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Microsoft announces landmark TWC deal to bring 300 live TV channels to the Xbox 360

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July 1, 2013

Microsoft announced a landmark deal with Time Warner Cable, to let U.S. subscribers watch ...

Microsoft announced a landmark deal with Time Warner Cable, to let U.S. subscribers watch up to 300 live TV channels on the Xbox 360.

Remember that 21st century living room revolution? You know, the one that was supposed to have arrived about two years ago, and have been spearheaded by Apple? Well, it's showing some signs of life after all, and one platform just solidified its standing as the most likely to lead the way. Microsoft has announced a big deal with Time Warner Cable (TWC), that will let the company's US cable subscribers stream live TV using the Xbox 360.

Starting "later this [Northern Hemisphere] summer," TWC subscribers who also have an Xbox Live Gold membership will be able to watch up to 300 live TV channels on their Xbox 360s. They will be able to use Kinect to surf channels using voice and gesture, all without a cumbersome cable box.

According to Microsoft, the deal includes popular channels like AMC, BBC World News, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNN, Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV. Note that Microsoft didn't mention ESPN, TNT, TBS, FOX, or any of the three major broadcast networks (CBS, NBC, or ABC). That doesn't necessarily mean they won't be in the fold, but it stands to reason that they would have been mentioned in the press release if they were part of the deal.

This isn't exactly the radical overhaul of television content delivery that many have been clamoring for. You're still tethered to a traditional cable subscription, and you actually need a second subscription (Xbox Live Gold) to watch that final season of Breaking Bad live on your Xbox. But it's definitely a step in that direction, and can almost let subscribers replace their cable boxes with a gaming console.

Perhaps more importantly, the move sets the stage for the real star of the show, the Xbox One. Microsoft's press release only mentions the One in passing, saying the company will have more to announce on that front "in the coming months." Considering how far past its prime the Xbox 360 is, it's hard to believe this isn't part of a bigger deal to integrate live, cable-box-free TWC content into the (much more TV focused) Xbox One.

Source: Microsoft

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
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7 Comments

The cable box is not what needs replacing. Two subscriptions so I can watch TV on my Xbox? A joke.

Joe F
1st July, 2013 @ 11:08 am PDT

"a big deal with Time Warner Cable (TWC), that will let the company's US cable subscribers"

You still need a cable box, why change your cable feed from a bad user experience cable box to a bad user experience xbox? This is not the future.

sunfly
1st July, 2013 @ 02:43 pm PDT

seriously? I use my ceton cablecard tuner in a microsoft pc. i get the full cable programming and no cable box.

why on earth would i PAY for another subscription and still use a cable box to ensure full programming? microsoft has become a greedy enemy of the consumer, just like the cable companies, they deserve each other.

kar
1st July, 2013 @ 03:06 pm PDT

I don't live in the US.....

SciFi9000
1st July, 2013 @ 03:59 pm PDT

Good, ALL tv should come from an internet connection, then I would only have to pay for internet, and ditch cable.

I'm glad they got Time Warner...now they just need to get the rest of em.

Sunfly - You haven't used the Xbox One, so you don't yet know if the User experience is good or bad.

Derek Howe
1st July, 2013 @ 04:16 pm PDT

The Xbox interface is just about unusable for doing anything besides their games. I hope they have improved it for this.

Bruce D Sherman
2nd July, 2013 @ 02:25 pm PDT

The deal will be helpful for those, who are not seeing the live broadcasting. The deal has been finalized and the blackberry will also become popular among the people who are not using it. Actually its a good deal to bring HD Live TV Channels together at a handset.

Usman Mughal
29th July, 2013 @ 06:37 pm PDT
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