Get ready to turn your XBox into a set top box. Wednesday Microsoft announced their partnership with multiple TV content providers which, in the “future,” will allow Xbox Live Gold users to watch programs provided by Comcast and Verizon Fios. The agreement will make content from HBO Go, VEVO and other partners available on the service as well. Engadget says FiOS will offer some live TV content and Comcast will supply programs from its xfinity streaming service. xfinity hosts popular shows on demand from major broadcast and premium networks: even HBO. So, if you’re on Comcast, you’d be more or less set.
Naturally, you’ll need a subscription to either Comcast, Verizon and separate services like HBO Go to watch any of this stuff. Live TV simply won’t be the move if you’re looking to cut the chord. The again Live TV could help you keep a few extra dollars in your pocket. The system would take the place of another box you’d have to rent from either provider: theoretically saving you a few bucks a month. Live gold costs $60 bucks a year but, given how most cable units go for about $10 a month, you’d save about $60 a year with this alternative. Besides if you pay full price for XBL you’re simply doing it wrong. But that’s not here or there.
What we have here is another avenue to watch the same TV you’re consuming rather than a rival to cable and satellite television. It remains to be seen if competitors like Time Warner or Cablevision will join in on the fun. For now Xbox Live TV presents some novel technology but, on paper, doesn’t scream killer app. Let’s see if it develops into something more functional. I’d especially like to see if you’ll be able to use the system as a DVR down the line.