updated 12:30 am EST, Mon December 5, 2011
Microsoft outlines launch plans for X360 live TV
In sync with the fall Xbox 360 Dashboard update, Microsoft has provided a listing of TV providers that will be ready to go this week. Along with existing access to ESPN, Hulu, and Netflix, the December 6 update will also bring EPIX authenticated video in the US, Lovefilm in the UK, MediaSet's Premium Play in Italy, Sky Go in Austria and Germany, Telefonica Espaņa's Movistar Imagenio, and MSNBC's Today in the US.
Most of the TV push will happen later on in December, when Australia, Canada, European companies, and more US services come online. Among the picks are Channel 4 on Demand in the UK, ABC's iView in Australia, Crackle, Dailymotion, iHeartRadio in the US, Microsoft's own MSN and regular MSNBC, Rogers On Demand in Canada, UFC fighting in North America, Verizon FiOS TV in the US, Vevo in North America, the UK, and Ireland, and the leaked Vudu access in the US.
YouTube will be available globally in 24 countries during a similar period.
Some services, despite having been unveiled months ago, won't arrive until early 2012. These include BBC access in the UK, the internationally available MLB.tv, and Telenovelas/Sports in parts of Latin America and Europe. Multiple key American services will be missing in 2011 as well, with CinemaNow on-demand video, HBO Go, and Comcast's Xfinity On Demand all waiting until early 2012.
The Dashboard update itself brings a Windows Phone-like tile interface with elements like music, video, and games grouped into their own sections with apps and sub-categories for each. Many existing features like Hulu and Netflix now have heavily revamped interfaces, and it's possible to search the entire Xbox and the Xbox Live Marketplaces for content using Bing, either by a gamepad or through Kinect.