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IPTV for 360 launching this year in the UK


RubberJohnny
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IPTV to launch this year exclusively with BT

HD Ready digital television only available to BT customers

Before the year is out, British Telecom, in partnership with Microsoft, will announce a deal that brings IPTV to Xbox 360.

As part of the deal, only subscribers to BT will be able access IPTV services, which Microsoft currently powers through BT’s Vision initiative.

While BT is unable to confirm exclusivity, no other broadcaster or internet service provider is working on IPTV with Microsoft. And, with BT Vision currently served via Microsoft Mediaroom (a software solution to deliver broadcasts) the agreement between the two companies solidifies an already close relationship.

Speaking exclusively to 360 Gamer, a British Telecom spokesperson stated: “Online gaming is a market we have targeted heavily for our BT Total Broadband service, with many tens of thousands of gamers already enjoying the UK's best performing ADSL broadband service.

He continued by saying that, “for many families, videogames consoles happily share space in the living room. The hardware is not the issue - what is the issue is the service, and delivering the all-important choice, convenience and control that consumers want.”

In offering IPTV through a partnership with Microsoft, the telecommunications giant will be in a position to buy Xbox 360s direct from Microsoft, and offer a console fully equipped to watch and record free-to-air, paid and on-demand television content to customers, without the need to pay for a set-top-box. From BT's perspective, offering a games console as its set-top-box, BT customers will have yet more choice, and also the ability to experience the world’s market leading next generation console.

For the full, exclusive story, including extended comment from Microsoft and British Telecom, look out for 360 Gamer issue 31, available in newsagents and on this very website from the 23 August.

http://www.360-gamer.com/news.asp?id=1347

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"The hardware is not the issue - noone wants to be able to actually hear our content anyway"

BT in "none of us actually own a 360" ignorance shocker.

Having said that, would be nice if they can push MS to quieten their damn console down

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IPTV would be nice, but am I shite getting a BT subscription to go with my Virgin Media one. If only BT service subscribers get it, it's an epic fail for me I'm afraid.

Join the club. I'm no way splitting from Virgin Media. My Cable line hasn't failed me once.

My experience of ADSL was horrific.

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Join the club. I'm no way splitting from Virgin Media. My Cable line hasn't failed me once.

My experience of ADSL was horrific.

BT are one of the best broadband providers around. I don't know what ADSL ISP you went with, but I've never had a problem with BT.

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Er, the BTVision stuff isn't only available to BT broadband customers you know. And this doesn't preclude the HD content stuff on Live coming across the pond.

However, the comment about a BTVision + Sky/VM subscription is very valid. I haven't seen any good reason to pay BT for it.

Sky are rumoured to have a home media server box in the works which I think is a very interesting prospect.

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Er, the BTVision stuff isn't only available to BT broadband customers you know. And this doesn't preclude the HD content stuff on Live coming across the pond.

However, the comment about a BTVision + Sky/VM subscription is very valid. I haven't seen any good reason to pay BT for it.

Sky are rumoured to have a home media server box in the works which I think is a very interesting prospect.

Eh? you have to have bt total broadband to use btvision because it plugs into the homehub

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IPTV needs multicast to be working properly, which it does on BT's network. It would be impossible to make it available on all ISPs, they'd flip at the bandwidth usage without multicast.

how far down does the multicast go? To the exchange I guess? So then at least all ADSL providers should benefit?

Eh? you have to have bt total broadband to use btvision because it plugs into the homehub

Does it? I had no idea it was so pap

The homehub is just a router though, why can't it be used on others? You're right, I just checked, but it seems silly.

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I'd imagine this is very much BT driven, they have the network and the content ready to go and MS have the box. There's no point getting your knickers in a twist because 'MS aren't providing this service to non-BT subscribers' it's the equivalent of blaming Nokia because you can't get Vodaphone content on your phone when you've got an Orange contract.

It won't be long before all major content providers have an IPTV service and selecting your box / subscription will be akin to selecting a mobile phone / network.

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While BT is unable to confirm exclusivity, no other broadcaster or internet service provider is working on IPTV with Microsoft. And, with BT Vision currently served via Microsoft Mediaroom (a software solution to deliver broadcasts) the agreement between the two companies solidifies an already close relationship.

I'm not too sure about the wording here, perhaps it's inaccurate reporting, but plenty (or at least several) service providers have publically announced IPTV services using the Microsoft IPTV platform, AT&T being one of the largest. Perhaps the article is referring to Microsoft IPTV in conjunction with the 360 as a client platform. This is probably true.

In offering IPTV through a partnership with Microsoft, the telecommunications giant will be in a position to buy Xbox 360s direct from Microsoft, and offer a console fully equipped to watch and record free-to-air, paid and on-demand television content to customers, without the need to pay for a set-top-box. From BT's perspective, offering a games console as its set-top-box, BT customers will have yet more choice, and also the ability to experience the world’s market leading next generation console.

So this bit is interesting, as it's not 100% clear what the service is specified to be.

What the words say is that the console will be able to "watch and record free-to-air" television. This does NOT mean that the free-to-air channels will be received over the broadband network. It is possible that a digital terrestrial receiver will be used in conjunction with the 360 to receive these channels. This would be a similar solution to that announced by Sony last week.

The "paid and on-demand television" would be on-demand content, trickled down to the console as in BT's current BT Vision solution (http://www.btvision.bt.com/vision/whats_btv/howitworks.htm).

So at first glance, what it looks like is Microsoft has ported the IPTV client to 360 and is implementing a client with pretty much the same functionality as BT's current hybrid Digital Terrestrial / Video on Demand system, used in BT Vision.

What you'll get with this is:

- a digital terrestrial receiver. Probably a dongle or some external widget to decode the DTT signal, which will plug in to your aerial and your 360

- a PVR function which will use the 360 hard drive to record Digital Terrestrial programmes

- an Electronic Programme Guide to see what's on TV, browse the on-demand content, and to set your PVR

- a range of on-demand content (including HD content), probably the same as the rest of the BT Vision service

If this is the service that's offered, then you'll be able to get it pretty much anywhere (provided you get a Freeview signal for the Digital TV), as the requirements on the broadband connection are not increased over what you get today. The trickle VoD model doesn't need Multicast, nor does it need high bandwidth. It's the iTunes model of content delivery. So BT could offer it to any of their broadband customers.

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I'd imagine this is very much BT driven, they have the network and the content ready to go and MS have the box. There's no point getting your knickers in a twist because 'MS aren't providing this service to non-BT subscribers' it's the equivalent of blaming Nokia because you can't get Vodaphone content on your phone when you've got an Orange contract.

Yes, but at least with a Nokia phone you can choose your service provider. If I could replace my crap Samsung STB for Virgin Media with a 360 I would tomorrow.

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My dream: Sony announce they're teaming up with Sky at Leipzig.

£100 PS3s if you subscribe to Sky IPTV? Epic win.

You may just get your wish.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Sky have formed a joint venture company to deliver video-on-demand to PSP owners.

The new company promises to begin by offering "a wealth of video and film content" for the more than 2.3 million PSP owners in the UK and Ireland, with discussions regarding a broader European offering ongoing.

More details will be announced at Games Convention in Leipzig on Wednesday, 22nd August, Sony added.

Further details were not forthcoming, but the platform holder said that both companies would enjoy equal board-level representation

Sure, it may only be for PSP, but i'd be amazed if they didn't announce some kind of PVR / IPTV / whatever with Sky at or soon after Leipzig for the PS3.

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You may just get your wish.

Sure, it may only be for PSP, but i'd be amazed if they didn't announce some kind of PVR / IPTV / whatever with Sky at or soon after Leipzig for the PS3.

I forgot about that one. To be honest I'd rather it was with Virgin to save all that changing over arse, especially since I just blackmailed them into giving me the XL TV package for free and the cable service is pretty decent, but Sky on demand would be sweet.

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Yes, but at least with a Nokia phone you can choose your service provider. If I could replace my crap Samsung STB for Virgin Media with a 360 I would tomorrow.

Well yes and no but that's beside the point. I think this is just the first of many and I doubt MS have signed any kind of exclusivity agreement with BT.

What is interesting is that MS are allowing a service on there system which competes to some extent with their own video marketplace (once it arrives). Wouldn't they have been better off providing just the freeview / pvr functionality and keeping the ondemand market to to themselves?

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What is interesting is that MS are allowing a service on there system which competes to some extent with their own video marketplace (once it arrives). Wouldn't they have been better off providing just the freeview / pvr functionality and keeping the ondemand market to to themselves?

Either way they get paid.

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