Time Warner Cable will launch its TWC TV app on the popular Xbox 360 console “later this summer,” as part of an agreement announced between the MSO and Microsoft on Friday.
The deal will give authenticated TWC subscribers the ability to stream a lineup of about 300 live TV channels to the Xbox 360, and navigate that lineup using the voice- and gesture-based Kinect system. The TWC TV app for the Xbox 360 will not offer VOD content from the MSO when it is launched, a Time Warner Cable spokesman said. As it is with similar TV Everywhere apps offered on the console by Comcast and HBO, the TWC TV version will only be available to Xbox 360 users who also subscribe to the Xbox Live Gold service.
The announcement about this “landmark deal” between Microsoft and TWC also referenced the Xbox One, a new console set to launch later this year that will enable Microsoft to overlay its own guide on live TV feeds and attempt to turn the device into the home’s primary entertainment hub. Microsoft will try to pull off this “instant switching” trick using a content-protected pass-through approach that will require users to tether the Xbox One to an MSO-supplied set-top using an HDMI cord.
The Xbox 360 "deal has been in the works for a long time and we’re eager to build on that momentum in working with Microsoft on Xbox One," a TWC spokesman told Multichannel News via email.
"We will have more details to share about Xbox One entertainment in the coming months," Microsoft said in Friday's announcement.
The Xbox 360 marks the latest major connected device to get access to the MSO's TV Everywhere app, which is also offered on iOS and Android devices, Roku boxes, and PCs and Mac browsers. Later this summer, TWC is also poised to launch the app on Samsung Smart TVs (2012 models and newer). The initial version for Samsung will offer subscribers with access to about 5,000 VOD titles from nearly 100 networks. The MSO expects to add the live TV streaming capabilities to the Samsung app by the end of 2013.
“TWC TV is a significant addition to Xbox 360, bringing our customers their favorite entertainment in one place—enhanced TV experience, games, movies, music, sports and entertainment apps,” said Blair Westlake, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s media & entertainment group, in a statement. “Our partnership with TWC enhances all that is available on Xbox 360 today, which will we continue expand.”
“We look forward to introducing TWC TV to Xbox 360 and providing customers with this new viewing experience within the home. We are very excited about Microsoft’s vision for entertainment and the vast possibilities Xbox offers,” added TWC SVP and GM of video Mike Angus, in a statement.