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Redbox Instant Plays With Xbox 360

By | Tuesday February 5, 2013 @ 12:26pm PST

The new streaming service from Redbox and Verizon says it will be available on Xbox 360 gaming consoles “in the very near future.” And the Microsoft operation says that it will be “the exclusive gaming and entertainment launch partner” for Redbox Instant, which is still officially a beta test. But Redbox Instant plans to add other gaming consoles after it’s out of beta. The service needs to expand the number of platforms where viewers can use it: It’s currently available on Apple and Android phones and tablets, computers, Google TV, and smart TVs from Samsung and LG. But that’s still “quite limited compared to Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBOGo,” BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield says. Redbox Instant wants to establish itself as a movie-lover’s alternative to the other services, which are heavy on television fare. Redbox Instant charges $6 a month for a streaming-only service, $8 for streaming plus four nights worth of DVD rentals, or $9 for streaming and Blu-ray rentals.

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XBox 360 Adds Comcast, HBO, And MLB Apps As Entertainment Usage Soars

By | Tuesday March 27, 2012 @ 7:02am PDT

The people behind Microsoft’s console say that owners now spend more time using it for entertainment than they do for multiplayer games.  And today they hope to add momentum to their effort to turn the device into a home entertainment hub by introducing voice-controlled apps for Comcast’s Xfinity TV, HBO GO, and MLB.TV. XBox users who also subscribe to the services will be able to access Comcast’s On-Demand library, HBO programming, and a choice of home or away feeds of baseball game broadcasts (subject to local blackout restrictions).

The announcements come as Comcast fends off attacks from public interest advocates who say that its video transmissions to XBox users violate net neutrality rules. The time that Comcast cable customers spend watching video ported through the XBox doesn’t count against against their broadband data caps. “The Xbox 360 provides a number of video services to compete for customer dollars, yet only one service is not counted against the data cap — the one provided by Comcast,” says Public Knowledge CEO Gigi Sohn. ”This is nothing less than a wake-up call to the Commission to show it is serious about protecting the Open Internet.”  But Comcast says the critics are mistaken. Video feeds to its subscribers who have an XBox travel over Comcast’s traditional cable TV system, not the open Internet. “Your Xbox 360 essentially acts as an additional cable box for your existing cable service,” the company says. ”As a result, our data usage … Read More »

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Xbox 360 Upgrade Includes Voice Search, New Content Partners

By | Monday December 5, 2011 @ 11:26am PST

Xbox 360, which in October announced a slew of content deals via Xbox Live designed to make the console a one-stop set-top box to control everything entertainment from video games to music to film to TV, announced today that the first of those agreements will kick off tomorrow — along with some pretty cool bells and whistles. The biggest is a deal with sister Microsoft service Bing to offer voice-controlled search via Xbox’s Kinect, through which users can look for content on the service. The news comes just in time for the holidays, and existing Xbox owners get the upgrade for free. Here’s the list of content partners and their premiere dates, from Microsoft’s release today:

Xbox 360 is building on its expansive catalog of movies, sports, television and music available through Hulu Plus, Last.fm, Netflix, Zune music and video and ESPN®, as well as on its existing lineup of great TV providers, such as AT&T U-verse® TV in the U.S., TELUS in Canada, BSkyB in the U.K., CANAL+ in France, Vodafone Portugal, VimpelCom in Russia and FOXTEL in Australia, by also now rolling out the following new entertainment partners and apps**:

Dec. 6:

EPIX. United States
ESPN on Xbox LIVE (ESPN). United States
Hulu. Japan
Hulu Plus. United States
LOVEFiLM. United Kingdom
Netflix. Canada, United States
Premium Play by (MediaSet). Italy
Sky Go (SkyDE). Austria, Germany
Telefonica Espana – Movistar Imagenio. Spain
TODAY (MSNBC). United States

Later in December:

4 on Demand (C4). United Kingdom
ABC iView (Australian Broadcasting Corp.). Australia
AlloCine. France (AlloCine), Germany

Read More »

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Xbox Live Partners Up For TV Content

By | Wednesday October 5, 2011 @ 11:09am PDT

Xbox Live, the premium online service of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, today unveiled a slew of content deals that will boost the console’s entertainment offerings beginning around the holidays and in more than 20 countries. The news began leaking last week of partnerships, but the announcement included more than 40 providers like Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in the U.S. and international partners like BBC in the UK. The ultimate goal is to make Microsoft’s video game console a one-stop shop for entertainment where users can switch easily between video games, DVDs and entertainment content. Here’s the release: Read More »

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Bloomberg: Xbox To Offer Xfinity TV, FiOS

By | Thursday September 29, 2011 @ 8:53am PDT

Cable companies are looking to put their services on multiple platforms to keep customers happy (and around) and Xbox Live is looking to boost entertainment offerings to compete against console rivals like Sony’s PlayStation 3, so this makes sense. If true, Comcast’s Xfinity TV and Verizon’s FiOS could be accessed by subscribers to the pay TV services on Microsoft’s premium Xbox 360 platform, which costs $60 a year. Microsoft also is talking with HBO, Sony’s Crackle streaming service, Bravo and Syfy and Lovefilm UK among others about content deals and could announce expanded offerings next week, the Bloomberg report says. Xbox Live already offers access to entertainment offerings via Netflix, Hulu and AT&T’s U-verse. It’s all part of the bigger fight to become the ultimate Web-connected console — one that users can use to navigate between playing video games and watching DVDs and TV while surfing the Internet — that pits devices like Xbox 360 not only against PS3s but also set-top boxes like DVRs, TiVo, Roku and Apple TV.

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