AT&T is alerting U-verse TV customers that the telco will stop supporting its IPTV service on the Xbox 360 after December 31, and directing customers to contact AT&T about receiving a replacement set-top.
To help soften the blow, AT&T said it will issue affected customers a $99 credit, which includes coverage of the Xbox 360 Gold membership U-verse customers needed to enable U-verse TV on the gaming console.
"We’ve made this decision due to low customer demand," an AT&T spokeswoman said via email on Tuesday. AT&T declined to say how many customers currently use the Xbox 360 as a set-top. AT&T ended the third quarter with 5.22 million U-verse TV subscribers.
The decision comes just days after Microsoft launched the Xbox One, its next-generation gaming console, and almost three months Ericsson sealed up its acquisition of Microsoft’s Mediaroom business, which includes IPTV systems and software that powers 24 million set-tops, including devices that run the U-verse TV service.
AT&T, the spokeswoman added, currently has no plans to support U-verse TV on the Xbox One. Verizon Communications FiOS TV is the first, and so far only, U.S. pay-TV provider to offer an authenticated app for the Xbox One during its initial launch phase.
AT&T launched the U-verse TV support on the Xbox 360 in October 2010. The following fall, AT&T suspended its offer of a specialized $99 hardware kit required to turn the Xbox 360 into a full-fledged IPTV set-top as it looked to “improve and enhance” it. The kit included a Motorola-made HomePNA adapter and a Microsoft Media Remote Control, plus a $55 installation fee for existing U-verse TV subs.
Canadian telco Telus, another Mediaroom customer, still allows subscribers of its Optik TV service use a Microsoft Xbox 360 game console as a secondary set-top box.