Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why Can't My Xbox Be My Set Top Cable Box

Tired of your remote.  Wish you had more control over your screen and how you managed through the endless choices of cable channels and shows.  Perhaps you wish you could use your game controller instead of the remote to navigate and select.  Well, maybe, Comcast has opened the door a little bit toward that full potential.  "The more interesting news is the launch of Comcast’s Xbox Live experience, which will give users the ability to search its video-on-demand service directly from the game console. That follows Comcast’s attempt to expand access to its content on a number of new devices, including the iPad and connected TVs from Samsung."  

A tiny first step indeed, but a step in the right direction.  Of course, it is still missing access to linear channels and DVR capabilities, but one thing at a time.  For a house with multiple TVs, and one TV devoted to the gamer in the family, the Xbox means I could potentially get rid of the set top on that TV.  It is used primarily for  game playing but the added accessibility to on demand programming is nice as long as I don't want to watch a live sports event on that TV. 

For homes with TVs that have multiple boxes attached to it, the Xbox, the DVD player, and the set top, this functionality of on demand programming is not enough to fully lose the set top connection.  Thus this new set of program offerings may be no big deal to current Comcast Cable homes.  Still, it is a first step toward replacing the set top with devices that are better suited for navigating on the TV screen.

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