& cplSiteName &

Comcast, Verizon Connect With the Xbox 360

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
10/5/2011
50%
50%

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s plan to turn the Xbox 360 into a streaming video hub took an expected step forward Tuesday with word that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) will pipe video on-demand (VoD) to the console, and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) will take it further by delivering VoD and a subset of its live TV lineup.

And it's not for the cord-cutting crowd, as access will be limited to Xbox 360 users who are authenticated Comcast and Verizon pay-TV subs and subscribe to the $60-per-year Xbox Live Gold service. Mediaroom IPTV customers AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T), meanwhile, already offer their full-fledged TV services on the Xbox 360. (See Xbox 360 Joins the U-verse Lineup and Telus Turns Xbox 360 Into a Set-Top.)

Comcast EVP and CTO Tony Werner noted on the MSO's blog that the Xfinity On-Demand service will become available on the console "in the coming months." A Comcast spokeswoman said "thousands" of VoD titles will be offered on the Xbox 360, though that number will consist of a portion of the 30,000 VoD "choices" that Comcast customers get today through a traditional set-top box. Comcast hasn't committed to offering live TV on the Xbox 360 yet, but the MSO expects its offering on the device to "evolve in time."



Verizon's initial Xbox 360 play will couple VoD with access to 26 live TV channels, including CNN, Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.

Both Comcast and Verizon's video integrations will let Xbox 360 users navigate content with the device's integrated, gesture-based Kinect system, and both operators will deliver content to the box over managed IP links.

In all, Microsoft said the next generation of its Xbox Live service, to be out by the 2011 holiday season, will work with almost 40 TV and entertainment channels and service providers including HBO Go, Epix, Bravo, Spike, Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) in Spain, Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) in Canada (for VoD), Televisa in Mexico, ZDF in Germany and MediaSet in Italy.

Why this matters
For Microsoft, it's a step toward turning the Xbox 360 into a central home entertainment hub, though these initial implementations with two major pay-TV providers represent just a portion of their full-blown pay-TV service offerings.

For Verizon and Comcast, it gets their services more intertwined with the consumer electronics ecosystem and comes into play amid the threat of new AllVid rules that they'd just as soon avoid. Both service providers have also been making strides to offer video services on other broadband-connected devices, including iPads and TVs.

For more
Read more about the Xbox's video ambitions and some of cable's recent CE moves.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:51:52 PM
re: Comcast, Verizon Connect With the Xbox 360


So, the Xbox 360 is essentially getting a nice bite of authenticated TV Everywhere content, but not the whole pay-TV meal. 


It's start, but we'll soon be seeing alot more of this sort of thing as the holiday season approaches -- connected TVs, other  consoles and specialized boxes (Roku seems like a great candidate) will also get access to the same thing -- a piece of the whole.  Microsoft's differentiator , if it should be thought of as one, will be fleeting and become table stakes for everyone else.


  I'm still struggling a bit about what the use case is here even if these sort of deals add some value to a device like the Xbox360. MSFT  wants the Xbox 360 to be the primary entertainment device in the home, but it can't be if it can't access everything that a traditional set-top box can.  Maybe things will truly "evolve" and that might actually happen once Comcast, Verizon and more service providers get further along with their IP video migrations, particularly for linear TV. JB

msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 4:51:50 PM
re: Comcast, Verizon Connect With the Xbox 360


There's a comment thread going on over at ZNF that brought up another angle here I hadn't considered. It's still niche from a business perspective, but it looks like HBO customers may get their first lean-back experience with HBO Go via the Xbox. Assuming the PQ is decent (better than on a mobile device), subscribers suddenly get access to a large back catalog of HBO content that isn't available on-demand for your TV anywhere else. 


I've always been of the opinion that people would pay for back catalogs, but that volume of content is something VOD just hasn't been able to support. IP changes that.

AESerm
50%
50%
AESerm,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:51:50 PM
re: Comcast, Verizon Connect With the Xbox 360


Another way of looking at this is from MSFT's perspective: Adding these and other capabilities extends the life of the 360 platform, changing its "tail,"  as Xbox blogger Major Nelson explains: http://bit.ly/irVFmj. Exactly how many of the 35m Xbox Live subs are Gold (most?) and how many of them get video from Fios or Xfinity? Dunno. But marketing at VZ and CMCSK surely have run numbers, whch likely make sense from their sides.

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:51:49 PM
re: Comcast, Verizon Connect With the Xbox 360


That's a good point.. HBO Go on the TV does provide a lot of value because you get a lot more than you do on traditional cable VoD. I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense... HBO Go is about all I really watch on Comcast's Xfinity TV app on the iPad.  JB

Cooper10
50%
50%
Cooper10,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:51:48 PM
re: Comcast, Verizon Connect With the Xbox 360


Remains to be seen whether the content available on a programmer app (HBO Go or other) will be a superset of the content available through a pay TV providers VOD library - this is the case in the short term, but that could be a capacity issue w/ VOD libraries.  In addition to long tail libraries, this also creates alternatives for user interface - do consumers prefer to access content through an operators app, or directly through a programmers app?

EdG0000
50%
50%
EdG0000,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:51:45 PM
re: Comcast, Verizon Connect With the Xbox 360


... they should add a CableCARD module.  I may be a tad biased :-), but it would be relatively easy for MSFT to take the Ceton InfiniTV quad-tuner technology for example and do a CableCARD peripheral that would immediately give them a solution for all the 45+ million digital cable subs in the  US, not just the ones in Comcast and Verizon footprints.  Talk about a killer entertainment device -- all digital cable channels, 4 tuner DVR, tons of on demand, Netflix and of course gaming!

From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Web-Scale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent web-scale operators report, which featured research on how web-scale operators view the market, the best web-scale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (2) comments


Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Is Cable One Beefing Up for Slaughter?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 1/20/2017
Google Security Lessons for IT
Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, 1/18/2017
TV's Paradox: No HDR Without 4K
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Qualcomm Study Predicts 5G Will Create 22M Jobs by 2035
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.