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Microsoft Announces Live TV Streaming for Xbox

As we mentioned a few days ago, rumors were surfacing about Microsoft possibly introducing a Xbox Live TV subscription service at this years Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). We can put the rumors to rest as Microsoft has officially announced this feature at E3 today.

So far, all we know is that Microsoft will be launching this service during the fall of this year. Expect to see programming from a variety of providers, which are yet to be known. Reports are indicating that we are likely to see ESPN and ABC as two of the many providers.

Codenamed Orapa, this service will use a “virtual cable operator” to stream content from the Internet. Microsoft was reported to introduce a “Xbox Live Diamond subscriber” which will basically be a subscription service that includes the Xbox Live Gold features and streaming tv service.

Xbox Live Diamond is expected to be like a pseudo-cable channel that would stream tv shows, so it wouldn’t necessarily be live. This would be powered by Microsoft’s IPTV-based Mediaroom system.

This would be a very smart move on Microsoft’s part. Xbox LIVE subscribers are eating up more than 2 billion hours a month using the console’s entertainment hub, this new service will only increase that number.

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