Microsoft rumored to respond to new Apple TV with Xbox-based service

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Microsoft is reportedly planning to take on Apple TV and Google TV with a new subscription service that will be delivered through the company's popular Xbox 360 game console.



Two anonymous people familiar with the company's plans told Reuters that Microsoft is in early talks with content providers to become a "virtual cable operator." The service would reportedly come with a monthly fee, and would allow owners of the Xbox 360 game console to stream TV.



Microsoft is also reportedly pursuing a lesser option, which would allow existing cable subscribers to watch and interact with content via the Xbox, similar to how providers offer streaming services over the Web. The Redmond, Wash., software giant could also allow individual channel subscriptions, for networks such as HBO or Showtime.



Microsoft is looking to counter new products that launched this fall from Apple and Google in the set top box market. However, Microsoft's plans are said to be at least 12 months away, people familiar with the talks reportedly said.



In September, Apple introduced its new cloud-centric Apple TV, which sells for just $99. The device has limited internal storage and allows streaming of high-definition TV shows from Fox and ABC for 99 cents.



Apple had more ambitious plans for its new product, and pitched to TV networks a $30-per-month unlimited subscription plan. But networks allegedly rejected that idea, leading Apple to push for 99 cent TV rentals. And even that plan was rejected by major networks like CBS and NBC.



Google has faced its own share of problems with newly launched Google TV products running the Android operating system. While devices with Google TV initially had access to streaming Web content from network stations, many of those networks made efforts to block Google TV devices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    Makes sense. The new Apple TV is rather awesome. Used one for the first time over Thanksgiving and it adds another dimension onto any television it's attached to. Many televisions have the services increasingly built-in, though, so I'm not sure how long the third-party market for this stuff will last.
  • Reply 2 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Microsoft is reportedly planning to take on Apple TV and Google TV with a new subscription service that will be delivered through the company's popular Xbox 360 game console.



    Two anonymous people familiar with the company's plans told Reuters that Microsoft is in early talks with content providers to become a "virtual cable operator." The service would reportedly come with a monthly fee, and would allow owners of the Xbox 360 game console to stream TV.



    Microsoft is also reportedly pursuing a lesser option, which would allow existing cable subscribers to watch and interact with content via the Xbox, similar to how providers offer streaming services over the Web. The Redmond, Wash., software giant could also allow individual channel subscriptions, for networks such as HBO or Showtime.



    Microsoft is looking to counter new products that launched this fall from Apple and Google in the set top box market. However, Microsoft's plans are said to be at least 12 months away, people familiar with the talks reportedly said.



    In September, Apple introduced its new cloud-centric Apple TV, which sells for just $99. The device has limited internal storage and allows streaming of high-definition TV shows from Fox and ABC for 99 cents.



    Apple had more ambitious plans for its new product, and pitched to TV networks a $30-per-month unlimited subscription plan. But networks allegedly rejected that idea, leading Apple to push for 99 cent TV rentals. And even that plan was rejected by major networks like CBS and NBC.



    Google has faced its own share of problems with newly launched Google TV products running the Android operating system. While devices with Google TV initially had access to streaming Web content from network stations, many of those networks made efforts to block Google TV devices.



    if not for the fact that IE sucks....i would say put a full blown browser on it, let me control it with kinect rather than a remote, and you have a winner.
  • Reply 3 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Microsoft is reportedly planning to take on Apple TV and Google TV with a new subscription service that will be delivered through the company's popular Xbox 360 game console.








    Big. deal. Microsoft just loses money with the XBOX, more and more.
  • Reply 4 of 67
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Weren't WebTV and MSNBC supposed to solve this a decade ago? How did that pan out?
  • Reply 5 of 67
    I wonder if Ballmer ever gets tired of always feeling like he's a day late and a dollar short. Microsoft is always playing catch up to Apple in every aspect of its business. \
  • Reply 6 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rockarollr View Post


    I wonder if Ballmer ever gets tired of always feeling like he's a day late and a dollar short. Microsoft is always playing catch up to Apple in every aspect of its business. \



    Well its actually a decent idea simply given the number of people that have an Xbox 360 compared to those with Apple TV. Most users already stream to and from their Xbox so if they could get the content and the price right its a decent idea. Microsoft however will find a way to screw it up. They somehow always do lately.
  • Reply 7 of 67
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rockarollr View Post


    Microsoft is always playing catch up to Apple in every aspect of its business. \



    Actually, other than grafting a GUI on top of DOS back in the 80s Microsoft has been more or less in parity with Apple in terms of innovation and first-to-market. The big difference is Microsoft used to release all sorts of unusuable crap as a pre-emptive strike against competition because their customer base would buy it first. Coupled with well-applied Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt they would establish a market toe-hold and take it from there.



    Since around 2000 (the Ballmer Decade), however, this formula has been failing Microsoft. Microsoft beat Apple to touch interface, smart-phones, tablets, home entertainment --give or take one's definition of same-- but the public wasn't buying. Meanwhile, Apple adopted the policy of only releasing refined products that actually work, while keeping the development secret. Obviously this strategy has worked well, and Apple has the technical proficiency to pull it off.



    Microsoft still beats Apple handily in a number of areas --office apps, game console, server software, development tools, mapping and search, to name a few-- but other than with the Xbox they simply cannot muster decent consumer products. In that area Ballmer has a black thumb and simply doesn't get it.
  • Reply 8 of 67
    c4rlobc4rlob Posts: 277member
    I'm glad Apple TV never launched a subscription service. The new Apple TV seems to be having a hard enough time keeping up with streaming rentals as it is. It always stalls and freezes when I try to rent a movie or TV show on weekend nights - in contrast my laptop can download the same content from iTunes over wi-fi just fine. I would be far less tolerant of paying a monthly subscription fee only to have the same streaming problems.
  • Reply 9 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... a new subscription service that will be delivered through the company's popular Xbox 360 game console..... Microsoft's plans are said to be at least 12 months away, people familiar with the talks reportedly said.



    Foxtel is our big cable/satellite provider in Australia.



    Foxtel+Microsoft started offering Foxtel on Xbox (a suscription service) in the last month. Apparently it works quite well.

    http://www.foxtel.com.au/xbox/default.htm



    There are options to set the streaming quality (low/medium/high), while on-demand content is a download file (which plays while downloading). For streaming channels it has to cache 5-10 seconds before it starts or changes channel, to handle the vagaries of inconsistent internet. The base package has 10 "live" (streaming) channels. Extra packs have a combination of streaming & on demand (catch-up TV) channels.



    http://www.cnet.com.au/foxtel-on-xbo...-339306661.htm



    Biggest problem is that we have quota allowances here. So at about 800MB/hr (I think) you have to be careful or get a big plan.



    I guess Microsoft is testing the technology here?
  • Reply 10 of 67
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Makes sense. The new Apple TV is rather awesome. Used one for the first time over Thanksgiving and it adds another dimension onto any television it's attached to. Many televisions have the services increasingly built-in, though, so I'm not sure how long the third-party market for this stuff will last.



    what does apple TV do that x-box and PS3 don't do? youtube is better on the apple tv than the PS3, but that is going to change soon.



    my point is that devices that have netflix and youtube already have installed bases in the tens of millions. the only people buying apple TV are those without a game console and/or internet enabled blu ray player or TV



    i have 3 iphones in the house and planning to buy into the ipad 2 next year, but everything else apple does seems to be a niche market
  • Reply 11 of 67
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    What Steve Ballmer and the rest of Microsoft do not realize is that not everyone is a gamer. Having an AppleTV like approach to the Xbox will not appeal to the non gamer generation. Apple on the other hand made the AppleTV appeal to everyone with the addition of apps and games to be forthcoming, thus making it more of a platform of choice for everyone.
  • Reply 12 of 67
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    Xbox is still 60 decibels. I dislike a vacuum cleaner noise while watching anything.
  • Reply 13 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sandau View Post


    Xbox is still 60 decibels. I dislike a vacuum cleaner noise while watching anything.



    According to Anandtech these are the sound comparison numbers:



    Measured from 2 inches away from the device in a room that has a noise floor of around 37 dB...



    XBOX 360 Slim (Valhalla): 45dB (Idle), 51dB (load)

    XBOX 360 (Jasper): 50dB (Idle), 54dB (Load)



    The load measurement was when a disc was spinning.



    Where did you get your 60 dB number from?
  • Reply 14 of 67
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    I don't care where he got the 60 dB from, I just know the sound of an XBox annoys the hell out of me with or without my hearing aids. The Apple TV has some shortcomings but at least it is quite.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DancesWithLysol View Post


    According to Anandtech these are the sound comparison numbers:



    Measured from 2 inches away from the device in a room that has a noise floor of around 37 dB...



    XBOX 360 Slim (Valhalla): 45dB (Idle), 51dB (load)

    XBOX 360 (Jasper): 50dB (Idle), 54dB (Load)



    The load measurement was when a disc was spinning.



    Where did you get your 60 dB number from?



  • Reply 15 of 67
    They expect to double XBOX sales, as you will need to buy another one to watch TV on, since you'll never wrest the existing one from the gamers' grips long enough to watch entire movie, and everyone who doesn't think they need an XBOX will now decide they need one to watch video.



    Um, no.



    If I have a XBOX and want to watch movies, I'd pay Apple or Roku $99 to do so. Not $200 for another of what I already have which is already monopolized by the resident gamer(s).



    Come to think of it if I *don't* have an XBOX and *don't* play games, then I also wouldn't pay twice as much to get a movie playing thingy.



    if I play games on something else, then I still don't buy the XBOX for twice some other box.



    Their demographic is apparently people who bought an XBOX and are tired of gaming and need something for an XBOX to do besides be a space heater.



    Brilliant.
  • Reply 16 of 67
    The author of this article seems terribly confused.



    The Xbox 360 has permitted everything Apple TV has for years.



    They're talking about adding a content subscription service, similar to Hulu Plus.



    This has absolutely nothing to do with Apple TV. They're offering something Apple TV does not have, and probably never will have.
  • Reply 17 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tjwal View Post


    I don't care where he got the 60 dB from, I just know the sound of an XBox annoys the hell out of me with or without my hearing aids. The Apple TV has some shortcomings but at least it is quite.



    the new xbox is very quiet. my previous model was a real screamer! so glad they got that noise problem dealt with.

    nothing beats the apple tv for being quiet though, in fact, it makes no sound at all since i didn't buy one! went with the Roku till my logitech revue gets here. lol
  • Reply 18 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jpellino View Post


    They expect to double XBOX sales, as you will need to buy another one to watch TV on, since you'll never wrest the existing one from the gamers' grips long enough to watch entire movie, and everyone who doesn't think they need an XBOX will now decide they need one to watch video.



    Um, no.



    If I have a XBOX and want to watch movies, I'd pay Apple or Roku $99 to do so. Not $200 for another of what I already have which is already monopolized by the resident gamer(s).



    Come to think of it if I *don't* have an XBOX and *don't* play games, then I also wouldn't pay twice as much to get a movie playing thingy.



    if I play games on something else, then I still don't buy the XBOX for twice some other box.



    Their demographic is apparently people who bought an XBOX and are tired of gaming and need something for an XBOX to do besides be a space heater.



    Brilliant.



    we get it, we get it. you are old.
  • Reply 19 of 67
    In Australia? That's just crazy talk. You're just having fun with us. Biggest problem? Everyone knows by virtue of being upside-down on the bottom of the earth, all the electrons float out the top vents on electronics and they stop working. And that's why the surfing is so good there - because it's harder for the water to stick to the earth (being upside down) and you get bigger waves. And the deserts are there because rain can't fall up.



    It's simple physics, man.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post


    Foxtel is our big cable/satellite provider in Australia.



    Foxtel+Microsoft started offering Foxtel on Xbox (a suscription service) in the last month. Apparently it works quite well.

    http://www.foxtel.com.au/xbox/default.htm



    There are options to set the streaming quality (low/medium/high), while on-demand content is a download file (which plays while downloading). For streaming channels it has to cache 5-10 seconds before it starts or changes channel, to handle the vagaries of inconsistent internet. The base package has 10 "live" (streaming) channels. Extra packs have a combination of streaming & on demand (catch-up TV) channels.



    http://www.cnet.com.au/foxtel-on-xbo...-339306661.htm



    Biggest problem is that we have quota allowances here. So at about 800MB/hr (I think) you have to be careful or get a big plan.



    I guess Microsoft is testing the technology here?



  • Reply 20 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post


    we get it, we get it. you are old.



    My Dreamcast?



    Had I been a little older, that post would have been an ASCII art flowchart!
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