Bill Gates’ keynote speech at CES included a rare snippet of UK-specific news: Microsoft is teaming with BT to bring the BT Vision internet TV service to the Xbox 360.
The two giants already collaborate on the service, with Microsoft’s Mediaroom software powering the TV, movies and Premiership football-on-demand offering. Now it’s to provide the hardware too, promising to “seamlessly integrate” the experience of BT Vision’s V-box on its gaming console.
The link-up will work the other way round too. BT-connected Xbox 360 users will be able to access the features unique to the console on their TV, such as the Xbox Live marketplace and instant messaging.
Don’t throw out your old BT box just yet, though. With no digital TV tuner in the Xbox, you’ll still need a V-box to receive and record live TV. The set-top box is free for BT Total Broadband subscribers, with an HD version in the pipeline.
BT Vision will be available to Xbox 360 users from the summer.
BT Vision on the Xbox
On sale: summer 2008