International: Microsoft turns Xbox from videogames to television shows
Microsoft is considering becoming a virtual cable operator and wants to put television content on to its Internet connected Xbox 360 video game consoles. While the company has no plans to introduce this in India for now, the system could become a niche operator in the long run.
Instead of paying your cable company or DTH operator, Microsoft would like it if you subscribe to TV channels from your Xbox 360 video game console instead. According to a report in Reuters, the software giant is holding talks with TV networks for a subscription based TV service.
What this could mean is the reduction of the number of devices cluttering up the house, particularly as the Xbox can also connect very easily to any Windows PC to stream data, which means that a user could potentially use it to access the Internet and stream movies and music from their PC without having to bring one more device into the house.
As per the report:
One scenario under consideration by Microsoft is to create a new TV service on its Xbox gaming console that would establish a "virtual cable operator". The service would charge a monthly fee for access through the Xbox to networks such as ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN or CNN, according to two sources familiar with the plans.
Other options include allowing cable subscribers to use the Xbox to watch shows with more interactive functions. Viewers could, for instance, message with friends over the console while viewing their favorite shows.
According to the report, any such deal would be at least one year away in America, and there have been no updates on whether this service is planned for other markets at this stage. This could also increase the interactivity of television content, and simplify DVR style features at no extra cost to the users.
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