

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Discussion

292 comments
alaskancrab
alaskancrab

wait a minute? wasn't this the plan all along from day one of xbox?

senjutsu
senjutsu

hum, that would be really nice. Hoping the same from the ps3 (I have both consoles but largely prefer my ps3 right now, only loved the x360 the 1st year when it had good exclusives). Maybe a unified 3rd party system like netflix but for current TV channels in live from the internet? Instead of paying 30$ for the internet and 30$ for tv, I'd gladly pay 40$ for the internet and a 20$ subscription for internet TV, lol. Or 50$ for the internet and 10$ for TV? (I can dream.... lol).

2h95l
2h95l

and of course it's properly not going to come out in Europe. eh

7rooper
7rooper

I think it's a massification of the entertainment industry. Everything points toward the gaming consoles turning into the ultimate multimedia systems. It's a good idea and if MS doesn't do it somebody else will. The current and coming gaming consoles are multicore machines that can handle easily all these content and since almost everyone has a broadband connection. The XBOX 360 now can handle everything but Bluray playback and web browsing. To those concerned about leaving their systems on all day I tell them to chill out because what kills a machine is heat produced by extreme performance and demanding operations which a simple TV decoding won't be as gaming is, indeed. An XBOX 360 can be switched on as long as you want as long as it doesn't heat up too much.

MamaLuigiBarrel
MamaLuigiBarrel

So... do you have to buy an attachment for it? Cause if so, this idea will just fail like that whole HDDVD business.

energi_monaro
energi_monaro

We already have the Pay TV service in Australia - and it works really well, but it's internet based, IMO it's a good idea for those who can't be arsed paying through the nose for pay TV - though I understand it's more affordable and mainstream in the US.

eagles_band
eagles_band

IDK if I would wanna keep my 360 on all day.

LilRoss2k3
LilRoss2k3

might as well throw cable in for the price they charge to use LIVE

bezerk114
bezerk114

No we dont need another xbox for anther 6 or so ears and im glad micro sot i adding more and more things you can do with your xbox.

dresdek
dresdek

It's good cause cable prices are high already, need more competition. Bad cause they could have shifted resources into making more games.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

This is seriously getting out of hand. Microsoft, that is enough! Please, just move on and possibly get on to making another console soon.

JSusie
JSusie

With all the new things Microsoft is adding to their 360, did they take into consideration how much extra strain this is going to put on their consoles? The 360 didn't have a long life expectancy to begin with. Now add a bunch of things (needed or not) that could literally keep a 360 powered on for hours more per day, and it seems like it's just asking for technical problems. Now after I've put my tinfoil hat on, let me say this: Maybe they're ok with that, because they want to sell more consoles. Without the tinfoil hat on, maybe they new 360 just aren't as susceptible to the problems that plagued the earlier versions of the system.

Dan21278
Dan21278

IT's always been my dream to watch T.V on my xbox even though im paying for fully fuctioning cable. But I am with Rodgers so i can't really say "fully" functional.

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

@Krystyan68 so true. When did these people tell them selfs "Oh hey i know.. we havent been making much games for our consoles sooooo... how about we add CABLE TV!!! which has nothing to do with playing games" ..what is going on in them Nintendo, MS and Sony secret hideouts? are they running around the room with pans on there heads banging all day long? geez what ever happend to just making a gaming machine. WE NEED MORE GAMES!! new ideas not just the same stuff as in AC1,2,3 ext. til u get to Final Fantasy 100000000 ...common something new we already have cable rrg.

MasterShake23
MasterShake23

This would be great, except that the 360 overheats and that causes RROD, so leaving the 360 on for close to 24 hours a day is asking for trouble. Maybe the new models have solved this problem, but I'm still using the older model.

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

@Swedenik Dude if Xbox comes with an AK I am buying 10!!! LOL

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Paying for cable is stupid. Any station that has comercials should be free. Paying for HBO, Stars, or Showtime, "Ok I am sold", but paying FX, Syfy USA and Spike. Spike has a commercial every 3 minutes! Challenge them Someone has to get them to stop jacking up the rediculous prices that don't even go to the employees. Ted Turner should cut a deal with them. I can care less about fox.... Well I do want to watch "Its Always Sunny!"

Jean_rainier
Jean_rainier

this is just bill gates threatening the cable company to lower their prices. you don't want to piss that man off.

milomell
milomell

i don't see the sense of a cable feature on the xbox 360 they starting to make the game industry into a freak show because i wud never want to leave my 360 on all day all night to watch cable because it is running all day already by just playing games if u know what i mean

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Any alternative to my cable bill would definitely be considered. Cable is simply too expensive...now if someone would just do something about cell phone costs.

azureblade89
azureblade89

Next, the Xbox will be able to also be a toaster, for when you're gaming too hard to go cook your own food!

Ebougile
Ebougile

I will watch and see what happens with this, especially in Canada. I'm in favor of a device that can do multiple things and reduce the number of electronics hooked up to my TV. That gets to be a bit much after a while.

Krystyan68
Krystyan68

Increased functionality is good I suppose but I, personally, couldn't give a hoot about cable.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@supernaught360 HOW DARE YOU!? My mother IS DEEAAD!! She was fatally allergic to... Cookies, of all things. And yes, dead or alive, I'm sure she has your number, most of us do. The problem will be to have her call you... .

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

this was inevitable with all the new things x box live keeps bringing to the table... the only thing I want to know is how does this benefit gamers?

prioritymail
prioritymail

If google can't get a hold of digital licensing from various networks for Google TV, how will Microsoft be able to pull this off? Despite my doubts, I would love to see such a service

supernaught360
supernaught360

@parrot_of_adun So you're a wetard with a wisp?? Sorry, man, if I'd have known, I wouldn't have picked on you like that - tell you what: you go tell your mom I said what a good boy you are, and that you weally, weally deserve a cookie, K? She's got my number if she doesn't believe you!

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@supernaught360 I don't. Those suck. Twertels rock though, you should try 'em out.

steelmouth
steelmouth

sony may soon need to borrow ms the line "It only does everything"

jansong1
jansong1

CybOrg360 i couldn't agree with you more, i went thru this with PS2 and the disc read error 3 times and switched to xbox and never looked back. It makes sense if you can't handle another xbox. I consider myself lucky in the fact that I have only had 2 360's and it was by choice to trade my old 20 gig in for the new slim 250 gig, but my first one never broke. I know people who still play their LAUNCH ps2's, go figure! As long as there's a human involved in building these systems then they are gonna break

Cyb0rg360
Cyb0rg360

Lol, this is priceless, Knight actually sent his response in the thread to me as a private message. . . wow. Here's the deal man. If you were somehow compensated for your broken ass system from M$, then congratulations. I am a consumer and the one thing that I have control over is how I spend my money. If I buy a tv and it breaks I hopefully have a warranty and it gets fixed, if not I have to make a decision on whether I believe that the company that made the tv makes a crappy product or I had the few percent defective ones. If I buy the exact same product again and it dies again, common sense tells me that the company is producing a defective product. Usually, at that point I choose to never do business with that company again unless I find information that shows that they have improved their products quality. I know people that have gone through 5 or more xboxs and they keep throwing their money out the window and buying another one! I don't understand, it doesn't make rational sense. Any other product on the market, tvs, dishwashers, cars, etc. People get a bad taste in their mouth and they move on.

blackace
blackace

They need to forget about cable channels and start concentrating more on what the XBox 360 was original designed for; exclusive games. Stop wasting money on all that other crap and give us more exclusive titles. ESPN was fine, but please work more on the games we love to play.

handofthedragon
handofthedragon

I'm starting to get pissed off now at M$,they are cheating me out of the FULL enjoyment of xboxlive.Adding all these upgrades only to be left out because i'm NOT IN THE REGION. this is reallying getting annoying now.

mikey33084
mikey33084

I JUST WANT A XBOX WITH A WEB BROWSER IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK.....

Knightarce
Knightarce

@Cyb0rg360 stop going on, you just sound like a bitter guy who didn't get insurance with your xbox. Ive had a few xboxs break but i don't mind cuz i get a extra controller and hardrive with each new one sent to me on my insurance. £35 ( price of insurance) for 3 contollers and 3 120gb Hardrives doesn't sound too bad to me

Cyb0rg360
Cyb0rg360

Oh and correct me if I'm wrong but Netflix on Live and PSN are both free extra services, no? (ignoring the cost of Netflix service itself)

Crumblet
Crumblet

I hope this is true, DirecTV has been rather bothersome for me lately.

Cyb0rg360
Cyb0rg360

Wait, so some of you think that the ability to group is worth the price of a game?? I was a hardcore xbox fan until I went through multiple systems and said, "yeah, I think I'm done here". My friend tells me over and over how he has a great service on Live. I said what's so good about it? (now I've had Live since the original xbox so I know what the features are obviously). He goes, "Dude, I can go into a chat with 8 friends who aren't even playing the same game!". Wow. . . . . . I'm sorry but I really don't care about that. If I want to talk to a friend outside of the people playing with me in the game I'm currently playing, I call them on my cell!! Look, bottom line is if they aren't charging you extra for EXTRAS then great have a blast, but if they add more and more features to your Live service that you don't ever use and don't even want, then you basically have another cable company. Cause that's what the cable companies do!!

Sydwynder
Sydwynder

I'll believe it when I see it

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

meh don't bother, who watches tv anymore anywho? Internet and Youtube are all the Tele I need :D!

sartnd
sartnd

Good you can't watch tv anymore coz RRoD!

dre256x
dre256x

And this is another reason, Xbox Live service got jacked up in subscription fee... Where have the simple console and on-line environment gone.. See they couldn't bother launching another device for this service only because if it failed they would loose a ton of money.. Simple solution, put it in a product we already have and hope it takes off there, if it doesn't then no biggie we have raised subscription fee to cover some of the damages... Who pays in the end, innocent Xbox live subscription persons who just want a great multiplayer environment.. Netflix was enough but come on this is getting out of hand.

tehepicpwnzor
tehepicpwnzor

I have Netflix for TV. I can't stand commercials. $9.99 a month for all the TV shows I ever wanted, in high definition, without commercials. Good try Microsoft, but you'll never be able to compete with netflix.

metalkid9
metalkid9

wow! MS is really going big with this thing eh?

DIGN
DIGN

I'm tired of microsoft adding crap to my subscription fee, i'm already against paying for "Quality Multiplayer Service" then they go and add stuff to increase the price, isn't the economy sill in bad shape? Seriously, I never wanted ESPN for xbox live, thats why I have a PC with internet and Cable TV, Derp =P! I don't want any other extra features that I have to dish out an extra $5+ a month for somefeatures I never wanted in the first place, unless it's free or I have to pay for it seperate from my XBL Gold subscription then I don't wan't it! All I wan't is Multiplayer gaming and marketplace, PC gets that for free and it's better, why can't Xbox?

HUNTER-VENOM
HUNTER-VENOM

all I watch is Netflix now so I wouldn't pay for something like that.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Ah yes finally something us UK owners ge- wait a minute. We get screwed... again