Almost four weeks after Verizon Communications launched an iPad app that provides up to 75 live channels over home Wi-Fi, Microsoft on Tuesday released an upgraded version of the FiOS app for the Xbox 360 that levels up the game console to the same lineup.
Last month the telco’s IPTV app for LG connected TVs debuted, also with those 75 networks -- while the Xbox and Samsung Smart TVs were stuck with the original 26 (see FiOS TV's Multiscreen Lineup Diverges).
What’s the deal? According to a Microsoft spokeswoman, a revision to the application was necessary to bring the additional 49 channels to the Xbox. According to Verizon, the new version of the app also adds some new features, like sorting, filtering and search.
The takeaway: Keeping pace in the multiscreen-video world is really tough -- even for Microsoft, the biggest software company in the world, and Verizon, the U.S.'s second-biggest telco.
Granted, there surely aren’t many FiOS subscribers who were put out by the delay, given that watching a still-limited TV lineup through your Xbox (no broadcast channels, no sports except ESPNews and NFL Network) is more of a novelty today. Plus, you need to also subscribe to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold service ($60 per year). Note that a rev to ESPN's Xbox app that enables access to WatchESPN programming launched last month as well.
Meanwhile, Verizon reps didn't have an estimate on when Samsung Smart TVs would get the full 75 channels.
In any case, Microsoft continues to plow ahead in signing more Xbox Live content partners.
Also Tuesday, the AOL On Network’s Xbox 360 app debuted for Xbox Live users, providing a library of more than 420,000 short-form videos, as well as apps for Vimeo and SnagFilms.
Hoo boy. One thing’s for sure: Xbox app developers are going to stay really, really busy.
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