Verizon adds Xbox integration for FiOS TV
Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 30-11-2011
Verizon FiOS TV customers now have one more way to access their programming: the Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming console.
It's a differentiated experience, too, thanks to FiOS integration with voice and gesture commands through Kinect for Xbox 360.
Customers who are Xbox LIVE Gold members and who subscribe to both FiOS TV and Internet service will be able to view select live channels through their Xbox consoles without the need for a set-top box, making it a convenient way to extend FiOS access to additional TV sets within the home.
For Microsoft, the dead extends its TV proposition, which it's been working on all year. It has a similar deal in place with AT&T, whose U-verse customers can use the Xbox as a tuner as well, along with Sky in the UK, Foxtel in Australia and Canal+ in France, amng others. Xbox also integrates Web services like Hulu, Netflix and YouTube.
In October it announced that it would begin rolling out more options for the Xbox LIVE online entertainment service for Xbox 360, integrated with the Bing search engine and the Kinect voice and gesture controls, including Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in the U.S.; BBC in the U.K., Telefónica in Spain; Rogers On Demand in Canada; Televisa in Mexico; ZDF in Germany; and MediaSet in Italy.
Eric Bruno, vice president of consumer and mass business product management for Verizon, characterises the move as another aspect of Verizon's TV Everywhere multiscreen initiative. "Whether it's your Xbox, your mobile device, your PC or your traditional television, Verizon will continue to deliver the programming consumers want, where, where and how they want it," Bruno said.
The Xbox integration joins Verizon's other ancillary viewing options, including Flex View and FiOS TV Online, which extend FiOS TV to the Internet and a range of mobile devices; an advanced interactive media guide; free interactive applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others; Media Manager, which allows customers to access on their TVs personal photos, music and videos from their computers; In-Home Agent, which assists customers in diagnosing and resolving a range of service issues; and the MY FiOS mobile application for accessing movies, TV shows and personal content, remote DVR, home and energy monitoring and billing, account management and customer service tools.
FiOS TV customers can access the service via a downloadable app for the Xbox console, which will become available next month. Initially, 26 FiOS TV channels will be available, depending on the customer's TV package. Customers who order FiOS TV and Internet service also will receive the "Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary" game and an Xbox LIVE Gold Membership.