‘08 Disappointments: Xbox IPTV

2008 was going to be the year of IPTV, and while AT&T and
Verizon (actually QAM) have made great strides in the IPTV marketplace, Microsoft hasn’t done
much to push what was promised on their end (Note: Microsoft powers AT&Ts
IPTV DVRs).  Of course the prime example
here is the concept of using your Xbox
360 as an IPTV DVR

The concept had been thrown around online for some time, but
at CES 2008 Microsoft made it official and announced they were working with BT in
the UK to bring the functionality to life
That’s about the last time I heard anything on that subject.  I’m not sure if the service never launched
with BT, but to say the concept has been anything but a failure would be
pushing it.

AT&T is still the only [major] US provider using Microsoft’s
MediaRoom IPTV software, which means they are just about the only option for
this concept coming to life in the US.  I
don’t see the concept that appealing for IPTV providers (I
actually said it would flop in Nov ‘07
), but it will be interesting to see
if CES 2009 brings anything about Xbox and IPTV back into the spotlight.

9 thoughts on “‘08 Disappointments: Xbox IPTV

  1. Chris, actually there are a few smaller telecom and service companies in the US using Mediaroom, but no one that would challenge AT&T.

    I would be suprised if we see Xbox IPTV set top boxes in the US because companies like AT&T like to charge for set top boxes based on capabilities, not to mention the fact that the Xbox would add a level of complexity to their support operations. More complex equals longer support calls, and longer support calls equals money to them. Cool idea, but they just don’t have the buy in from the service providers.

  2. Hi, actually Ntelos uses mediaroom as well. I’m sure others do as well. It feels very MCEish and I like what I’ve seen so far. I believe Microsoft is in bed with Alcatel to deliver these solutions. There is an absolute TON of work to get IPTV to work. I just can’t believe we will see it used effectively to Xbox 360s on different networks without QoS.

  3. Yeah, what I meant to say is that AT&T is the only major provider in the US using MediaRoom.  Ntelos is the only other listed on Microsoft’s site for support in the US, and I believe they have a very small number of IPTV subscribers (Jeff, can you comment?)

  4. Hey Chris – I asked this over @ AVSForum and no one responded, maybe you can tell me. Who wrote U-Verse’s DVR software? The UI kinda looks like a ReplayTV so I was wondering if they were related. Do you know who does Verizon FIOS too?

  5. Microsoft has disappointed on so many levels this year. Let’s see if we can count just some of the ways:

    Operating Systems – Vista is still a turd

    Vista MediaCenter –
    Dropped the ball on DirectTV integration
    Still no direct support for Blu-Ray playback
    No solid Cable integration unless you buy an entire machine that’s CableCard ready. Even then, countless users struggle with its implementation

    XBOX 360 –
    Still no Zune integration
    No IPTV support
    No Web Browser
    120GB drive still outrageously priced
    Wireless adapter still ridiculously priced

    And I could go on and on…

  6. Ntelos is just ramping up, and there will also be an installation in the Chattanooga area, by Alcatel-Lucent and an energy firm named EPB. I think you will see more and more of these small telcos and municipal providers jumping in to this arena. The startup costs are a little steep, but if companies like ALU and MS can create a modular solution for companies that want to rip some business away from cable and satellite, more power to them.


    Dustos, the DVR software in U-verse is part of Mediaroom (MS IPTV) software platform. The client loads on the STB’s are Windows CE.

  7. You are right – the BT Vision / XBox integration never happened. *I held off accepting a separate BT Vision box on the expectation of it arriving in an XBOX dashboard update*

  8. This is a very timely blog entry… I’ve been wondering the same thing as of late… the whole IPTV/Xbox 360 thing… no mention of DirectTV or IPTV in months/years. I have Dish Network here in the states, and have been holding off signing up for AT&T U-verse, thinking I might get a 360/bundle deal if I signed up once they finally announce/make something official. But now it looks like I might just stay with Dish Network and upgrade to their digital service… since MS seems to be dragging its heels on IPTV.

    I’m quite disappointed in all the media center stuff over the past few years. I have my 360 wired to my media center PC and stream HD OTA to my 360, and it works very well, but that was with XP, and Vista didn’t bring anything worth it to the table as far as Media Center, and with Windows 7, and this new NXE for the 360 rolled out already I’ve seen nothing that gives me hope for the Media Center experience on 360/PC, that they are advancing the platform.

    MS’s 360 is my console of choice, but they have really disappointed in many ways… the whole proprietary Hard Drive, the cost of it to upgrade, the fact that the HD is optional… the whole proprietary controller/license, and the wireless being proprietary, the wireless headsets, not supporting bluetooth… as much as I don’t care for PS3 because of its cost/games and such, they did a lot of things right… non-proprietary Hard Drives, making the HD’s standard, bluetooth headsets… etc.

    I wish we could get some kind of info or no further information at this time update on IPTV/360 from MS.

  9. I’d be more interested in seeing IPTV added to Media Center; then I could stream it to multiple 360’s running as extenders (currently do that with a tuner card in an MC PC).

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