Microsoft considering pay TV options

by PYB James | Dec 10, 2010

The Microsoft Corporation is in talks about launching a new online TV subscription service on devices such as the Xbox video console, according to Reuters.

The software giant is in discussions with media owners over licensing their TV networks for a pay-TV service.

The jostling for position over the future of online TV is sure to be one of the main topics discussed at Reuters Global Media Summit this week.

Microsoft will be joining big players such as Apple, Google and Netflix in its proposed bid to attract TV viewers.

Although it is early days, one of the possibilities Microsoft is exploring is becoming a ‘virtual cable operator’ by delivering TV over the Internet in return for monthly fees.

Reuters are reporting that their sources say another option could be using Xbox consoles to authenticate existing cable channels allowing features such as enhanced interactivity.

Microsoft, best known for making the Windows operating system, already has premier US sports channel ESPN available on the Xbox Live online service so selling more channels directly to users would be another option.

For its part Microsoft is refusing to comment on the rumours but Reuters sources say that while early discussions about the TV service have been positive nothing is likely to come about before the end of 2011.

Microsoft is well known to have harboured ambitions to become a big player in Television and has already invested in other interactive TV projects like the MSN TV software and Web TV.

It has also taken the recent gamble to invest in the latest ‘gesture’ technology, which allows Xbox users to interact with their screens using the Kinect camera accessory.

The Kinect enables gamers to control on-screen functions such as opening channels and fast-forwarding or rewinding videos by using their voices or arm and hand gestures.

Your session

You have been inactive for 10 minutes. You will be automatically logged out soon.

Your session

You have been logged out.