AT&T has officially announced that U-verse TV customers will be able to use their Xbox 360 gaming consoles as set-top boxes with the company’s U-verse TV offering. The idea is to let users’ existing game consoles serve as stand-ins for extra U-verse receivers in the home: using the Xbox 360, users will be able to tap into live TV via the Xbox 360 dashboard, while simultaneously chatting with Xbox Live users and receiving game invitations from friends. Users will also be able to manage and play back DVR recordings, and switch from TV to game mode without switching any inputs on their televisions.
“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 AT&T Mobility’s chief marketing officer David Christopher, in a statement. “Our IPTV strategy is putting AT&T at the forefront by delivering U-verse content where you want it.”
The ability to use an Xbox 360 as an additional receiver will no doubt appeal to many U-verse customers: it means they don’t have to have an extra box in their TV setup in order to tap into U-verse, and makes switching between gaming and TV much simpler. Users also won’t have to pay to rent another U-verse receiver from AT&T.
However, the service isn’t free: users will have to pay AT&T $99 for an Xbox 360 kit to manage the installation, as well as schedule a $55 service installation from an AT&T technician. The U-verse software also only works on Xbox 360s with a hard drive.
AT&T U-verse TV on Xbox 360 will be available beginning October 15.
AT&T has also announced a U-verse Mobile application for Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices, enabling users to watch television shows from their mobile phones via Wi-Fi (customers with qualifying service plans will be able to download shows to their devices for on-the-go viewing), as well as manage DVR recordings.