Next-gen Xbox will reportedly work with set-top boxes to let console control TV services

Rumors that Microsoft's next-generation Xbox will require a persistent Internet connection make a little more sense if a new report is accurate.

According to a report by The Verge, the next-generation Xbox will work with subscription television set-top boxes, letting the console control the entertainment services. The report indicates that the service requires a persistent Internet connection because of streaming services and content information.

If the report's information is accurate, the next-gen Xbox will work with set-top boxes through the use of HDMI – the signal will be passed through the high-definition format cable, and the Xbox will then use its own software and services that will include a custom interface. The report indicates that Microsoft already has partnerships in place with service providers for in-depth functionality. Support for some providers will be rolled out gradually, the report claims, although the basic functionality will be available when the console launches.

The report meshes with leaked specifications from January for the next-gen Xbox that indicated the console would include an HDMI-in port.

Microsoft recently foreshadowed improved TV services on its Xbox console when it agreed to sell Mediaroom to Ericsson earlier this week. When the deal was announced, a Microsoft representative said the company "is dedicating all TV resources to Xbox in a continued mission to make it the premium entertainment service that delivers all the games and entertainment consumers want."

Though the report claims an always-on Internet connection will be required for the television services, it doesn't make mention of if the same requirement will exist for video games or other features.

In addition to the console itself, the next-generation Kinect sensor is said to play a role in the TV service. According to the report, the sensor will detect when multiple people are in a room and will "detect eye movement to pause content when a viewer turns their head away from a TV."

Microsoft's rumored Xbox TV set-top box is still in development, the report says, although it likely won't debut until next year at the earliest.

The next-generation Xbox unveiling is rumored to take place May 21, and a recent report said the console will be "expensive" when it launches, reportedly in early November. A $99 Xbox 360 will be revealed when the next-gen Xbox is revealed, according to that report.

Source: The Verge

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