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What You Should Know About Microsoft Internet TV

written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 1/21/2011

If you have a home theater setup and are considering bringing Internet TV to your living room, you would want to be a little patient because Microsoft is planning to offer its own version of Internet TV in the form of Microsoft TV.

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    If you’re prone to missing your favorite shows on television and tear your hair wondering when there would be a repeat, then Internet TV may serve well as an antidote. Internet TV is all about more interactivity for the user. There’s no frustration when you miss a favorite program; you can, more often than not, view the missed program from the Internet TV provider’s archives. This probably is the coolest feature of Internet TV apart from having the freedom to choose what to view at any particular time.

    Talk about Internet TV and what may spring to your mind is Apple TV, Google TV, or Hulu. But you can disregard these services and start thinking about Microsoft TV if you’re an Xbox 360 owner and have already hooked it up to your home theater system.

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    Xbox 360 and Microsoft TV

    Are you scratching your head, wondering what Xbox 360 has got to do with Microsoft TV? Here’s the good news. Microsoft plans to use the Xbox 360 as a streaming device to stream Internet Television to your living room. In a nutshell, you don’t have to spend a dime on a streaming device when Microsoft TV becomes a reality.

    Not that it’s going to be an entirely new undertaking for Microsoft to use Xbox as a television receiver. It is already doing it via on-demand ESPN. Also, many Netflix buffs are already enjoying their favorite shows via the Xbox.

    News reports highlight that Microsoft is in talks with leading broadcast content providers in the hope of ironing out licensing deals. While waiting for Microsoft TV to be launched, hopefully within the next 12 months, it pays to learn more about the service that’s expected to give Apple TV and Google TV a run for their money.

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    Microsoft TV Highlights

    So, what can you expect from Microsoft TV? Microsoft plans to run a subscription-based TV service via its Xbox 360. In other words, Microsoft TV will act as, in Microsoft’s words, a virtual cable TV operator. This means you would have to pay a monthly fee if you want to access such networks as CNN, ESPN, CBS, Fox and ABC.

    But then being a subscriber does not necessarily mean digging deep into your pockets. The good news is Microsoft has plans to sell individual channels to its subscribers. This would be a boon to those who are currently forced to subscribe expensive packages just to watch one or two channels.

    Rest assured that Xbox 360 will not be nothing more than a cable TV set top box. Microsoft is planning to offer attractive interactive Internet-related functions like instant messaging and even social networking through Microsoft TV.

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    The other attractive feature that would be an integral part of Microsoft TV via Xbox 360 is you’ll be able to avail yourself of the capabilities of Kinect. To give you an idea, It’s a kind of sensor that works with Xbox 360 and allows you to control games and TV shows through your voice and gestures. If you’re tired of pressing buttons on a remote control, you would welcome this feature with open arms.

    Although Microsoft TV has yet to reach our shores, the information above would have given you enough information to make a decision as to whether Microsoft TV is your cup of tea and whether you should hold off signing up for an alternative Internet TV service you have in mind.