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Microsoft update brings catch-up TV to Xbox Live

Kinect users will also get voice control

Microsoft is rolling out an update for its Xbox Live service that offers users the ability to watch catch-up TV through their Xbox 360 console.

The update offers an interface, which is similar to that found on Windows Phone devices. Content will be available from a number of different broadcasters including Channel 4 and Channel 5. Microsoft said support for BBC content, expected to be in the form of its online catch-up TV service, iPlayer, will be made available in early 2012.

Furthermore, the update, which will begin on Tuesday December 6, also contains a voice-control functionality for Xbox's motion-sensing camera, Kinect, that allows the user to become the remote control. Microsoft said those with an Xbox 360 will be able to issue an audible command for the firm's search engine, Bing, to search for TV, video, movies and music, as well control playback. Gesture control will also be available to scroll through options when accessing content through the Xbox.

Microsoft describes the update as a "new technological era in live TV in the home".

"With this update, Xbox 360 system owners will experience Kinect voice control integrated with Bing search, making your TV and entertainment experiences more social and personal than ever," said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.

"A new era in entertainment begins where all your entertainment is together in one place — your games, movies, TV shows, music and sports,"

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