updated 12:45 pm EDT, Wed October 5, 2011
Xbox 360 live TV goes available worldwide
Microsoft as repeatedly rumored has kicked off its Xbox 360 live TV option. Cable and fiber TV providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, as well as individual TV stations such as Bravo, Epix, HBO, and SyFy, are all promising apps for the new Xbox Dashboard to watch TV online. Most if not all of the services will require that viewers authenticate to get access and will still need to have traditional TV.
Some services will be limited as well: Verizon only plans to give a "selection" of channels and is likely to exclude some of its highest-demand channels to preserve its more lucrative TV deals.
The access is spreading internationally and will bring services like Rogers On Demand Online to Canada; the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, and Lovefilm in the UK; Canal+ in France; and GolTV as well as Telefonica in Spain. In the US and a a handful of other countries, some digital-focused services are also coming, such as CinemaNow, Crackle, iheartradio, and Vevo.
YouTube is the most universal, at 22 countries, while live pay-per-view UFC fights are coming to Canada and the US.
Prices beyond whatever's already included will vary by the country, but most if not all of the updates will be available during the fall in sync with the new Dashboard. Most expect the Xbox 360's interface update to show in mid-November.
Live TV through an Xbox has been an option before but has been much more limited and usually confined to treating the Xbox as an extender on the local network, not as the only device. The new move should theoretically allow for both a direct link as well as an Internet-only connection for those either looking to avoid rewiring the house or who might be away from home but with an access to an Xbox.