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AT&T Television XBox (Games) Games Entertainment

AT&T To Allow Xbox 360 As U-verse Set-Top Box 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the convergent-evolution dept.
suraj.sun sends this quote from Engadget about U-verse subscribers soon gaining the ability to use an Xbox 360 as a set-top box: "A so-called Wired Release will roll out to AT&T U-verse customers next Sunday, and it'll bring the long awaited feature with it (though you'll have to wait until November 7th for that particular aspect). This means an AT&T U-verse customer's Xbox 360 will have a Dashboard app, and when launched, it'll let it function exactly like any other U-verse set-top. The only major catch is that it can't be the only set-top — you'll need at least one DVR at another TV in the house to enjoy one of the four HD streams that could be funneled into your home."
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AT&T To Allow Xbox 360 As U-verse Set-Top Box

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  • Four HD streams? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bareman (60518) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:31PM (#33839660) Homepage Journal

    Is that new somewhere? I think I only get four total streams, and only two of them can be HD.

    • Re:Four HD streams? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jeffmeden (135043) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:51PM (#33839890) Homepage Journal

      They have been touting "more streams" for a long time (as long as you don't cross them...) They started with 1, went to 2 pretty quick and have been teasing 3 or 4 streams for a year or more...

      Here is an announcement about the "four HD streams" from just two weeks ago: http://www.fierceiptv.com/story/u-verse-customers-getting-upgrade-4-simultaneous-hd-streams/2010-09-16 [fierceiptv.com]

      • Re:Four HD streams? (Score:4, Informative)

        by OnlineAlias (828288) on Friday October 08, 2010 @08:35PM (#33842480)

        They are at a bandwidth limitation though. The number of streams you get is determined by how fast your local loop is. If you get more than 30 megabit, you get 2 streams, if you get over 60 megabit (I think) you get 3. You would have to be right on top of the DSLAM to get 4 streams. I have about 2000 feet of local loop and get about 38 megs, so my copper isn't too good.

        They mix the internet service in with that available amount too so it just takes that right out of the total. If you sign up for super max internet speeds, it will kill the amount of streams you can get (when you are using it).

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by arivanov (12034)

      Microsoft embedded systems - WinCE and Co have had all the necessary support for IPTV for a long time now. I am no microsoft fan, but credit where credit due - their IPTV implementation at least in theory is very good and should work over nearly any network.

      I am surprised this is not used more often. After all, the last gen of consoles already has app signing and app delivery frameworks so you can do all kinds of fancy stuff on them at very small incremental cost.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AndrewNeo (979708)

        Technically U-verse boxes are already running Windows CE - they look a lot like Media Center, and if you go into the About menu you can see Microsoft had their hand in it.

        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by SpaceLifeForm (228190)

          Yep. They crash in the same manner too.

          Requires the full 4 second power off to reset.

        • Technically U-verse boxes are already running Windows CE - they look a lot like Media Center, and if you go into the About menu you can see Microsoft had their hand in it.

          No wonder my box is a slow piece of shit.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by LordNimon (85072)
      That's because some of those streams have been crossed, which they really shouldn't do.
    • by adolf (21054)

      It depends.

      My U-Verse connection could handle four streams just fine, but only one HD. It was provisioned that way because I have a very long loop to the VRAD, which sync at most at about 19,200kbps. 19,200kbps isn't enough for four HD streams along with 6Mbps of Internet.

      Others with better/more recent/shorter cabling have higher speeds. A friend of mine, not too far from my own house, has no problem doing 4 HD streams at once. As far as I can tell, having 4 HD streams is more the rule than the exceptio

  • Maybe in the future when they release new systems, Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo can continue to sell their old systems as multipurpose devices, adding features for profit.

    A couple of die shrinks and they're all set.
    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Nah. Eventually it becomes cheaper to sell the new system that can do the same thing plus more. The price dump that the old systems typically take late in life is a result of inventory being liquidated.

      Example: even if Dell really wanted to, do you think they could make a 486DX 25Mhz based system (brand new) for less than one of their cheapo current Celeron systems? Nope. The specialty chip, specialty RAM, etc would catch up with them.

      It's much the same reason why Intel intentionally cripples some highe

  • until I read:

    "...The only major catch is that it can't be the only set-top — you'll need at least one DVR at another TV in the house to enjoy one of the four HD streams that could be funneled into your home."

    This lead me back to the fact that it's still AT&T and they will never get another penny from this guy.
    • I'm only a light TV watcher, but the nuisance of switching from 360 to my secondary Uverse set-top box actually kept me from watching classic TV in the bedroom. (in other words, "at all") Why bother when I watch most content online? Now I may be motivated to do so casually. (i.e. random History channel programming)

      Never thought I'd fit the niche of one of these "[whatever] added to your console" stories.
      • by RulerOf (975607)

        switching from 360 to my secondary Uverse set-top box

        You sound like the kind of person that desperately needs to shove a TV tuner into a Windows Media Center box ;)

        • by sarysa (1089739)
          Except I prefer to be on Linux most of the time. I use Linux for geek stuff and web, do gaming on the Windows side.

          TV isn't very important to me. I usually only watch TV when I'm too tired to do anything else. ;)
          • by RulerOf (975607)
            While I admire your sentiment, I can only recommend it again. WMC allows you to treat an HTPC like what It should be, and like what your 360 is: an appliance. While MythTV, Boxee, and others are good products, WMC is very complete in its implementation, and the extensibility it has (take a look at Media Browser and Media Center Master) allows for a very "hands off" experience. Add a 360 to your other TV's and it really begins to shine, because it extends your HTPC to those TVs simultaneously. You should
  • Uverse sucks (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Too bad Uverse absolutely sucks. Seriously, how many other DVRs in this day and age can't pause or rewind live TV? If I'm watching a program and press record, it only will record from when I pressed the record button, not what was shown before. Also, I'm pretty sure that they're throttling my internet connection. Speed tests always show the correct speed that I'm paying for, but I can't download any file from any server at more than half of that speed. Uverse sucks, and needs some major work.
    • by danbert8 (1024253)

      Try limiting the number of connections. I had a problem with Uverse when downloading torrents because they would saturate the number of connections and slow down the connection. Also, if you saturate the uploading bandwidth, you won't be able to download except at a crawl. I'm waiting for them to allow me to use Windows Media Center for my TV before I'll pay for that service. Until then, internet only please.

      • by AndrewNeo (979708)

        The fact it hasn't supported Windows Media Center still blows my mind, considering the current set top boxes are running a form of it.

    • by Quarters (18322)
      Where are you located? I've had UVerse for over a year and have a completely different opinion. It can definately pause/rewind live TV. I'm pretty sure it buffers so that recording does not start right at the moment you hit the button, and, above all else, it's contractless. I can kill the service at any time and not have to worry about an ETF. Compared to the other options here, Comcast, DTV, or Dish, UVerse is the best thing going.
      • by nschubach (922175)

        That's odd... I've had cable for as long as I can remember (different companies, Ohio [time warner, wow] and Chicago area [comcast]) and I've never been tied to a contract or ETF.

      • Cable companies have contracts? I don't even think DTV or Dish have contracts unless you get "free" equipment from them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bhcompy (1877290)
      Yea, Uverse sucks. Not to mention I wouldn't want to run my 360 for that long anyways. It sits in the open air with plenty of ventilation and still has heat issues. Pity that the PS3 doesn't support this because I'm much more comfortable letting that run for hours at a time and it has a bigger internal hdd for DVR
    • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@cPASCALox.net minus language> on Friday October 08, 2010 @05:00PM (#33840740)

      Wow, finally, a DVR worse than the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD.

      • If I had mod points, I would mod you into the heavens and above.

      • by nschubach (922175)

        I don't know, my Motorola DVR is good at skipping to the end of the show if I fast forward through too many commercials.

    • by ruiner13 (527499)
      If you are watching TV on the box with the hard drive (the master console, so to speak), then you can in face rewind live TV. If you are on one of the other (smaller) boxes, then no. When you are on one of the consoles that does not have a local hard drive, it must signal the master unit to start recording, then you get "switched" to the output stream fed off the master box. When you are on one of the smaller boxes, the stream is not going through the master console and there is no history to rewind with
    • by adolf (21054)

      As stated above, I don't have U-Verse TV anymore, but...

      The DVR does suck. It does some stupid things. Some of those stupid things that it does, though, could easily be explained by patents held by other folks who also produce DVRs.

      My chief complaint about it is that it does a lousy job scaling from 480i to 1080i, and refuses to output 480i natively so I can scale it myself without a diving into the menus every time I switch between watching SD and HD programming.

      Regarding internet connections: I abuse m

      • Also their modem/router doesn't have a bridge mode so the only way to use your own router is to DMZ everything to it. Even setting that up was a lot harder than it should have been and the only way to use the DHCP from my own router was to leave theirs on and put it on a different subnet.
    • I can pause and rewind live tv and I have Uverse. You must have other issues, have you logged in to your RG and checked your stats? If you show any connection errors call it in, but it sounds like you might have an issue with you set top box. Either way, you should call it in.
  • In Canada... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    TELUS has had this feature with their IPTV offering for quite some time. However, don't start thinking that you can just plug it into your home router and start watching - you will need to register your Xbox with your service provider in order to receive the content decryption key, and they can happily charge you for it. In our case, TELUS charges $5/mo for your own Xbox (1/2 the price of a non-DVR box rental), so it's almost a good deal.
    Now where it gets really interesting is that your Windows 7 based comp

    • by AndrewNeo (979708)

      You kind of circumvented your own point - you're right, it is the service picking and choosing how devices work, but nobody said U-verse works that way, you only said Telus, which is not even in the same country.

  • I used to work for U-verse as a Tier 2 Specialist, and the XBox 360 as a set-top box was in development as of 2 years ago, the back-end MAC recognition and Xbox 360 Dashboard upgrades were already in place a year ago. In short, there was no real reason for this upgrade to have been released now instead of a year ago (all real testing is done in field anyway, because AT&T friendly Alpha communities do not give a diverse enough sample for real world testing). I do like the fact that the XBox 360 has bet
  • Unless I'm misreading this, AT&T has been subleasing (ie. beta testing) this service through mom and pop telcos for a long time now.

    The real news is how ATT has beaten them on both ends by being one of the few games in town who will be able to negotiate content prices while small shops will have to go with whatever price they are given (ass rape, seriously ass rape).

  • Hmmm AT&T already allows you to stream shows to your iOS devices if you have a U-verse account. I wonder if they'll add the Apple TV to their line-up of approved set-top boxes for streaming content similar to the Xbox option.

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