When Microsoft discussed its plans for providing live TV services through the Xbox 360 console, it was deliberately vague, since the offer would vary from area to area. On Tuesday, however, one of the software giant's biggest TV partners, Verizon FIOS, revealed its plans for the service. And it involves stunning Internet speeds, non-compressed HD video, and live TV access via the Xbox 360.
As part of the new offering, FIOS will be providing customers with faster broadband speeds than before, with 35Mbps upload and download performance. (This compares with 25Mbps down and 18Mbps up for most FIOS customers today.) The package also includes 195 all-digital TV channels, including over 50 in HD, and over 30,000 Video On Demand choices, with over 7,000 in HD.
Customers new to FIOS can get this package—along with a free wireless router, a FIOS digital voice phone package, the Xbox 360 title Halo: Anniversary, and a year of Xbox LIVE Gold—for $89.99 per month. Existing customers can call FIOS to upgrade, and gain access to the Xbox 360-specific features, which include a Live TV app for viewing some TV content directly from the console.
What's still unclear is how much FIOS programming will be available via the console. According to an earlier press release, it will be a subset of the full schedule, with channels like CNN, Comedy Central, Food Network, HBO, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Spike being available. And yes, you Kinect fans will be able to control the experience using motion and voice control.