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Winrumors: Microsoft to Debut TV Service at E3


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#1 Ayepecks

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 21:46

Microsoft is planning to reveal its Xbox LIVE subscription TV service at E3, WinRumors has learned.

The software giant is close to finishing a key number of components for its full Xbox LIVE subscription TV service. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans revealed to WinRumors that the company is readying a demo for E3. The company is on lockdown for its big announcement and some demos and details might be held back if agreements are not in place in time. “Microsoft is currently in last minute negotiations to secure the necessary agreements in time,” said our anonymous source. “Apple is in a similar position, speaking to several media groups ahead of its iCloud announcement on Monday.”

Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE Diamond TV service has been rumored for months. Codenamed Orapa, the service combines the company’s mediaroom IPTV services and Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE services. Microsoft is likely to demo deeper integration of its Avatar Kinect service and the company’s new music and video services. Microsoft’s corporate vice president of corporate communications, Frank Shaw, revealed that Xbox will be the company’s entertainment brand earlier this week. Shaw highlighted Microsoft’s investments with ESPN, Netflix and Hulu.

Microsoft has been in talks with media companies to produce the  TV service for its Xbox console. Microsoft is proposing a “virtual cable operator” which will be delivered over the Internet and charged with a monthly fee. The software maker has also suggested that cable companies could use the Xbox as a device to authenticate existing cable subscribers to watch shows and interact with their Xbox LIVE friends. Microsoft offers a similar service in the UK where Sky customers can use their Xbox LIVE avatars during sporting events. Xbox LIVE Diamond subscribers will likely be charged a premium subscription cost (think monthly) which includes access to the Xbox LIVE Gold features and streaming TV. The streaming TV service will include content from U.S. operators but our source was unsure whether it would be available internationally.

Xbox LIVE Diamond found its named based on a small town in the Central District of Botswana. Orapa is the site of one of the biggest diamond mines in the world. Microsoft previously introduced an Xbox LIVE Diamond card in December, 2005. The card gave Xbox LIVE paid subscribers exclusive access to benefits and discounts from stores, restaurants and retailers. The card was eventually discontinued.

Microsoft could also be planning to release a number of “Fusion” branded products as early as next week. The software giant has trademarked Fusion Vault, Fusion Genesis and Fusion Sentient and also owns xboxfusion.com. Microsoft is also working on “Ventura”, a set of services being developed by the company’s Entertainment and Devices (E&D) unit. The services will focus on music and video discovery and consumption. “Ventura” also appears to run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud hosting. Little is known about “Ventura” and how it fits into the company’s Xbox LIVE Diamond and Zune services.

Microsoft tried to woo Conan O’Brien into its Xbox LIVE subscription TV service last year. The software giant refuses to comment on reports of a TV subscription however. Microsoft is planning to make Xbox LIVE Diamond available in November.

Source: http://www.winrumors...to-debut-at-e3/




#2 Prince781

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 21:53

Is it me, or has Microsoft just become the new innovation leader in the past two years? What's up with all of this awesomeness. I swear, Microsoft is really playing to win here. And the prize is the future. I'm loving all of this innovation lately.

#3 Tech Star

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 22:10

Wow. This is going to be great. Imagine if turner signed up and we could watch tbs or tnt on the Xbox. That would mean no more cable companies. :D

#4 OP Ayepecks

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 22:26

I'd consider it, depending on the price. I certainly love the options, and this is something I've wanted to see Microsoft do for a long time, instead of simply partnering with cable companies.

Should be an interesting E3 (Y)

#5 vetCorris

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 22:34

Sounds nice, though I imagine, as stated in the article, that with Sky onboard in the UK that we won't be getting it or similar unless they plan on integrating the general Sky experience more.
Though saying that, I'm not quite sure what it looks like now over here as I have only used it once and can't really remember it.

Not to bash Tom or Winrumors, but since when have we started topics with "site name: news"?
I mean, I'm sure a bunch of us follow Tom and the site on Twitter and get the latest news generally from there, but mostly everything in this as he posted in the update has already been rumoured a bunch in the last few days.

#6 OP Ayepecks

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 22:42

Not to bash Tom or Winrumors, but since when have we started topics with "site name: news"?

It indicates where the statement came from. I haven't seen the statement posted elsewhere, so I credited the source to emphasize that it wasn't an actual reveal. Same format applies in journalism titles frequently, e.g., when citing someone alleging something or stating otherwise unconfirmed information.

For example, on the Wall Street Journal right now, one of the major headlines is "Tech Investor Andreessen: 'No Bubble'."

#7 +metal_dragen

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 23:04

DO WANT!

Seriously, I've been waiting for the day I can cut the cord with Comcast for years now. Ever since I got Netflix (about 4 years ago) I've been inching closer and closer to dumping cable. Their streaming selection is getting better all the time. My problem is that there are still several current shows that I can't get online or can't easily get online on my TV (damn Hulu and their hatred of Boxee and I refuse to pay for Hulu+ to get access on any device). And I don't want to watch on my computer. I want the lean back experience for my TV shows.

If Microsoft can pull this off (and I hope it really is independent of the cable companies) I'm in almost no matter the cost - I'm paying almost $80 a month for cable now.

When will the entertainment companies learn that we are more than willing to pay a reasonable cost to get their product as long as they make it available in the forms and on the devices we want?

#8 BajiRav

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 04:16

As much as I want this, I really doubt they can sidestep cable companies! They're evil!

#9 George P

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 05:07

As much as I want this, I really doubt they can sidestep cable companies! They're evil!



Well, you'll need the cable company for your internet still, if that's all you have unless you have FiOS or DSL in which case you can. All the cable companies do is build the network and make deals with the studios/tv stations, media providers to get their "channels" and then send it your way etc. MS can sidestep them because IPTV is just using the internet, all you need is a good internet connection, if you can play netflix HD you can watch IPTV without a problem.

What I want to see is them turning the 360 into a DVR! If this rumor is true and we get a good chunk of TV programming etc then why not? Sure you'll need the 250GB drive but it's a means to an end for MS since they can sell more HDDs as well with such a feature. Heck, they can then turn around and release a bigger HDD for more sales.

#10 guru

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 05:32

Is it me, or has Microsoft just become the new innovation leader in the past two years? What's up with all of this awesomeness. I swear, Microsoft is really playing to win here. And the prize is the future. I'm loving all of this innovation lately.

i'd tie that down to competition. specifically from Apple. Last time this happened. MS came up with very flexible windows that served as a bedrock on which PC revolution was built on.

What I want to see is them turning the 360 into a DVR! If this rumor is true and we get a good chunk of TV programming etc then why not? Sure you'll need the 250GB drive but it's a means to an end for MS since they can sell more HDDs as well with such a feature. Heck, they can then turn around and release a bigger HDD for more sales.

this. also add HDMI in for XBOX letting us connect tvtuner to xbox.

#11 BajiRav

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 14:46

Well, you'll need the cable company for your internet still, if that's all you have unless you have FiOS or DSL in which case you can. All the cable companies do is build the network and make deals with the studios/tv stations, media providers to get their "channels" and then send it your way etc. MS can sidestep them because IPTV is just using the internet, all you need is a good internet connection, if you can play netflix HD you can watch IPTV without a problem.

What I want to see is them turning the 360 into a DVR! If this rumor is true and we get a good chunk of TV programming etc then why not? Sure you'll need the 250GB drive but it's a means to an end for MS since they can sell more HDDs as well with such a feature. Heck, they can then turn around and release a bigger HDD for more sales.

As I said, if MS can make this happen, I will be really happy but the cable companies have immense clout (FiOS has TV as well) to resist a new provider. If nothing else, they will make it expensive to not buy TV from them (read below).
I have FiOS(TV & internet) and Verizon FiOS has been an anamoly(i.e. good customer service) so far but their pricing has caught up with others over the years. If you buy bundled services, it's "cheaper" than buying just internet. For me, the difference between internet and internet+TV is something like $15-20/mo. I would hazard a guess that Microsoft will need to price this between $20-40/mo. On the upper end of that pricing, it's not cost effective to get Diamond anymore.

#12 +metal_dragen

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 19:23

Well it looks like it's happening. The screen graphics shown during the keynote also indicated DVR functionality. No real deep details such as partners, cost, etc. but I'm optimistic at least. :unsure:

#13 George P

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 19:25

Well it looks like it's happening. The screen graphics shown during the keynote also indicated DVR functionality. No real deep details such as partners, cost, etc. but I'm optimistic at least. :unsure:



You're right, I didn't notice the My DVR box till you said it. Finally what I've been calling for is happening! We'll probably get more details before E3 ends unless MS wants to do something on it's own later this month or in July or something. Who really knows, when can we get the new dashboard or is that just for those with kinect?

#14 +metal_dragen

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:37

You're right, I didn't notice the My DVR box till you said it. Finally what I've been calling for is happening! We'll probably get more details before E3 ends unless MS wants to do something on it's own later this month or in July or something. Who really knows, when can we get the new dashboard or is that just for those with kinect?


According to Paul Thurott, and I believe this may have been in Microsoft's press materials or announced later at their booth, the new Dash will be available in Q4 2011 and will work with both Kinect (for voice and gesture control) as well as with traditional controllers.

The details we did get (which are sparse to say the least) mentioned "local programming." I hope this doesn't mean all we get is the local affiliates (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX). I'm really hoping for an IPTV service that would provide true cable-like programming, including Discovery networks, BBC America, History, and other FOX networks (FX), as well as local affiliates.

#15 WelshBluebird

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 14:33

With the TV stuff, I hope Sky isn't the only partner they have in the UK. Would be very happy if they could get some free to air channels on it. Would mean I don't have to mess around with my freeview box all the time! (useless reception where I live).



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