Comcast and Verizon will begin streaming TV programming to Microsoft's Xbox 360 this holiday season, the companies announced today. This programming will go through Comcast's Xfinity service and Verizon's FiOS service.
Verizon says that Xbox Live Gold members who also subscribe to the company's FiOS TV and Internet service will be able to view popular channels through their gaming consoles without any additional hardware. Better yet, Verizon says it will start delivering to the boxes live, multi-channel streaming HDTV, integrated with Kinect.
This partnership is part of Verizon's "borderless lifestyle" concept in which old technology barriers are shattered, and consumers are given the freedom to connect with what they love on all of their favorite devices.
"The Borderless Lifestyle is about erasing old technology boundaries and freeing consumers to enjoy entertainment on their own terms," Verizon Vice President of Consumer and Mass Business Product Management Eric Bruno said in a statement.
"FiOS TV on the Xbox 360 will tap into the magic of Kinect to transform the way people interact with TV, providing a game-changing entertainment experience for our customers."
Comcast says it intends to deliver On Demand programming from its Xfinity service. "Through our partnership with Microsoft, we'll offer our customers a unique and innovative way to discover, control and experience thousands of On Demand programs from leading networks and studios, using unique features like Kinect's voice and gesture controls," Comcast Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Tony Werner writes in a company blog.
The Comcast partnership will further evolve the Xbox ecosystem, according to Xbox Live programming director Larry Hyrb. This system began with the 360 gaming console, added an entertainment network with Live, and made it more engaging and interactive with Kinect.
"And now," Hyrb writes on Comcast's blog, "By partnering with Comcast, we're taking it a step further and giving gamers and their families more ways to experience the Xfinity On Demand service they know and love, on a platform that brings a truly unique way to consume it--with just the wave of your hand or the sound of your voice!"
Microsoft also announced that more than 40 of the world's entertainment and TV providers will be joining Comcast and Verizon by streaming content to the Xbox. Among them are Bravo, HBO, SyFy, BBC, Telefónica in Spain, Rogers On Demand in Canada, Televisa in Mexico, ZDF in Germany, and MediaSet in Italy.
"Ten years ago next month, Xbox debuted as a gaming platform, and it will always be the very best console for gamers," boasts Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Corporate Communications Frank X. Shaw in a company blog. "But today its value extends dramatically beyond its gaming core, and this holiday it'll be clear that it's now the best way for you to interact with TV, video, movies, sports and music."