AT&T announced this week that its U-Verse IPTV service will be available to Xbox 360 users starting today as well as to AT&T wireless customers on Windows 7 Phones in November. This marks the first time a TV provider has offered live TV service through an Xbox 360 and also makes U-verse available nationwide for the first time as well.
The cost of the software is $99 for new and existing U-verse subscribers with an Xbox 360 and will require a home visit by a U-verse technician to install. U-verse TV subscribers using the Xbox 360 will be able to avoid the monthly rental fee for an additional U-verse receiver.
U-verse subscribers using the Xbox 360 will have virtually the same features as regular U-verse subscribers including the ability to watch live TV, manage and play back DVR recordings and access interactive apps, program guide, the On Demand library and more. Additional U-verse TV features via the Xbox 360 include the ability to receive chat and game invitations from friends through Xbox Live while watching live TV and switch seamlessly from game to TV mode without switching video inputs on the TV screen. Xbox 360 already offers the Netflix video streaming service and a Hulu streaming service is expected to be added in 2011. AT&T U-verse TV uses the Microsoft Mediaroom platform.
Beginning in November, the U-verse Mobile app will be preloaded so that any AT&T wireless customer with a Windows Phone 7 device—whether or not they are a U-verse TV customer—will be able to access the service. Existing U-verse TV customers will be able to download and use the software for free, while customers without a qualifying plan will pay $9.99 per month for the mobile TV service. In August, AT&T introduced its first mobile "TV Everywhere" service that lets U-verse TV subscribers download and watch full TV episodes on the iPhone.
“Now you can get our award-winning U-verse services on your big screen TV, online, on your mobile phone, and integrated with your Xbox 360,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “Our IPTV strategy is putting AT&T at the forefront by delivering U-verse content where you want it. And now we're extending the U-verse experience to more AT&T smartphone customers with the upcoming launch of U-verse Mobile on Windows Phone 7 devices.”
“AT&T has a legacy of innovation and teamed up with Microsoft to build a differentiated all-IP TV offering to enable the future of TV services for their customers,” said Andreas Mueller-Schubert, General Manager of the Media Platforms Business, Microsoft Corp. “We're excited to extend that relationship today through new initiatives that make TV anywhere a possibility, delivering rich entertainment experiences for consumers across multiple screens, inside and outside the home.”
AT&T has 2.5 million U-verse TV customers across 22 states, and its advanced fiber network passes 25 million homes.
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